The central city of Da Nang continues to build new tourist products, including inland waterway tourism, as one of its measures to develop the city’s smokeless industry in the context that the economy is forecast to recover in 2014 with the improvement of local businesses.

The sector, in collaboration with the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, will offer typical souvenir products and turn its popular destinations of Ba Na and Son Tra into national tourist sites and expand new destinations such as the Hai Van Pass while implementing the ‘sea cuisine project’, part of the 2020 city service development programme.

In addition, Da Nang will boost tourism promotion in various forms, with focus on programmes online, magazines and well-known TV channels.

The city predominately promotes its tourism image in key foreign markets, including China, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Russia and Japan, while luring domestic tourists from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Can Tho and Hai Phong.

Furthermore, it will accelerate the establishment of the Da Nang Tourism Promotion Fund and expand regular flights from China , Thailand , Japan , the Republic of Korea and Russia to the city.

Integration gives Da Nang the chance to promote its tourism to overseas markets, helping attract more visitors while facilitating its businesses obtain advanced technology and experience in professional tourism. Therefore, tourist service providers, managers and relevant agencies are able to propose various solutions and products, speeding up the development of the city’s smokeless industry.

Despite benefiting from the integration, the city faces challenges, particularly in human resources. The lack of good quality guides cannot meet the demand of the different foreign holidaymakers travelling to Da Nang. Meanwhile, outbound tourism involving Vietnamese travelling abroad is the advantage of local tourist service providers, according to travel agencies.

Cao Tri Dung, Chairman of the Da Nang Travel Association, said that Vietnam has lost in the inbound tourism involving foreigners travelling to Vietnam and now competes in outbound and domestic tourism. The country needs to change its management and have appropriate business strategies in the new business environment to survive.

He suggested local businesses closely connect in exploring and exchanging tourist sources while requesting support from the local authorities to help them overcome the difficulties.

Sharing the view, Amir Ahmad Mohamed, General Director of the Da Nang Hoang Anh Gia Lai Hotel, stressed the need to enhance collaboration between businesses and local authorities in the integration process, helping the tourism sector develop in a sustainable manner and meeting the strict requirements produced from globalisation.

In 2013, the Da Nang tourism sector maintained stable growth, welcoming over 743,000 foreign tourists. Of the figure, 264,200 came through direct air routes, up 80 percent from the previous year, showing an eventful year for the city with the presence of 16 air routes linking the city with foreign destinations.

The number of domestic holidaymakers exceeded 2.3 million, up 17 percent, making the city’s turnover nearly 7.8 trillion VND or 29.8 percent more than the year before.-VNA