An 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.-VNA