Hanoi – As tourism
has a crucial role to play in local socio-economic development, authorities and
businesses in northern Quang Ninh province are working hard to lift this
industry to a new level and welcome visitors back once COVID-19 is under
The World Tourism
Organisation forecast it may take three – four years for the global tourism
industry to return to pre-pandemic levels, and domestic travel is now
considered the “lifebuoy” for this sector.
Pham Ngoc Thuy, Director of
the provincial Tourism Department, said there could be a fierce competition
among localities to attract visitors, and creating package tours with
competitive prices may become a common trend.
However, low-priced tourism
amid the pandemic could drag this sector down, he warned.
It has taken Quang Ninh many
years to upgrade infrastructure and develop high-quality tourism products to
become an international-level destination. If it engages too deeply in the race
to reduce tour and service prices, negative consequences are likely to occur
since there won’t be quality products while the province may lose high-quality
human resources in this competition, according to the official.
Thuy pointed out that the
problem now is not how to attract tourists but how to maintain travel companies,
quality products, and visitors.
There was a time the local tourism
industry just attached importance to the number of tourist arrivals. To improve
its contribution to the budget and GRDP of Quang Ninh, development orientations
for this industry have been changed gradually, with more attention paid to
revenue per tourist and profit.
In the current pandemic
context, provincial leaders have requested that this period of time must be utilised
to complete infrastructure connectivity and seek investors in order to create
new values for the local tourism sector in terms of both quality and infrastructure,
Thuy told the Dau tu (Vietnam Investment Review) newspaper.
As one of the businesses
actively preparing for their return once the COVID-19 resurgence in put under
control, the Tung Lam Development Joint Stock Company has been developing and piloting
new tourism products that suit the natural features and cultural space of the
Yen Tu Complex of Monuments and Landscapes, its Deputy General Director Le Trong
Pannatour General Director Le
Thi Nguyet noted after one and a half years of struggling with COVID-19, the
tourism sector of Quang Ninh has been reviewing and working to improve products
since the province has yet to succeed in attracting high-end tourists due to a
shortage of appropriate services and experiences.
To help address those
shortcomings, the Sun Group is developing new and high-end products based on
typical values of Quang Ninh.
Apart from the Yoko Onsen
Quang Hanh hot spring resort already operational, the firm is building a modern
entertainment complex near the Ha Long – Cam Pha coastal road, along with an
area of resort villas in the province.
In particular, once the group’s
Sun Marina project is completed, Quang Ninh will be the second place in Vietnam
to house an international-standard yacht terminal.
Vingroup, another major
investor, has also invested in a coastal tourism, service, and urban area complex
that includes luxury villas on different islands and a six-star hotel for travellers
who are ready to spend big.
Director of the Heritage Travel
Centre Trinh Thi Mai Anh said her agency has also created new tours with fresh
experiences to draw holiday makers, especially domestic ones, to Quang Ninh.
In late June, the Tourism
Promotion Information Centre, part of the provincial Tourism Department, coordinated
with the Heritage Travel Centre to arrange 25 tours for travellers to visit
localities across Quang Ninh.
Meanwhile, the Vietyacht Co.
Ltd, specialised in yacht services on Ha Long Bay, is also making use of the pandemic-caused
period of operation suspension to give more training to its personnel and carry
out digitalisation so as to stay ready to seize new opportunities.
Quang Ninh is endowed with natural advantages
for sea and island tourism. It has a coastline of more than 250 kilometres and
more than 2,000 islands and islets which account for two-thirds of the total
number in Vietnam.
It is home to popular destinations such as Ha
Long Bay, Bai Tu Long, Ha Long Bay National Park and some islands.
In particular, Ha Long Bay was recognised twice
as a World Natural Heritage site by UNESCO, in 1994 and 2000./.