|The Bai Tu Long National Park in Quang Ninh Province has 30 islands, and the province plans to focus on developing its tourism sector to attract more visitors. — VNS Photo Thai Ha
QUANG NINH (VNS) — Quang Ninh localities need to focus on building up their tourism products, making their tours and sites unique in order to attract more tourists, General Director of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism Nguyen Van Tuan said yesterday.
The constructive advice came at a conference on promoting tourism in the northern province where 300 experts and representatives from eight provinces, international organisations and tourism agencies gathered.
The event was co-organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the People's Committees of Quang Ninh Province and Ho Chi Minh City.
Ha Quang Long, director of the Quang Ninh Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, stressed the importance of travel agencies in building effective co-operation between the involved parties.
He suggested Ho Chi Minh City's Tourism Department work closely with travel agencies to develop demand for services and tours between the city and northern localities.
Representatives from Hai Phong City highlighted the need for localities to design a specific plan for developing product chains that fully tap their respective potentials while avoiding overlaps.
Ho Chi Minh City's Association of Tourism highlighted the central role of conference host, Quang Ninh in the linkage, saying it should be the bridge connecting the city with the northern region.
During the event, five co-operation agreements were signed by the eight localities to develop tourism products, conduct promotion campaigns, improve human resources, obtain investment funds and strengthen tourism management.
Quang Ninh has a diverse landscape and culture, including its UNESCO highlight, Ha Long Bay.
Together with neighbouring Bai Tu Long Bay, they form a tourism complex with thousands of islands, constituting some of the country's most valuable biological and geographical assets.
The province is also home to Yen Tu, a relic site with more than 600 historic sites and geographic features, which have taken shape in parallel with the nation's history.
Quang Ninh attracts around seven million visitors a year, five million of which are domestic visitors. Currently only seven per cent come from Ho Chi Minh City.
Representatives from the tourism sector, development organisations and media in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) discussed measures to promote sustainable tourism during a forum yesterday in Da Nang.
The annual event aims to solicit new ideas to strengthen the GMS tourism industry, which boasts the most rapid development in Asia and the Pacific.
During the five-day event, participants emphasised the importance of boosting connectivity and partnership among travel and tourism agencies in GMS nations to tap the region's potential and turn it into a unique destination.
Steven Schipani, an expert from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Laos, said the region needed to benefit the community and protect the environment as it increased tourism.
ADB works in GMS tourism because it sees strong tourism management there, Schipani said. The sector has also supported poverty reduction efforts, pushing for economic growth in GMS countries.
About 52 million tourists visited the GMS in 2013, up 17 per cent from 2012. Since 2002, the number of foreign arrivals to the region has increased about 12 per cent per year, helping the GMS account for 3 per cent of the global tourism market share.
As part of efforts to improve the economic co-operation among Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam, and China's Yunnan and Guangxi provinces, attendees discussed cuisine tourism, discovery tourism, community-based tourism, transnational culture tourism and the use of social media. — VNS