National Tourism Year 2018 - Ha Long - Quang Ninh concludes hinh anh 1An art performance at the event (Photo: VNA)

Quang Ninh (VNA) - The National Tourism Year 2018 - Ha Long - Quang Ninh wrapped up with a ceremony which coincided with a gala cerebrating the success of the ASEAN Tourism Forum in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh on January 18 night.

Addressing the event, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien lauded contributions of provinces and cities to the National Tourism Year 2018 when the number of international tourists to Vietnam doubled as compared with the previous year.

He asked provinces and cities in general and Quang Ninh in particular to carry forward their potential and achievements to promote sustainable tourism development.

Thien also urged agencies under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to continue their coordination with provinces and cities in promoting and developing tourism products.

Priorities should be given to developing tourism infrastructure and services, he said, noting that tourism development needs to go in tandem with cultural value preservation and promotion.

The minister proposed creating favourable conditions for localities to access major policies and projects at home and abroad to develop tourism products and enhance tourism cooperation.

Themed “Ha Long-Heritage, Wonder, Friendly Destination,” the National Tourism Year 2018 featured an array of events and programmes in 15 cities and provinces across the country.

Last year, Quang Ninh, which is home to UNESCO-recognised Ha Long Bay, welcomed a record 12.2 million tourists, 2 percent higher than the set target and up 24 percent year-on-year.

Up to 5.2 million international holidaymakers visited the province in the year, exceeding the target by 5 percent and a rise of 22.1 percent against 2017, statistics showed.
The province earned about 23.6 trillion VND (1.01 billion USD) from tourism services, or 4 percent higher than the yearly target and up 28.1 percent year-on-year.

The National Tourism Year 2019 will be hosted by the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa with the theme of “Nha Trang – Colour of the Sea.”

The ASEAN Tourism Forum 2019 took place in Ha Long city, Quang Ninh province, from January 16-18 under the theme of “ASEAN-The Power of One.” It looks to realize an ASEAN of “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.

The forum brought together around 2,000 delegates from national tourism agencies of the ASEAN countries, the UNWTO, and local and international travel companies and tourism media outlets.


Quang Ninh is home to more than 2,000 islands along its 250km-long coast. Notably, its Ha Long Bay features 1,969 islands and islets covering 1,553 The bay was recognised as World Natural Heritage by UNESCO in 1994 and 2000. It was also selected one of the new seven wonders of nature in 2011.

Along with Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh is home many impressive landscapes such as Bai Tu Long Bay, Tuan Chau peninsula, Quan Lan, Co To islands, Yen Tu mountain and Tra Co beach.

Located in Tonkin Gulf in the northeast of Vietnam, Bai Tu Long Bay covers the waters of Ha Long and Cam Pha cities, and the island district of Van Don in Quang Ninh province. It includes hundreds of islets of all sizes, many big enough for habitation.

Bai Tu Long Bay is home to many traces of Ha Long Culture that dates back thousands of years. 

It features limestone and schist islets – a result of geological formations lasting over 300 million years. Famous islets include Bai Tho, Con Coc, Tien Ong, Con Rua, Dam Oan, Mat Quy, and Con Co. Some outstanding caverns there are Thien Canh Son Carven, Tam Cung Cavern and Me Cung Cavern.

The bay also harbours beautiful beaches such as Con Co, Van Don, Quan Lan, Minh Chau and Co To.

Quan Lan Island is a must-visit destination for tourists to Bai Tu Long. It is suitable for adventurers as well as those who love simple and romantic experiences thanks to the harmony of sea, forest, culture and architecture.

Visitors can also tour the fishing village on Minh Chau Island or Cai Lang – the oldest village there.

Thong Thien Cave, Phat Co Island, and Ban Sen Island are among other destinations tourists should have a look at. Sailing to explore submerged forests or swimming in the clear water off Uyen Uong beach are recommended experiences.

Additionally, vacationers can visit Cua Ong Temple and Van Hoa port or walk through forests to experience the hospitality of ethnic Tay, Red Dao and San Diu people in their villages across Bai Tu Long Bay.-VNA