HCM CITY (VNS) — The northern port city of Hai Phong will host key activities of the National Tourism Year 2013, organisers said at a press briefing on Thursday.
The year-long programme will include the opening ceremony in January and a culture-tourism week that will commemorate the 58th anniversary of the city's liberation on May 11.
The press briefing regarding the National Tourism Year of the Song Hong (Red River) Delta – Hai Phong 2013, focusing on the Red River Civilization, was held under the framework of the International Travel Expo – ITE HCM City 2012.
Deputy director of the organising board, Nguyen Van Tuan, who is also the General Director of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism, said nearly 70 activities would be held throughout the year.
He noted that apart from the 11 localities that are part of the Song Hong (Red River) Delta – Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Bac Ninh, Hai Duong, Hung Yen, Ha Nam and Vinh Phuc; two other provinces – Phu Tho and Bac Giang – had been invited to join the programme.
"The image of Hai Phong and the National Tourism Year 2013 will be promoted at international events like the Viet Nam Year in Japan and Viet Nam Year in France later this year," Tuan said.
According to Doan Duy Linh, director of the Hai Phong Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the city has general features of the Song Hong (Red River) Delta, as well as specific characteristics with places of cultural and historical interest, festivals, natural landscape, cuisine and folk games.
These form a good foundation to develop tourism in the region.
The city has proposed that several international organisations and sister cities including Breast (France), Kitakyushu (Japan), Incheon (South Korea), Saint Petersburg and Vladivostock (Russia), Queensland (Australia), Seattle (the US), Shenzhen, Tianjin and Kwangsi (China) are invited to join activities promoting the National Tourism Year.
To ensure the success of the programme, the city has been renovating downtown areas, reorganising activities affecting the tourism environment, upgrading the Cat Bi Airport and the Hai Phong Museum and constructing the Beach Square in Do Son.
Besides, it is also completing an application for the UNESCO to recognise the Cat Ba Archipelago as a World Natural Heritage.
The city has also hired Japanese consultants to map out a plan for sustainable development of tourism in the Cat Ba Archipelago.
Hai Phong has more than 300 hotels with star-ratings offering 7,500 rooms. These would be upgraded to serve tourists during festivals and the peak tourism season, Linh said. — VNS