The Red River Delta-Hai Phong National Tourism Year 2013 ended in the northern port city on December 14.

Addressing the ceremony, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh stated that 67 important events were held during the year, contributing to developing inter-regional tourism and promoting services to attract more visitors to the region.

However, he noted that the regional connectivity to develop tourism products has yet to be effective, while the tourism products are not attractive.

The Red River Delta localities should connect more closely with each other to take full use of their advantages and strengthen the popularisation of destinations, in order to gradually create a trade mark for the delta’s tourism, the minister said.

He added that the ministry will continue its support to develop tourism products and create possible conditions for regional provinces and cities to access to major domestic and international tourism projects.

Chairman of the Hai Phong People’s Committee Duong Anh Dien said that the National Tourism Year 2013 succeeded in selecting the theme “the Red River Civilisation”, which made tourism products unique, attractive, diversified and different, drawing the participation of millions of visitors and locals.

The Delta is a cradle of the wet rice civilisation and is proud of its outstanding cultural and historical value. Numerous significant architectural relics, traditional festivals and ancient villages have cemented the region’s unique and rich culture.

The number of tourists to 11 provinces and cities in the region in 2013 is estimated to total 35 million, a year-on-year increase of 15 percent. This year, the region has earned more than 35 trillion VND (1.645 billion USD), up 16 percent from the previous year.

At the ceremony, the ministry also handed over the national tourism year programme’s flag to leaders of Lam Dong province, which will host the 2014 event.

Themed “High Mountains and Thick Forests of the Central Highlands”, the the Central Highlands - Da Lat National Tourism Year 2014 will be held in Lam Dong and other provinces in the region throughout next year, beginning December 27 this year.-VNA