Quang Ninh is endowed with natural advantages for sea and island tourism. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The tourism sector in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh has been growing at a fast pace in recent years, establishing its important role in the province’s economy and moving towards sustainability.

Quang Ninh is endowed with natural advantages for sea and island tourism. It is home to the Ha Long and Bai Tu Long Bays, the Ha Long Bay National Park and some islands, the best known of which is Co To and Van Don.

In particular, Ha Long Bay has been twice recognised as a World Natural Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The Heritage site has become a magnet drawing visitors to Quang Ninh.

In 2017, a total of 9.87 million tourists visited the province, including 4.28 million foreigners. More than 70 percent of the tourists came in sea and island tours.

The province aims to attract over 12 million visitors this year, including 5 million foreigners.

Quang Ninh is expanding the space for sea and island tourism farther from Ha Long Bay towards islands such as Co To, Van Don and Hai Ha.

Equipped with a strategic vision for developing the sea-based economy, the province in 2014 approved an Overall Plan for tourism development to 2020 with a vision to 2030. Under the scheme, the sea space in Quang Ninh is divided into five zones, which are the strictly preserved Ha Long Bay, the conservation area in Bai Tu Long National Park, the tourism zone, the zone with restricted development to serve national defence and security, and the zone with no development. Each zone, with their specific characteristics, has close links with each other to support the development of sea-based tourism and economy while ensuring national defence and security and serving the province’s sustainable development.

The Overall Plan has made positive impacts on the local tourism sector, helping attract a series of investment projects. Many big investors such as Vingroup, Sun Group, Myway, Tuan Chau and FLC have poured money into tourism infrastructure and entertainment facilities in Quang Ninh.

Also during the 2010-2017 period, the province’s administration issued many directives, resolutions and decisions on concentrating resources on tourism development, especially Resolution 07-NQ/TU dated May 24, 2013 of the provincial Party Committee. At the same time, the provincial authority strengthened leadership and guidance over tourism development.

Guided by the strategic orientations, Quang Ninh’s tourism sector has recorded high growths in the number of visitors, revenues, workforce and service infrastructure.

The province has paid attention to the creation of new tourist products and improvement of service quality. A diverse range of sea and island tours are now available for visitors, from relaxation to entertainment and adventure.

All those efforts have contributed to building and establishing a unique trademark for Quang Ninh sea-based tourism.

This year, Quang Ninh is hosting the National Tourism Year 2018 which has the theme “Ha Long - Heritage, Wonder, Friendly Destination.”

Under the Overall Plan for Tourism Development in Quang Ninh, Quang Ninh strives to become an international tourism centre and a leading tourism destination in Vietnam with modern infrastructure and diverse, high quality and competitive tourism products.-VNA