The entrance to Vinpearl Hạ Long Bay resort in Quảng Ninh province (Photo: VNA)
Vu Van Dien, vice chairman of the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh, said at a recent seminar on real estate investment and tourism development strategy in Quang Ninh that over past years, the province has focused on implementing strategic plans in three key fields, including infrastructure, technology and human resources.

As a result, the province has attracted many domestic and foreign businesses investing in large residential areas, urban areas, and service areas for residents and tourists.

However, at present, Quang Ninh still lacks high-end real estate tourism products, Dien said.

Lao Dong (Labor) newspaper quoted Nguyen Tuan Thanh, Director of a Hanoi-based travel company, as saying at the seminar that Quang Ninh still lacks 5-star hotels and high-end resorts, though the province has many advantages to develop this kind of property, including hundreds of beautiful small islands in Ha Long bay and Bai Tu Long bay. Meanwhile, the number of low-end hotels in Ha Long city is excessive.

The lack of high-end products and onshore services also means there is little seasonal difference in the number of tourists to Quang Ninh, although in recent years, the number of visitors in the winter has increased slightly.

Now, Quang Ninh has stopped licensing the construction of low-end hotels in Ha Long, Van Don and Co To, to provide land for developing large hotel and resort projects, Dien said.

According to the Management Board of Quang Ninh Economic Zone, the Van Don Economic Zone (EZ) has attracted a number of big investors studying the potential of property projects, including FLC Group, Sun Group, MBLand, Crystal Bay and CEO Group.

Quang Ninh has been also calling in investment of around with VND5.5 trillion in the Phuong Hoang Island eco-tourism region. The ecological tourist area would cover a total area of 452ha, including a golf course, 3-5 star hotels and entertainment areas, costing around VND3.5 trillion.

Nguyen Tran Nam, chairman of the Vietnam Real Estate Association, said to implement the tourism strategy associated with real estate, the most important thing is policy.

Quang Ninh is one of the few provinces with high budget revenues, especially from tourism, Nam said. Therefore, provincial authorities need to actively call on investment in the tourism sector, including tourism property products, and create favourable conditions for developing those products.

The province should develop clear plans on construction and architectural space to avoid speculation, affecting the plans and clearance site for the projects, he said.

One more issue is infrastructure. The province needs more technical and social infrastructure to attract investment into the tourism sector and other fields, including the development of tourism property products.

Travel is usually associated with shopping, Nam said, but Quang Ninh does not have a plan to develop a commercial network and the development of stores has been sporadic. Therefore, the province should create more trading centres to stimulate shopping and meet the demand of visitors.

The province should also pay attention to the environment during the development of tourism and associated products, Nam said.

Nguyen Manh Tuan, Deputy Director of Quang Ninh Department of Construction, said over the past years, Quang Ninh has implemented strategic plans on the development of regions and infrastructure, and set plans on construction in coastal zones. Those plans have focused on the advantages of Ha Long Bay, Cua Luc and Bai Tu Long for development.

Regarding the environment, a representative of Quang Ninh’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the province has invested in an automatic monitoring system to monitor the environment in many areas, especially around cement plants, coal production plants and urban areas. It has also invested in developing environmental protection areas to attract tourists.

Dang Tat Thang, Deputy General Director of FLC Group, said Quang Ninh has a lot of potential. FLC, a large property development firm, began investing in the province in 2015. The group has received support from the state offices of Quang Ninh in developing its projects.

Therefore, in the future, the group plans to invest in Ngoc Vung island in Van Don, to develop golf courses, resort complexes and casinos with total investment of USD2 billion, Thang said.

Truong Manh Hung, from the Investment Promotion Department of Quang Ninh, said the province has many preferential policies and improved the investment environment to attract more firms. Especially, in administrative reform, the province has cut the time for administrative procedures and reduced licensing time. Because of this, Quang Ninh was ranked second in terms of competitiveness at the provincial level.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Nhu Y, General Director of Real Estate Services JSC, said businesses need transparent information about the property market and the provincial authorities’ directions on property market development. The company has seen strong development in the property market of Van Don EZ.

Transparent information will contribute to creating sustainability in the property market, she said.

The number of visitors to Quang Ninh has increased annually by 20-25%. The province expects to receive 9.8 million tourists, including 4.2 million foreign visitors, in 2017.

Quang Ninh has seen remarkable changes in its socio-economic development over the past five years, attracting significant local and foreign investment. As a result, the province has been developing tourist and high quality real estate regions.

The province has policies on calling investors to upgrade and build a series of highways, airports and seaports quickly connecting Quang Ninh to other provinces and cities.

In addition, Quang Ninh is building the Van Don Special Economic - Administrative Zone, so the province has more opportunities to develop tourism and real estate for investors./.