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|Local tourism paving the way for investors|
At the Bac Kan tourism promotion conference last weekend, Nguyen Dang Binh, Chairman of the People’s Committee explained the purpose of the programme and expressed his desire to look for partners by saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone, and if you want to go far, go together,” in the presence of hundreds of business leaders.
Bac Kan possesses many scenic locations, historical relics, and unique cultural identities, but the province’s tourism industry has not developed commensurate with its potential. The lack of quality infrastructure and strategic products hinders Bac Kan from attracting high-class tourists and foreign visitors.
“We are calling for investors nationwide to come to Bac Kan to research, invest, exploit, and promote tourism potential,” Binh said.
Bac Kan People’s Committee has invited a number of investors, including Sun Group JSC and Onsen Fuji Travel Service JSC, to look into possible eco-tourism and resort projects.
“Investors with their own development orientation are contributing to the formation of a complete tourism ecosystem in Bac Kan, but the northern mountainous province still hopes to attract more investors to jointly develop the area in the near future,” he said.
This locality is also committed to improving the tourism environment, developing infrastructure projects and smart tourism services, and listening to promptly removing difficulties for businesses to build an open and attractive investment and business cooperation environment.
Vietnam’s tourism industry is trying to speed up the recovery process after nearly a month of the full reopening of all tourism activities. The number of international arrivals to Vietnam in March reached 41,700 arrivals, up 41 per cent over the previous month. Generally, in the first quarter of 2022, international visitors to our country were estimated at nearly 91,000 arrivals, an increase of 89 per cent over the same period last year.
Domestic tourism also recorded many positive signals, with the number of travelers estimated at 26.1 million, while total revenues from tourism in the first three months of the year were estimated at VND111.2 trillion ($4.9 billion), according to data from the General Statistics Office.
Taking advantage of the recovery momentum, besides accelerating promotion activities, many localities are also looking for cooperation from reputable domestic or international investors to develop more high-class tourism products to increase the competitiveness of destinations and attract tourists, especially lesser-known destinations.
Another destination in the northern mountainous region, Tuyen Quang, is also upgrading the highway connecting Hanoi and Ha Giang to develop regional tourism products. According to Deputy Chairman of Tuyen Quang People’s Committee Hoang Viet Phuong, the province has partnered with Vingroup to develop sports and health resorts.
In addition, Tuyen Quang also called for local investors to expand the accommodation system in the two districts of Na Hang and Lam Binh, inviting strategic investors to develop a number of tourism types, such as discovery, experience, retreat, community, and adventure tourism such as paragliding. “If the facilities are not improved soon, Tuyen Quang will only receive low-spending customers,” said Phuong.
However, decisions still depend on the specific preferential policies of each locality, as well as the transport system there.
According to representatives of some local tourism departments, currently, localities only have general preferential policies on land rent and water surface rent for investors. Therefore, localities that have not really developed tourism and do not have a lot of advantages in terms of transport and infrastructure will face many difficulties in attracting investment compared to others.
Dao Xuan Thinh, general director of Thinh Dat JSC in the neighbouring province of Yen Bai, complained that although the 5-star resort in Mu Cang Chai has been completed, the distance from Hanoi to the resort takes a long time and is not really convenient. Currently, his company is researching and developing a service to pick up passengers by helicopter, but the investment cost will be very high. “It’s unclear how many guests are willing to spend money to experience this luxury service while they have more suitable options in other destinations,” Thinh admitted.
Meanwhile, although other famous tourist destinations such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Vung Tau, and Danang possess many advantages, they are also promoting investment attraction to develop new products.
Ho Chi Minh City currently has nearly 30 businesses operating in water-based tourism and more than 4,000 accommodation establishments, creating a basic foundation for the development of shopping tourism. The city also focuses on attracting investors to develop supermarkets, trade centres, and convenience stores interspersed with traditional markets.
Kien Giang, which boasts Phu Quoc Island, is also inviting and implementing many new tourism services. The southern province is now home to more than 320 tourism projects, of which Phu Quoc alone has attracted 279.
Meanwhile Nguyen Van Tho, Chairman of Ba Ria-Vung Tau People’s Committee, said that by 2025 the southern province will give priority to a land fund with a favourable location to attract investment in large-scale tourism complexes with high-class international tourism brands. It has many favourable policies for investors, making tourism one of the important pillars of the province’s socioeconomic development.
Nguyen Thi Kim Chung - Deputy director Binh Dinh Department of Tourism
Binh Dinh has the strength of sea tourism, so investment is mainly related to beach resort tourism and are now expanding more projects like amusement parks and sports services around this type of tourism. In addition, Binh Dinh also has two science and technology research centres with development orientations reaching regional and global levels, which are expected to open on April 30.
This will be a unique feature of the province, attracting investors in the field of technology and world-famous scientists to research and exchange expertise. Binh Dinh will also develop more night economy products, community tourism, craft villages, and especially intangible cultural products including Bai Choi folk performance and traditional martial arts. Currently, Binh Dinh is preparing a cultural heritage document to submit to UNESCO.
In addition, Binh Dinh will also organise events such as the Quy Nhon beach tourism programme, street festivals, a kite festival, a tuna festival, and the final round of the Miss Vietnam 2022 contest, as well as a number of related activities to attract tourists. The province also cooperates with airlines to attract international tourists.
Nguyen Thuy Phuong Hieu - Deputy director Daklak Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism
Daklak has a lot of potential for developing eco-tourism products, but the waterfall systems are located in the forest, so they are governed by the Law on Forestry. This law will make it difficult for investors when implementing projects, prolonging the implementation schedule and making them impatient.
Besides that, Daklak’s tourism industry currently only supports land tax exemption or reduction according to the general policy, so it is less attractive to investors compared to other localities with more advantages. Daklak is looking for ways to support investors by speeding up the review of administrative procedures and developing typical products that are local strengths, such as agricultural products, like making Buon Ma Thuot the coffee capital of the world.
Daklak has linked with 15 localities across the country, especially those with flight routes to Daklak, to shorten the time and give visitors more experience in the localities.
In addition, we also want to gradually increase the proportion of international visitors to the province. Currently, the proportion of international visitors to Daklak accounts for less than 10 per cent. When we are ready, the province will upgrade Buon Ma Thuot airport into a domestic airport that can accept international flights.
We will also cooperate with provinces and cities that have conditions to welcome many international guests to develop common products to serve them, especially to coordinate with neighbouring localities.
Pham Ngoc Thuy - Director Quang Ninh Department of Tourism
Quang Ninh has initiated a number of tourism packages including 50 per cent discount on entrance tickets to attractions such as Halong Bay and the Yen Tu relic site and other policies under the pilot programme to welcome international tourists and the ongoing domestic tourism stimulus programme.
By this time, Quang Ninh has prepared all conditions to give the best services for domestic visitors in the upcoming summer season. We have high expectations from domestic customers. In addition, Quang Ninh is also preparing to welcome foreign guests and is expected to welcome South Korean and Indian delegations in mid-April.
We have developed a set of criteria for ensuring security and safety for tourist facilities, service areas, and businesses. Only units that meet safety requirements are allowed to welcome visitors.
At the same time, the province also aims to develop tourism in areas with wide-open spaces such as Halong Bay, Yen Tu, and Binh Lieu to both welcome guests and limit the spread of the pandemic.
Currently, Quang Ninh is introducing tourism images of the province on many information channels and mass media, actively connecting with potential international tourist markets.