Ho citadel in Thanh Hoa province (Source: VNA)

Thanh Hoa (VNA) - The National Tourism Year 2015 has provided the opportunity to improve the image of tourism in the northern central province of Thanh Hoa.

The province was selected to host the national event, which is expected to help it welcome 5.5 million domestic and foreign travellers this year.

Over the past five years, the locality has been making great efforts to improve its infrastructure and accommodation services with the aim of contributing to a successful National Tourism Year.

The province has focused on developing local accommodation with 672 facilities offering over 20,000 rooms, including 121 hotels. The beach town of Sam Son is currently home to over 400 accommodation facilities with 12,000 rooms, including 600 five-star apartments.

Eleven new tours linked with a variety of local tourist attractions have been launched, including tours on the Ma river, Ma Hao waterfalls and Nang Cat community village.

The province has cooperated with neighbouring Ninh Binh province and other central provinces to create new tours and tourism products.

The province has also put into operation a number of social and cultural facilities since the beginning of this year, such as Lam Son theatre, a modern library, an exhibition centre and a temple to commemorate heroic mothers and martyrs .

Thanks to these efforts, Thanh Hoa received about 5.11 million visitors in the first 11 months of this year, up 15.7 percent compared to the same period last year and reaching 92.9 percent of the annual target.

Of the figure, 119,000 were foreigners, a year-on-year increase of 31.2 percent.

Total revenue from tourism reached nearly 4.9 trillion VND (220 million USD), up 34.9 percent.

The closing week for the National Tourism Year 2015 will be held from December 15-26 with highlights including a festival of Vietnam's intangible cultural heritage and a contest featuring the beauty of Thanh Hoa’s landscapes and people, according to Vuong Thi Hai Yen, deputy head of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.-VNA