A welcome programme is held by the Quảng Ninh tourism authority to greet a group of 650 tourists from Malaysia. Photo quangninh.gov.vn
HẠ LONG CITY — Large foreign tourist groups to Quảng Ninh Province in recent days are good signs for a boom of world tourism development in this northern coastal province after a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A delegation of 650 travellers from Sarawak State, Malaysia arrived in Quảng Ninh this week to have a four-day stay, marking the largest foreign group to visit the locality.
This is one of the encouraging results from the provincial authorities’ efforts to promote itself in the international tourism market, especially after the 17th East Asia Inter-Regional Tourism Forum (EATOF) successfully held in October in the province’s Hạ Long City, according to Quảng Ninh Portal (QNP).
Sarawak State is one of the 17 EATOF members. The Malaysian visitors arrived in Quảng Ninh on Tuesday, planned to stay at four- and five-star hotels and experience various tourist services in the province.
During their four-day stay in the country, the tourists had a two-day tour to Hạ Long Bay, the UNESCO-recognised world heritage site, explored traditional cuisine and experienced tourist activities.
Although it is a relatively new tourism market for foreign visitors from Malaysia, Quảng Ninh has impressed them with its safety, good pandemic control, impressive natural landscape, friendly people, and good quality services.
The safety factor is one of the major competitive advantages of Quang Ninh tourism in the international market, according the QNP.
At a bilateral meeting between Quảng Ninh and Sarawak State within the framework of the last EATOF, leaders of the two localities pledged to enhance cultural exchange activities, boost linkages between their heritage sites, promote building tours to destinations and strengthen exploitation of the two-way tourist markets.
In the coming time, Quảng Ninh expects to welcome more than 1,000 visitors from Malaysia, said a report on the website of the provincial tourism authority, dulich.quangninh.gov.vn.
Yap Oi Leng, director of Malaysia’s Energy Travel agency, said to vov.vn that the company chose Quảng Ninh for the tour because the locality boasts many beautiful and renowned sightseeing spots with modern infrastructure.
Earlier, Quảng Ninh received 150 South Korean tourists from Jeju for a three-day tour following the EATOF gathering.
Nguyễn Văn Sơn, general director of Thắng Lợi International Travel Company, said the company has received plenty of bookings from the Malaysian, Indonesian, and Singaporean markets for 2023.
The most popular time looks set to be in January next year when around 1,000 foreign visitors on five charter flights are due to arrive in Việt Nam, with Quảng Ninh selected as one of their destinations.
Phạm Ngọc Thủy, Director of the provincial Department of Tourism, said to vov.vn that the province will have many opportunities when the international tourism market opens wider next year.
“We’re planning to work with Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, Luang Prabang Province in Laos, and Japan this December. The Cambodian market is a good place to connect with international visitors in Southeast Asia, so we will work with them as soon as possible and generate momentum to attract tourists next year,” Thủy said.
Part of Sun World Hạ Long Park, a tourist attraction in Quang Ninh province. AFP/VNA Photo
The tourism sector of Quảng Ninh is diversifying its products based on local advantages with a focus on enhancing tourists’ experience towards the goal of becoming a four-season destination.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyễn Tường Văn said the province aims to attract 10 million tourists this year, including 1.5 million foreign visitors.
To achieve this goal, it is implementing a host of solutions, one of which is to continue investing in infrastructure, especially accommodation and tourist sites, in order to create the best services for visitors.
The province will continue to diversify tourism products in the direction of developing sea-island tourism, trade tourism, health care tourism and MICE (Meeting, Incentives, Conference and Exhibitions) tourism.
In October this year, Quảng Ninh hosted the 17th General Assembly of the EATOF, which became an opportunity for the province to enhance its linkage with EATOF member countries, contributing to the tourism recovery in the new normal conditions. VNS