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|With a planned vision towards 2030, Quang Ninh authorities have set out a strategy to become the most developed tourism hotspot in all of Southeast Asia|
Quang Ninh has been viewed as a massive construction site, with hundreds of traffic facility projects being deployed. Dozens of milllions of US dollars have been poured into particular ventures, contributing to the strong breakthrough socio-economic development of the northeastern region.
The most significant of those are three critical transport initiatives with total investment over VND20 trillion ($869.56 million) which commenced last year. These consist of the Van Don International Airport, Halong International Cruise Port, and Halong-Van Don Highway. The three modern large-scale developments, with investment from outside the national budget under the public-private partnership model, are bringing positive effects to the appearance of Quang Ninh’s transport infrastructure.
Continuing the momentum of development, this month Quang Ninh commenced Van Don-Mong Cai Highway project with the total investment of VND11.2 trillion (nearly $487 million). The route will join the highway expanding through Halong, Haiphong, Hanoi, and Lao Cai, reaching the Mong Cai border gate and forming the road network connecting Vietnam’s northern provinces to the Chinese provinces.
Nguyen Duc Long, Chairman of the Quang Ninh People’s Committee, said modern transport facilities consisting of standardised road, sea, and air systems have brought Quang Ninh a new appearance and development potential. The province currently has the Halong-Van Don and Van Don-Mong Cai highways in development, and Van Don International Airport is already being in operation, thus ensuring the province will soon become the first in Vietnam to enjoy world-class and modern standardised tourism facilities.
This is also the foundation for Quang Ninh to further develop into an international tourism centre, and become the most developed tourism hotspot in the country and the Southeast Asian region, as proposed in the master plan for tourism development of Quang Ninh until 2020, with a vision towards 2030.
Long said, “By 2030, Quang Ninh will have finished investing in almost 200 kilometres of highways, contributing to a tenth of the country’s total length of highways. Along with investing into transport facilities connecting industrial zones, economic zones, and border gates, Quang Ninh will also develop the inner provincial infrastructure utilities, providing the foundation to connect and develop the economy of the whole northern region of Vietnam.”
CONFIDENT INTERNATIONAL DESTINATION
With several recent international events being organised in Quang Ninh, the province has established itself worthy as a destination to reside in. The APEC Senior Policy about Sustainable Tourism Conference in 2017 and the ASEAN Tourism Forum emphasised the importance of heritage connection.
At the forum this year, Nguyen Trung Khanh, general director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, noted that Quang Ninh is and will be developing quickly with several critical facility projects in the pipeline. Aside from that, there are several investment incentive policies attracting many big corporations, changing the appearance of the province.
Specifically, by successfully hosting two other major events of the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2019 and the Closing Ceremony of National Tourism Year 2018, Quang Ninh has proved its position among delegates and international visitors. In the foreseeable future, Quang Ninh needs to take advantage of this potential to enhance its tourism, to prove itself to be a worthy destination for living, and becoming one of the top tourist attractions of Asia.
2018 marked huge successes for the National Tourism Year of Halong-Quang Ninh. Last year’s statistics are clear proof of that development. The total number of tourists to Quang Ninh in 2018 was 12.2 million, around 102 per cent higher than expectations, and up 24 per cent on-year. Among those, 5.2 million were international tourists, a 22.1 per cent compared to the previous year. The total revenue from tourism was VND23.6 trillion (over $1 billion), up 28.1 per cent on-year.
Meanwhile, the budget of the province received VND2.75 trillion ($119.56 million), accounting for 9 per cent of domestic receivables of Quang Ninh. Particularly, at the end of December last year, Quang Ninh welcomed its 15 millionth tourist on the five-star Celebrity Millennium Cruise of Royal Caribbean at Halong International Cruise Port.
With the tremendous potential from the surrounding nature, Quang Ninh has a huge advantage for tourism, being an international class destination. Aside from the already famous Halong Bay, other destinations in Quang Ninh such as Dong Trieu, Uong Bi, Van Don, Co To, and Mong Cai are also considered as part of the momentum-building for tourism development of the province.
These areas still have the potential to creating more value and retain tourists in the region for longer, and consequently encourage tourism revenue.
In its plan of sustainable and effective tourism development, Quang Ninh has determined to boost the value chain connection in tourism products. Focus is placed on developing local products in seaside and island tourism, spiritual tourism, biodiversity, recreational activities, local workshops and integrated conferences, forums, and team-building events.
Several new projects with high investment volume have been launched, including the Halong Sun World Park complex, the Sun Carnival Plaza seaside square, the Sun Premier Village seaside resort. Also available to travellers are the provincial marketplace, exhibition, cultural museum and library complex, Tuan Chau International Cruise Port, and the 5,000-seater venue inside the Northeastern Sport Centre.
All of these facilities have contributed to a new style of tourism for Quang Ninh thanks to their world-class recreational products and services. Along with the standardised development of facilities and launch of many hotel chains, world-class resorts, and parks, there is a huge opportunity for the development of tourism in Quang Ninh.
According to Pham Ngoc Thuy, director of the Quang Ninh Department of Tourism, the province needs to continue pushing for strategic development in the tourism industry of the region, focussing on the potential markets with high spend such as Japan, South Korea, Russia, Europe, and China. At the same time, the province must innovate and improve delivery of the province’s image to international visitors with modern technology and professional execution, creating a brand of Quang Ninh’s tourism centred on Halong Bay. It must also focus on improving human resources to respond to the high demand in the near future.
“Quang Ninh is now the destination for world-class events,” said Thuy. “Over the past few years, the province has welcomed many domestic and international businesses, investors, and visitors. This proves the professionalism in organisation, the efficiency of the transport system, and shows that other facilities are more than adequate enough to host global events.”
With a strong track record in choosing investors with both potential and responsibility, Quang Ninh is confident that its tourism can become and remain an international destination, stepping into a new cycle of success.