Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Vietnam's tourist authorities eager to host World Match Racing Tour event

[Source: Saigon Times Daily] Vietnam's tourism and sport authorities are joining hands with the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) to look into conditions in Halong to see whether the northern city is fit for an international yacht competition.

Representatives of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the Vietnam National Administration of Exercise and Sports and WMRT on begin today a fact-finding trip in Halong, which is known for the World Heritage-listed bay of the same name.

Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the tourism administration, told the Daily that an administration mission visited the Asian Match Racing Championships final held by WMRT in Malaysia last week to draw on experience in organising such an event.

The tour of Halong is a preparatory activity so that organisers can find a good location for the competition, which is expected to take place late next year. “It’s a professional event. So if it is hosted here, Vietnam can get worldwide publicity,” he said.

Vietnamese delegates at the 2010 Asian Match Racing Championship. Kuala Terengganu, 28 October 2010. Photo copyright SubZero Images / Monsoon Cup

Two months ago, Yap Kai Keng, chief representative for Indochina of WMRT, said that apart from Nha Trang, other places in the nation like Quang Ninh, Danang, Phu Quoc and Phan Thiet were also good for organising boat races.

He said WMRT and Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cooperation in hosting the forthcoming race. The event, together with related activities, would be broadcast for no less than 20,000 minutes on TV, including Star Sports channel, to 180 countries and territories.

If the race takes place here, Vietnam will become the newest stop on WMRT’s list next year, Tuan said. However, a lot of homework should be done in the preparatory process following the signing of the MOU.

“We will need to make surveys and consult relevant ministries before a race organising plan goes before the Government. And the trip to Halong is one of the activities,” he said.

Tuan said Nha Trang would be a good venue for sailing as it meets the strict requirements of WMRT in terms of infrastructure, sea and wind conditions. However, the city does not have an international standard tourist wharf while Halong does have it.

The World Match Racing Tour is the professional sailing series, featuring 10 World Championship events across the globe. The race is an annual event that happens in nine countries.



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