The central coastal province of Ninh Thuan welcomed 378,000 tourists in the first quarter of 2014, up 41 percent from a year earlier, which is attributable to improved facilities and the promotion of marine and cultural tourism.

Over the period, a large number of tourists flocked to Binh Son-Ninh Chu, Vinh Hy and Ca Na sites, Po Klong Garai tower; Bau Truc pottery making and My Nghiep brocade weaving villages; grape, apple and garlic gardens; or tourist sites along the coast from Vinh Hy to Binh Tien.

At these areas, managerial agencies and businesses have built more tourism facilities, bettered service quality, as well as organised a wide range of programmes advertising local cultural identities.

Many marine tourism sites have also been constructed along the province’s 105km coastline, which is accompanied by attractive beaches, clean seawater and a warm climate around the year.

Ninh Thuan is known as a land of sunlight and wind with such beauty spots as Ngoan Muc pass, Nui Chua and Phuoc Binh national parks, Vinh Hy bay and Binh Son-Ninh Chu beach, together with untouched sand dunes in Ninh Phuoc and Thuan Nam districts.

Apart from making use of natural advantages, Ninh Thuan authorities have also turned traditional craft villages of Cham ethnic people into tourist magnets.

Of them, Bau Truc and My Nghiep are typical examples of village tourism. Here, pottery and brocade pieces are still made in traditional ways, offering visitors a chance to enjoy local lives reflected through unique handicrafts by skilful villagers.

Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ho Si Son said Ninh Thuan is targeting visitors from traditional markets like Russia, Europe, the US, ASEAN and Northeast Asia. It is also boosting cooperation with other localities in Vietnam in order to attract domestic holidaymakers.

The province is striving to become a national hotspot – part of the Nha Trang - Da Lat - Phan Rang tourism triangle by 2015.

It aims to receive 1.4 million tourists, including 200,000 foreigners, earn 55 million USD in tourism revenue, accounting for 8 percent of local gross domestic product, and create jobs for some 34,000 people, Son said.

In 2013, Ninh Thuan received 1.1 million arrivals, an increase of 15.7 percent from the previous year. Of the total, the number of foreign visitors increased by 6.2 percent.-VNA