Several guests have had to cancel their hotel rooms and boat tours in Hai Phong and Quang Ninh due to Typhoon Talim, resulting in significant losses for businesses, including yacht operators.
The National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting has predicted that Typhoon Talim will reach the island of Loi Chau (China) and then enter the Gulf of Tonkin around 19-20 o’clock tonight. By tomorrow afternoon, the storm is expected to directly impact Quang Ninh and Hai Phong with winds of 9-10.
Starting from July 17, the People’s Committee of Cat Hai district in Hai Phong has issued an official notice to suspend sightseeing, entertainment, and swimming activities in the bays of the Cat Ba archipelago and the surrounding beaches. Pham Ha, the owner of the Heritage yacht operating in Lan Ha Bay, mentioned that the ship has returned to the storm shelter at Gia Luan wharf (Hai Phong) since the afternoon of July 16.
As a result, the scheduled tours that involved a two-night stay in Lan Ha Bay on July 17-18 have been canceled. Mr. Ha mentioned that prior to the announcement, the yacht had all 20 rooms booked, priced at approximately 11 million VND per night. Since many guests were foreigners on short trips, their reservations were canceled. This has caused a loss of over 100 million VND per night for the business. The remaining guests were Vietnamese and had some flexibility, allowing for rescheduling to a later date.
A representative from the Lan Ha Yacht Association reported that their businesses collectively have around 800 rooms. The cancellations and delays caused significant damage to these businesses, but they had no choice but to prioritize safety.
However, another ship owner mentioned that the current weather situation seems favorable. Based on their experience, the yachts should be able to pick up passengers on July 17 and safely return them by 9 am on July 18.
The impact of the storm is not limited to yacht operators but also affects the hotel businesses on Cat Ba Island. A representative from a 5-star hotel mentioned that many tourists have requested to postpone or cancel their room reservations due to the storm.
In Quang Ninh, the province is also considering implementing a ban on sea activities starting from 3 pm on July 17. There were approximately 2,500 guests on Co To Island on July 17. After the People’s Committee of Co To district informed residents and tourists about the storm’s progress, 42 boats departed, taking over 8,000 visitors back to the mainland.
David Tan, a tourist from Malaysia, decided to shorten his Co To Island tour by one day due to concerns about the bad weather. Initially, he planned to stay from July 15 until the afternoon of July 17 but decided to leave early on the afternoon of July 16. Tan mentioned that the weather was still fine and there were still many new visitors arriving on the island at the time of his departure.
Another tourist, Donald Cook from the US, arrived in Co To Island on July 16 and intends to return on July 18. He did not change his schedule but planned to extend his stay for an additional day or two if the weather turned bad.
In Ha Long, hotels have also started receiving requests to cancel or reschedule guests due to concerns about the adverse weather conditions. A representative from Muong Thanh Luxury Quang Ninh stated that on the morning of July 17, the sales department received several requests from both large groups and individual customers to reschedule their bookings.
The representative mentioned that they are willing to accommodate rescheduling requests from guests, considering that most visitors come to Ha Long to visit the bay and enjoy swimming. If boating and swimming become unsafe due to the storm, it would render the guests’ trips futile, and they do not want to inconvenience them. However, the hotel only accepts rescheduling requests and does not allow cancellations.
Many international flights have also experienced delays due to Typhoon Talim. Vietnam Airlines had to postpone the departure time of numerous flights between Vietnam and Hong Kong due to the impact of the typhoon, affecting other flights as well.