In a press release on Wednesday announcing its "Year in Search" 2020 report, Google put Cat Ba, an archipelago that includes 367 islands spanning 260 square kilometers, of which Cat Ba Island is the largest, in the highest position.
Other destinations on Google’s list of the top tourism-related searches in Vietnam include the Central Highlands city of Da Lat, the northwest mountainous town of Sa Pa, the central coastal city of Da Nang, the northwest mountainous district of Moc Chau, and the south-central city of Nha Trang.
The Central Highlands town of Da Lat, much loved for its year-round cool climate, green pine forests, and architectural gems dating back to the French colonial time, came in second, followed by the northern highlands town of Sa Pa. The central city of Da Nang, home to many of Asia’s most beautiful beaches, ranked fourth, according to VN Express.
Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa Province fell from second position last year to eighth this year. The town is home to long sandy beaches and little-known islands dotted along the central coast.
As stated by VCCI, this year's Google list shows that tourists' interests had shifted from popular destinations to lesser-known places, such as Thoi Son Island (Mekong Delta), Ta Dung (Moc Chau, Son La provinces). This could be explained by the fact that more tourists have opted for less crowded places to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Thoi Son Island in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre in the lower section of Tien River ranked fifth. It has become an emerging tourist destination in recent years, ideal for a quick bite, with cozy little restaurants decorated with bonsai plants and local houses surrounded by fruit trees.
Ta Dung, situated in the eponymous national park of Dak P’lao and Dak Som communes in Dak G’long District of Dak Nong Province in the Central Highlands, came in sixth, followed by the northern highlands town Moc Chau in Son La Province.
Sam Son, a beach town in the central province of Thanh Hoa, ranked ninth while Co To, an island district in northern Quang Ninh Province rounded out the top 10.
Vietnam could lose $23 billion in tourism revenue this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, or about 75 percent of last year’s industry revenue, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien said in early November.
Thanks to mass testing and aggressive tracing, Vietnam had contained its second outbreak and passed 89 days without community transmissions until a Vietnam Airlines flight attendant violated quarantine regulations to become the source of the latest Covid-19 outbreak in Ho Chi Minh City.
So far, the country has gone nine clean days without new community transmissions. It has recorded 1,405 patients, including 35 deaths, according to the National Steering Committee statistics of December 16.