Tourist ships docked in front of Dau Go cave on Ha Long Bay (Source: VNA)

Quang Ninh (VNA) – The northern coastal province of Quang Ninh has taken measures to improve the quality of the fleet of tourist ships operating on Ha Long Bay – a UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Site.

Since the beginning of this year, Ha Long city’s People’s Committee suspended operations of 36 tourist ships on the bay, while 41 others forced to stop working.

According to the city People’s Committee, there are currently 504 cruise ships and 68 high-speed canoes running on Ha Long and Bai Tu Long Bays.

At a recent meeting reviewing State management over cruise ships and canoes on Ha Long Bay, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long asked for the gradual replacement of old wood ships by newly-built steel ones. He also reiterated the province’s policy of no increase in the number of ship docking overnight on the bay.

Long stressed that new vessels have to meet higher quality requirements and have higher capacity.

It is necessary to intensify management over canoes and kayaks, and work out plans to monitor high-quality cruisers, he stated.

He also requested the Ha Long Bay Management Board to set up a tourist operation centre at the Tuan Chau international passenger port, and strengthen inspections to detect and punish ships violating transport rules on the bay.

Quang Ninh welcomed 86,000 tourists, including 19,000 foreigners, during the three-day National Day holidays from September 1-3.

The figures represented year-on-years rises of 20 percent and 25 percent, respectively, according to the provincial Tourism Department.

Also during the three-day period, 1,400 ships took more than 30,000 tourists, including 12,000 foreigners, on sight-seeing tours on Ha Long Bay.-VNA