The central city of Da Nang welcomed over 1,500 foreign tourists during the first five days of the Lunar New Year, signalling a promising outlook for its tourism sector.

The cruise ship Gemini was the first tourist vessel to dock at Tien Sa port in the Lunar New Year. Its 1,400 passengers, mainly from China toured Da Nang and Hoi An.

According to the Saigontourist travel service company, as many as 47 cruise ships with 42,000 tourists aboard will dock at Tien Sa port in the first quarter of this year, up 31 percent from last year.

Earlier on February 10, the first day of the Lunar New Year, aircraft A320 of Air Asia with 152 passengers on board safely landed at Da Nang international airport, the first flight into the city in the Year of the Snake.

The airport welcomed over 4,000 visitors on 40 domestic and international flights during the first five days. The number of foreign tourists is expected to grow by nearly 20 percent this year thanks to more direct flights linking the city with Russia , Macao and China .

Last year, around 157,000 tourists flew to Da Nang , a year-on-year rise of 236 percent.

More passenger buses travelling between Da Nang and Laos as well as cities and provinces nationwide resumed operations on February 11, the second day of the Lunar New Year.

Bach Dang Spring Flower Street, which will remain open until February 16, has also attracted hordes of domestic and foreign revellers.-VNA