Quang Ninh strives to become leading tourism centre in the region

Tuesday, 2017-11-14 17:58:24
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The Dragon Park in Ha Long attracts a large number of young visitors.
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NDO – In recent years, the number of domestic and international visitors to Quang Ninh province has strongly increased, affirming the position as well as rapid and stable development of the local tourism sector. With the investment in modern infrastructure and gradual improvement of the quality of services, Quang Ninh is aiming to become a leading international tourism centre in the country and in Southeast Asia region.

Making breakthroughs from infrastructure

Determining tourism as a spearhead economic sector, in recent years, Quang Ninh agencies have drastically directed and implemented the investment in a series of traffic works and tourism infrastructure, of which numerous completed important projects have brought practical effects, such as the upgrade of the Uong Bi - Ha Long section of the Highway 18, bringing electricity to Co To island and the island communes in Van Don district, and telecommunication infrastructure providing mobile and in-vehicle coverage to all tourism destinations.

In addition, a number of strategic projects have been accelerated including Ha Long – Hai Phong expressway which will shorten the travel time from Ha Long to Hanoi to 1.5 hours by car; and Van Don International Airport and the Ha Long - Van Don expressway which are expected to be completed in 2018, becoming an important premise to bring into full play the strengths of the Van Don Special Economic Zone.

Ha Long – Mong Cai expressway will continue to be built to connect Quang Ninh province with Guangxi province of China and ASEAN countries; while the Ha Long international sea port will create favourable conditions for visitors to visit Ha Long and Bai Tu Long bays by five-star cruise. Notably, after the master plan for tourism development to 2020, with orientation to 2030 was released, Quang Ninh has attracted a series of strategic projects with numerous high-profile investors such as BIM Group, Vingroup, Sun Group, MyWay, Tuan Chau and FLC.

The new tourism products of these corporations have contributed to positively changing the province’s tourism, increasing the number of domestic and foreign visitors. Rio Kobayakawa, a tourist from Japan said: “Ha Long bay is very wonderful. I have traveled extensively, but I see that rare places have been endowed with many beauties as here. Its wild beauty makes me really want to explore. I am very impressed with the local specialities.”

Quang Ninh province has a number of resorts which have been synchronously invested including the Ha Long Ocean Park complex, the largest amusement park in Southeast Asia, Halong Marina urban area, Vinpearl Ha Long Bay Resort, Vincom Ha Long Trade Centre, and Vinhomes Dragon Bay sea urban area.

Chairman of Quang Ninh provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long noted that “the success of strategic investors in the locality will create the spread and attractiveness for other investors, making a new investment flow to the province. Their success is the province’s success”.

In addition, Vietnamese investors, Quang Ninh attracted the projects worth billions of US dollars from famous international corporations from the US, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and United Arab Emirates. For example, international hotel management groups Wyndham and Starwood have built five-star hotels, Wyndham Legend (with 217 rooms) and Sheraton Ha Long Bay (with 330 rooms and apartments). The joint venture between Amata (Thailand) and Tuan Chau Groups is promoting the investment of a high-tech industrial urban area covering over 7,800 hectares, with a total investment of nearly US$2 billion. ISC Corporation from the US also planned to invest around US$7.5 billion in an entertainment complex (including casino) in Tuan Chau island (Ha Long city). The US$1 billion ecological urban area project by Lucky Cement Corporation from Chinese Taipei, with total area of 516 hectares in Hoang Tan island, Quang Yen town, is being planned.

“The gather of major brands will help Ha Long improve its position on the map of domestic and international tourism. Luxury travellers around the world will see that, in addition to visiting the Ha Long Bay, there are many other options of resorts and entertainment.”, said Huong Tran Kieu Dung, General Director of FLC Group.

According to a report by Quang Ninh Tourism Department, tourists from major markets, including the US, Thailand, Japan, Australia, China and Europe, to stay in the province have seen a strong growth. Since 2001, the number of visitors to Quang Ninh has increased 4.2 times, with total revenue from tourism has increased 4.8 times. In recent years, the growth of revenue is higher than the increase of the number of visitors, which has affirmed that the quality of tourism activities and services in Quang Ninh has markedly improved markedly.

Director of Quang Ninh Tourism Department Pham Ngoc Thuy said: “New investment projects have contributed to changing the appearance of the urban area and tourism centres in the province, helping to boost the tourism development towards modernisation and professionalisation as well as enhance the competitiveness and create new impression for Ha Long – Quang Ninh tourism brand. The attraction of investment for tourism development has positively changed, contributing to improving the quality of services and effectively exploiting the key tourism centres to meet the increasing demands of both domestic and foreign visitors.”

Destination of international tourism

Quang Ninh has formed four tourist spaces with typical products including Ha Long city associated with Ha Long bay, Mong Cai – Tra Co associated with border tourism, Van Don – Coto associated with sea and island tourism and a high quality resort with casino, Uong Bi – Dong Trieu – Quang Yen area with a cultural and spiritual tourism and community and trade village tourism.

The province has also developed numerous new tourism products which have attracted a large number of visitors such as Yen Duc trade village; Binh Lieu ecological and experience tourism; exploring Ha Long bay by kayak and seaplane; Vingroup’s shopping and entertainment centre; Marina Plaza; luxury restaurants, hotels and ships; Ha Long park; Sa Vi border information cluster; Tra Co - Binh Ngoc junction travel icon (Mong Cai city).

Changes in entrance and exit procedures have also contributed to increase the number of visitors to Quang Ninh. The reception of Chinese tourists using the passport to visit Mong Cai city has gained the effectiveness, connecting tours to destinations in the city’s centre and Tra Co and Sa Si tourist area. Mong Cai city, in collaboration with China’s bordering town Dongxing, launched a tour through Ha Long and Mong Cai to Dongxiang and Guilin (China) as well as pilot the self-drive tours from Mong Cai to Dongxing. So far, after six months of pilot operations, there have been around 110 vehicles carrying out entry and exit procedures at the Mong Cai international border gate, of which 70 from China and 40 from Vietnam.

Chairwoman of Mong Cai city People’s Committee Vu Van Kinh said: “The city is effectively implementing the project to improve the quality of tourism services and build Mong Cai tourism brand as friendly, convenient and reliable. In order to attract more European visitors, the city has focused on building and developing two lines of products including resort and ecological tourism. Therefore, Nhan Dao ecotourism farm is expected to put into operation in Hai Xuan commune by the end of 2017.’

Quang Ninh tourism sector strives to welcome 15-16 million tourists, including seven million international visitors, earning around VND30 trillion – VND40 trillion by 2020; as well as receive 23 million tourists, including 10 million foreigners, earning a total revenue of VND130 trillion and creating jobs for 120,000 local people.

Vice Chairwoman of the provincial People’s Committee Vu Thi Thu shared: “Quang Ninh tourism sector is determined to become a spearhead economic sector with high professionalism and synchronous and modern infrastructure as well as high-quality tourism products imbued with local cultural identities, creating a driving force for the socio-economic development. The province is expected to become one of the leading localities with developed tourism industry in the country and the Southeast Asia.”

Tourism space of the province has been expanded through the enhancement of tourism promotion and international cooperation. Numerous festivals, including the annual Ha Long Carnival, Cherry Blossom festival, and Yen Tu golden apricot festival, have introduced the land, people and culture of Quang Ninh province to domestic and foreign visitors.