The Cat Ba archipelago off the coast of Hai Phong City in northern Vietnam recently became the most searched-for tourist destination among Google’s searches in the country in 2020.
In a press release on Wednesday announcing the tech giant’s Year in Search 2020 report, Google wrote that Cat Ba tourism has surged over the past year, pushing the archipelago ahead of famous coastal cities such as Da Nang and Nha Trang to lead the list of the top ten most-searched Vietnamese tourist destinations this year.
According to local travel businesses, Cat Ba tourism has drawn increased attention over the past two years thanks to its fast developing infrastructure and pristine scenery, including the archipelago’s Lan Ha Bay, widely considered the northern region’s 'forgotten paradise.'
Other destinations on Google’s list of the top tourism-related searches in Vietnam include the Central Highlands city of Da Lat, the northwest mountainous town of Sa Pa, the central coastal city of Da Nang, the northwest mountainous district of Moc Chau, and the south-central city of Nha Trang.
|A file photo shows wild sunflowers blossoming in the Central Highlands city of Da Lat. Photo: Duc Tho / Tuoi Tre|
The list also mentioned emerging destinations such as the Mekong Delta’s Thoi Son Isle, the Central Highlands’ Ta Dung National Park, Co To Island off northern Quang Ninh Province, and Sam Son City on the coast of Thanh Hoa Province.
The rankings offer a fascinating glimpse into how travel restrictions put in place to stall the spread of COVID-19 have affected the local and international travel industry.
In Vietnam, where the government has managed to suppress two waves of the virus, travelers have completely shifted to domestic travel, with all keywords in the top 10 most-searched tourist destinations of the year being those in the Southeast Asian country.
Aside from the top 10 most-searched tourist destinations, the Google Year in Search 2020 report also featured more than ten other categories including news, people, entertainment, and common questions asked by Vietnamese.
Among those, 'nearby pho restaurant' topped the list of the most-searched 'nearby places.'