Yachting fest to promote tourism

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International athletes at the 2011 International Yachting Festival in Mui Ne

The 2011 International Yachting Festival opened yesterday in the famous Mui Ne beach resort town, with organizers claiming that it will lay the foundation for a yachting industry in the county and promote sea tourism in the south-central province of Binh Thuan.

The festival, which will run until March 20, has attracted the participation of more than 100 athletes with 60 yachts from 20 countries and territories. Their performances are expected to draw huge crowds of locals and tourists, as well as spark an interest in the sport.

Many professional athletes of late have discovered Mui Ne as an ideal place to sail their yachts or go windsurfing. Coming from many different countries, including Russia, France and Germany, they've said they were excited to learn that Mui Ne offers plenty of wind and sunshine all year round.

Jimmy Diaz, chairman of the Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA), said he had not heard about Mui Ne as a hot spot for water sports, but he knew it for certain after holding an international windsurfing contest here earlier this month.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the yachting festival, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan said, "Mui Ne is one of the outstanding tourism spots in Vietnam. Therefore, Binh Thuan should continue to promote the beautiful beach and make it more popular to tourists all over the world."

Mui Ne is currently home to 125 three- to five-star resorts with 1,600 rooms.

Ngo Minh Chinh, director of Binh Thuan's Culture, Sports, and Tourism Department, said with the windsurfing competition and the yachting festival,

Binh Thuan is developing Mui Ne as a world famous tourism spot.

"For years, we have mentioned that potential Mui Ne has but haven't introduced unique tourism products. Water sports in Mui Ne will become a real tourism product. It serves not only tourists but also athletes around the world."

Chinh also expected the festival to draw increased interest from local and foreign businesses to invest in Binh Thuan's marine tourism sector.

THE 2011 INTERNATIONAL YACHTING FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

MARCH 17

8 a.m. to 9 a.m.: Opening ceremony at Hon Rom Beach, Km 20, Mui Ne Ward, Phan Thiet Town

10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Yachting performance on beaches stretching from Hon Rom to the center of Phan Thiet

8 p.m. to 10 p.m.: International music gala at the foot of the sand dunes in Mui Ne with performances by rock musicians from Australia, Russia and the Czech Republic

MARCH 18

8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Seminar on "Building Vietnam's sea tourism brand name" at Sealinks Hotel, Km 9, Nguyen Thong Street, Phu Hai, Phan Thiet.

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Yachting performance on beaches stretching from Hon Rom to the center of Phan Thiet.

8 p.m. to 10 p.m.: International music gala at the foot of the famous sand dunes in Mui Ne with performances by rock musicians from Australia, Russia and the Czech Republic.

MARCH 19

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Yachting performances on beaches stretching from Hon Rom to the center of Phan Thiet.

8 p.m. to 10 p.m.: International music gala at the foot of the sand dunes in Mui Ne with performances by rock musicians from Australia, Russia and the Czech Republic.

MARCH 20

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Yachting performance on beaches stretching from Hon Rom to the center of Phan Thiet.

8 p.m. to 10 p.m.: The closing ceremony of the festival at Sealinks Hotel, Km 9, Nguyen Thong Street, Phu Hai, Phan Thiet.

8 p.m. to 10 p.m.: International music gala at the foot of the sand dunes in Mui Ne with performances by rock musicians from Australia, Russia and the Czech Republic.

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