|Quang Ninh applies itself to developing high-quality tourism, A corner of Ha Long Bay - illustration photo |
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 control.
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 Thanh said.
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.