The number of visitors to popular tourist destinations nationwide hit record during the holidays celebrating the southern liberation and national reunification from Apr. 28-May 1.

In the northern province of Lao Cai, over 15,000 visitors came to Sa Pa foggy town, the highest number ever. On May 1 alone, nearly 12,000 enjoyed the “In the cloud” festival held at Ham Rong mountain tourist area in the locality.

Meanwhile on Apr. 29 alone, over 24,000 tourists flocked to the northern province of Quang Ninh. It was partly attributed to the free admission tickets to Ha Long Bay, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

Large hotels along Bai Chay beach were fully booked in advance while smaller ones 300-500 metres away from the beach raised their room rates to 1.5 million VND per night from 300,000-400,000 VND per night in normal days.

The Da Nang city was also crowded with travellers coming for the international fireworks competition.

More than 1,200 visitors arrived at the Da Nang railway station on Apr. 28 and almost 2,000 from Hanoi and HCM City came to the city the next day.

The central province of Thua Thien-Hue welcomed over 40,600 holidaymakers, double the number of last year’s period, bringing in over 2.3 billion VND (110,000 USD) in revenues.

Phan Thanh Hai, Director of the Hue Relics Preservation Centre said heritage sites in Hue attracted more than 16,000 tourists on Apr. 29, the peak time of the holiday.

Besides visiting famous heritage sites such as the Citadel and the tombs of Kings Minh Mang, Tu Duc and Khai Dinh, many tourists enjoyed various cultural events and community sports, as part of the Thuan An festival 2012 themed “Call of the Sea” held in the province during the four-day holiday.

According to the Binh Thuan provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, around 148,300 spent their vacation in the province, up 10 percent from the same period of last year.

The department reported that room rates at Mui Ne beach in Phan Thiet city rose by only 8 percent during the holiday because they were booked in advance at the beginning of the year.

In the southern province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau, over 110,000 tourists spent their holiday in Vung Tau city. A team of inspectors there found several hotels raising room rates by 60-80 percent over listed prices of 150,000 – 300,000 VND, higher than normal days.

Hotel rooms along famous beaches in Phan Thiet and Nha Trang cities were also fully booked in advance or rented at cut-throat prices to customers without bookings.-VNA