Quang Ninh aims to attract 10 million visitors in 2021 if COVID-19 is contained hinh anh 1A corner of Co To town in Quang Ninh (Photo: VNA)

Quang Ninh (VNA) – The northern coastal province of Quang Ninh hopes to receive 10 million visitors this year if the COVID-19 pandemic is well contained.

Toward this goal, the Tourism Department has recommended to the provincial People’s Committee and local departments, agencies and localities the organization of around 150 events in different fields from culture-sport to tourism and trade so as to attract visitors and stimulate domestic demand for tourism and consumption.

Immediately after the latest outbreak of COVID-19 in the province was stamped out, the province reopened activities at tourist attractions and places of worship at 0:00 on March 2, while preventive measures are still in place. 

Activities at Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, have also been resumed. 

However, the sites are temporarily only open to those who are living and working in the province.

From March 3-7, local tourism and service establishments in Quang Ninh served around 13,200 visitors, with more than 2,800 staying overnight.

According to statistics of the Tourism Department, the number of visitors to Quang Ninh in the first quarter stood at around 1 million, equivalent to just 57 percent of the same period last year and 23 percent of the figure in the first quarter of 2019.

To support tourism firms, Quang Ninh has launched four promotion packages worth billions of VND in an effort to maintain incentives for the sector, and offer ticket discounts at numerous famous tourist destinations since last year.

It has also worked to devise new products and hosted various cultural, sports and tourism events, as well as introduced tourism promotions.

Quang Ninh officially reopened its tourism activities from 0:00 on March 2, starting with local tourists.

Travel firms and tourist sites are asked to ensure safety for visitors, and strictly follow the Ministry of Health’s 5K message of khau trang (facemask), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distance), khong tu tap (no gathering) and khai bao y te (health declaration).

Quang Ninh has put in place suitable measures to control those who come from pandemic-hit areas. It encourages all people coming to the locality to fill in health declarations.

The province creates favourable conditions for migrant workers to return the locality to work in the tourism and service sectors; however, they must follow the provincial Party Committee’s regulations on health declaration, quarantine, and testing, among others.

Ha Long, Uong Bi, Dong Trieu, Cam Pha and Quang Yen should apply necessary measures to ensure efficiency in COVID-19 prevention in the “new situation”.

As Van Don International Airport resumed operation on March 3, Quang Ninh province is outlining its new COVID-19 prevention process to ensure safety for the airport, its staff and the community.

About the reopening of bars and karaoke parlours, the local police are assigned to study and recommend the local People’s Committee on the time for the service resumption.

Quang Ninh is endowed with natural advantages for sea and island tourism. It has a coastline of more than 250 kilometres and more than 2,000 islands and islets which account for two-thirds of the total number in Vietnam.

It is home to popular destinations such as Ha Long Bay, Bai Tu Long, Ha Long Bay National Park and some islands.

In particular, Ha Long Bay, literally “descending dragon” bay, was twice recognised as a World Natural Heritage site by UNESCO in 1994 and 2000. The bay spans 1,553 square kilometres and includes 1,969 islands of various sizes. It features thousands of limestone karsts and islets in various shapes and sizes./.