Tourism activities in Quang Ninh resumed hinh anh 1The Van Don international airport officially reopens commercial flights (Photo: VNA)

Quang Ninh (VNA) Tourism destinations and activities in the northeastern coastal province of Quang Ninh were resumed from May 1 after more than one month of suspension to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

Provincial authorities allow tourism activities in attractions of Ha Long Bay, the Yen Tu historic relic and landscape site, Quang Ninh Museum, the provincial library, Tra Co - Mong Cai national tourism site, beaches, hotels, accommodation establishments, restaurants, coffee shops and golf courses, as well as domestic travel business activities.

The Van Don international airport officially reopened commercial flights on May 4, starting with those to Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Phu Quoc and Nha Trang.

Disease prevention measures were still performed strictly at the airport, especially for flights returning from epidemic areas.

After the first three days of resuming tourist activities and services, all tourist destinations, hotels and restaurants in Quang Ninh have seriously maintained measures against COVID-19.

The local tourism sector is strengthening coordination with major businesses to organise tourism promotion programmes in the year, while supporting enterprises to implement tourism stimulus packages, and arranging tourism human resources training courses.

According to the provincial Department of Tourism, Quang Ninh expects to welcome between 1.54 – 4.9 million visitors in 2020.

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 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.

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 had 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).

Quang Ninh is also one of the pioneers nationwide in implementing smart tourism solutions.

Smart tourism infrastructure has been improved throughout the province and is based on smart city development.

Simply put, smart tourism refers to the application of information and communications technology to ensure interaction between managers, businesses, and tourists.

Quang Ninh has favourable conditions to implement smart tourism, according to industry insiders, as it was ranked third in the Vietnam ICT Index in 2019.

Building integrated tourism data and a tourism portal has been defined as the first move and one of the top priorities in smart tourism for Quang Ninh.

Visitors are now able to access the local tourism information portal at and in Vietnamese, English, and Chinese, or through Quang Ninh tourism sector’s fanpage on Facebook, for the latest information.

These websites not only introduce popular destinations, entertainment, festivals, and specialty dishes but also include guidance for visitors to book rooms, cars, and tickets online, as well as hotlines to accept feedback on services./.