Renowned Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh province. (Photo: VNA)
In a bid to make tourism a spearhead economic sector with large contribution to local gross domestic products (GDP), the province is working to improve business climate, develop tourism infrastructure, build new tourism products and better service quality.
Besides cultural tours of heritages, festivals and eco-tourism areas, the province is calling for investment in large-scale and high-quality tourism projects.
Since the end of 2013, Quang Ninh has attracted more than 100 projects with total investment capital of more than USD5.5 billion, nearly half of which was poured into Ha Long city, mainly the tourism sector.
Besides Vietnamese investors like Tuan Chau, Vingroup, Sun Group and FLC, Quang Ninh also saw the presence of billion-dollar projects of giants from the US, China, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.
The province has a coastline of more than 250 kilometres and some 2,000 islets which account for two-thirds of the total in Vietnam.
The spectacular stretch of coast connects the UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay with majestic natural scenery, Bai Tu Long Bay, Van Don and Co To islands and Tra Co beach with Cat Ba National Park in the northern port city of Hai Phong.
Along with the renowned Ha Long Bay, Quan Lan, Minh Chau, Ngoc Vung, Dai beaches in Van Don island district and Tra Co and Vinh Thuc in Mong Cai city have been increasingly attractive to tourists thanks to their breathtaking seas and coral reefs.
The locality also boasts huge potential for developing spiritual-cultural tourism as it houses over 600 historic and cultural relic sites.
Four tourism hubs have been formed, including Ha Long (landscapes, culture and entertainment), Mong Cai-Tra Co (marine tourism integrated with trade activities), Van Don- Co To (spiritual, coastal and entertainment tourism) and Uong Bi-Dong Trieu –Quang Yen (spiritual-cultural tourism).
Meanwhile, Binh Lieu, Hai Ha and Cam Pha are also alluring both domestic and foreign tourists.
Quang Ninh has directed departments and investors to open air routes from/to Van Don international airport, which is expected to be put into operation in April 2018.
The construction of the airport began in 2015 under the build-operate-transfer form with total investment of nearly VND7.5 trillion (USD330 million) by Sun Group. The province also invested VND700 billion (USD30.8 million) in land clearance.
Quang Ninh set a target of welcoming 15 million tourists, comprising 7 million foreigners, and earning VND30 trillion - 40 trillion (USD1.3 billion -1.76 billion) in tourism revenue by 2020 while tourism activities are expected to contribute 10-15 percent of local budget income. The sector will provide jobs for some 130,000 local labourers.
In 2016, the province received 8.3 million tourist arrivals, a year-on-year increase of seven percent, raking in over VND13 trillion (USD571 million) in revenue, up 23 percent, according to the provincial Department of Tourism./.