|Participants of the National Tourism Year 2015's Opening Week Event release flower garlands to commemorate soldiers who lost their lives defending Ham Rong Bridge in central Thanh Hoa Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tung
THANH HOA (VNS) — People's hospitality and attitude towards visitors, as well as their courtesy and cleanliness, are vital for the development of Viet Nam's tourism industry, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said yesterday.
Speaking at the launch of National Tourism Year 2015 in the central province of Thanh Hoa, he said a concerted effort by concerned agencies and the citizens was needed to develop tourism in the country.
"Viet Nam's tourism is not just about hotels and resorts or the quality of service but also the Vietnamese people's friendliness and attitude toward visitors," the deputy PM said.
"We must strive to give visitors memorable experiences so that when they think of Viet Nam, they will want to come back.
"It is the little things like not littering in public places and giving up seats to the elderly that counts if we are to promote the country's image as a wonderful destination to meet wonderful people," he said.
He said that some parts of the tourism sector have not able to promote Viet Nam's image as a friendly destination and, in some cases, have even left visitors with negative impressions of the country.
The Opening Week for National Tourism Year-Thanh Hoa 2015 is being held in Thanh Hoa from April 3 to 10, and marked by 10 events, which include a requiem for war martyrs; the 50th anniversary of the Ham Rong Victory; the announcement for the Ma River tour; and the Festival of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Viet Nam recognised by UNESCO, have been planned.
Yesterday morning, the Thanh Hoa Province celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Ham Rong Victory (April 3 to 4, 1965 and April 3 to 4, 2015). Former Party General Secretary Le Kha Phieu and the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hoang Tuan Anh attended the meeting.
The Ham Rong Bridge has a very important location, as it is the only railway bridge built across the Ma River, and therefore was a key target of the U.S. Air Force during the anti-American War.
However, Vietnamese forces bravely fought to protect the bridge, shooting down more than 100 American aircraft in the process.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Thanh Hoa Province People's Committee Chairman, Nguyen Dinh Xung, reviewed the glorious victory of the army and people and their efforts in defending the bridge half a century ago.
"The Ham Rong victory will always remain a motivation for the provincial military and civilians to build a more prosperous Thanh Hoa," he said.
Earlier, on Thursday evening, at the Ham Rong Park on the southern bank of Ma River, the Thanh Hoa Province coordinated with the provincial Buddhist organisation to hold a remembrance ceremony for more than 8,000 martyrs and 64 teachers and students, who had laid down their lives in the region during the war.
Major events planned
The province will also focus on completing the construction of major works that will mark the National Tourism Year 2015. These include a project to conserve and promote the value of the world cultural heritage; the Cultural and Historical Tourism Site for Ho Dynasty Citadel, the project to rebuild the Lam Kinh Palace; the construction of the Temple for Heroic Mothers and the Ham Rong heroic martyrs; and a project to promote the value of the Ham Rong Tourism Complex.
During the last few years, Thanh Hoa had upgraded more than 200 monuments at a total expense of VND400 billion (US$18.6 million), of which major monuments included the World Cultural Heritage of Ho Dynasty Citadel in the Vinh Loc District, the Special National Site of Lam Kinh (Tho Xuan District), and the Ham Rong tourism complex in Thanh Hoa City, the Cam Luong fish stream tourist site in Cam Thuy District and the Truong Le Cultural Tourism Zone in Sam Son town.
According to the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism, during the National Tourism Year in Thanh Hoa, more than 20 events will be held in 15 provinces and cities that have been labelled as World Heritage Sites in the country.
They include the fifth anniversary of the Thang Long Royal Citadel in Ha Noi being honoured as a World Cultural Heritage, along with the Co Loa Temple festival (Ha Noi), the Ha Long Carnival 2015, the Yen Tu Festival (in Quang Ninh Province), the Hung Temple Festival (Phu Tho Province); the Vinh Nghiem Pagoda Festival (Bac Giang Province); and the festival of Sen Village (Nghe An).
Other events would include the Hue Traditional Crafts Festival (Hue), the "Quang Nam– Heritage Journey" (Quang Nam Province); and the Central Highlands Gongs Festival (Gia Lai Province).
During the National Tourism Year-Thanh Hoa 2015, provinces and cities across the country will be connected together to promote 18 World Heritage sites in Viet Nam, with the Thanh Hoa Province assuming the leading role, Nguyen Van Tuan, head of Viet Nam's National Administration of Tourism, said.
"Initially, Thanh Hoa would focus on the two main products: marine tourism and cultural tourism, to attract domestic tourists.
Besides, the province should also identify typical destinations. The province needs investment in infrastructure for building tourist destinations and strengthening communication and popularising these destinations," said Tuan. — VNS