Quang Ninh stimulates tourism with 200-billion-VND package hinh anh 1All delegates approve the tourism stimulus package worth 200 billion VND (Photo: VNA)

Quang Ninh (VNA)
– The northeastern province of Quang Ninh boasts huge tourism potential, having defined the tourism industry as its spearheading economic sector, and reserved multiple resources for the “non-smoking” industry.

Quang Ninh has completed its tourism development master plan for 2020 with a vision to 2030, after consulting with the US-based Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in 2014, which put forth breakthrough ideas to address difficulties that the province has being facing in the field.

The provincial tourism and service sector has suffered from adverse impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first four months of 2020, Quang Ninh welcomed just 1.54 million holidaymakers, a year-on-year decline of 77 percent, while its revenues from tourism also dropped by 77 percent to 2.76 trillion VND (119.5 million USD). Local travel companies have met with a range of difficulties and a large number of employees have lost jobs or had their incomes slashed.

To revive the “non-smoking” industry as the pandemic has been put under control, the provincial People’s Council approved a tourism stimulus package worth around 200 billion VND (nearly 8.6 million USD) during its 17th meeting on May 14.

Under the incentive, starting from May 15, all Vietnamese and foreign visitors to Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Museum and the complex of Yen Tu Monuments and Landscapes will be exempt from ticket fees until the end of the month and upcoming holidays.

In addition, passengers going through the Van Don International Airport will receive free round-trip bus rides to Ha Long and Uong Bi cities until the end of the year.

In response to the campaign, major businesses such as Vingroup and Sungroup have launched various summer discount programmes. 

From May 16, local real estate giant Vingroup has been offering seven preferential packages for vacationers, including free return air tickets and free entry to the Vinwonders and Vinpearl safari parks for those who book rooms for two nights or more at Vinpearl Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, or Da Nang-Hoi An.

Meanwhile, Sungroup, one of the largest real estate developers in Vietnam, is providing a free programme worth 290,000 VND per passenger when they visit Ha Long Bay through Ha Long International Cruise Port.

Secretary of the provincial Party Committee and Chairman of the provincial People’s Council of Quang Ninh Nguyen Xuan Ky underlined that the impact of the COVID-19 on the tourism sector has forced the province to adapt and devise suitable measures and mechanisms in an attempt to support the sector and its workers.

The package is part of the efforts to facilitate tourism development, which is a top priority for the province’s economic recovery.

It is hoped to attract more domestic tourists to Quang Ninh and create stable jobs for local people, ensuring social welfare and maintaining economic growth after the pandemic.

Tourist arrivals until July are projected to be 80 percent of the same period last year.

Local firms operating in the tourism sector recently agreed to reduce costs of services by 30-50 percent and present new products to lure tourists to the province.

At the same time, they are advised to maintain quality of services to promote the images of local tourism.

An alliance in charge of promoting Quang Ninh tourism has been set up. It is tasked with devising and carrying out stimulus programmes to attract visitors, offsetting the impact of COVID-19 and fostering tourism growth in the post-pandemic period.

The organisation is expected to play an important role in connecting the provincial tourism sector with domestic and foreign holidaymakers.

The provincial People’s Committee announced that the Ha Long Carnival and the 2020 Ha Long - Quang Ninh Tourism Week will take place on Vietnam’s National Day (September 2) if the pandemic is brought under control.

The annual carnival, first organised in 2007, features the typical cultural and tourism attractions of the province.

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 as well as many islands.

Ha Long 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. The limestone in the bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments.

The site welcomed 4.4 million holidaymakers throughout 2019, including 2.9 million foreigners, and raked in 1.23 trillion VND from tourism.

Located 80 km from the mainland, Co To island is another attraction in Quang Ninh. The island district comprises Co To Lon (large Co To island), Co To Be (small Co To island) and 15 smaller islands.

Besides enchanting beaches, the island has natural forests, lighthouses, parks, wharves, fishing villages, bays and a rock garden.

Located in Bai Tu Long Bay, Quan Lan Island in Van Don district has become an ideal destination in summer holidays thanks to its pristine beauty, clear blue seawater and fine white sandbanks stretching along the green rows of casuarinas./.