Da Nang short on lodgings before int'l firework event

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Local hotels only have room for half of the between 70,000 and 80,000 tourists planning to attend an annual fireworks festival in the central city of Da Nang this month, tourism experts said.

In fact, all hotels along the Han River, opposite the location of the Da Nang International Firework Competition (DIFC), have already been booked for the March 27-28 event.

Mini hotels like Mimosa and Y Van said their customers had booked rooms three months ago.

Major hotels, including Bach Dang, Hoang Anh Gia Lai and Green Plaza, also reported they were all out of rooms on for that weekend.

According to Da Nang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the city previously prepared more than 6,000 rooms at 312 hotels for the event, yet nearly 90 percent of them have already be reserved.

In response to the surging number of tourists, estimated to be 1.5 times more than last year, tourism companies like Viet Da have turned to offering home-stay and camping services.

They are also making use of tourism facilities in other localities within driving distance, like those in Hoi An in Quang Nam Province or Lang Co beach in Thua Thien Hue Province. These localities expect to provide 3,700 rooms during the festival.

But still, this means there will only be room for 40,000 tourists during the event, according to experts.

In the meantime, national carrier Vietnam Airlines said domestic flights to Da Nang on March 25-28 were nearly fully booked, adding that it was making plans to increase flights to meet increasing demand that weekend.

Low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific made similar statements.

First held in 2008, the DIFC will offer 26,000 seats on the banks of the Han River bank for the first time this year. Priced at VND200,000 each, the seats have already sold out, according to organizers.

Five teams from Da Nang, US, Japan, France and Portugal will compete in the contest themed on "the Legend of the Han River."

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