|Ha Long Bay by night
Major investors such as Vingroup, Sun Group, BMI Group, FLC, Tuan Chau Group and CEO have helped Quang Ninh improve infrastructure, including the building of five-star resorts like FLC Ha Long Bay Golf Club & Luxury Resort, Vinpearl Resport & Spa Ha Long, and Sun World Halong Complex.
In the first 10 months of 2019, Quang Ninh welcomed more than 11.7 million tourists, a year-on-year rise of 10 percent, 84 percent of the annual target.
The number of international holidaymakers reached 4.2 million in January-October, up 4 percent against the same period last year. The tourism sector grossed 23.8 trillion VND (1 billion USD) in revenues, a yearly increase of 22 percent.
Thuy said being aware of the important role of tourism in socio-economic development, Quang Ninh has defined tourism as a spearhead sector and is devoting a great deal of resources to building strategic plans.
The province has completed a general plan for tourism development through 2020, with a vision to 2030, with the consultancy of the US Consulting Group from 2014, he said.
Quang Ninh has attracted a series of new investment projects, including transport infrastructure ones such as the Hai Phong-Ha Long highway, the expansion of the Uong Bi-Bac Ninh and Ha Long-Mong Duong sections on Highway 18, and Van Don Airport and Van Don economic zone.
Besides investment in key projects like the Ha Long-Cam Pha coastal road, the province is studying the construction of a road tunnel through Cua Luc Bay to connect urban areas between Ha Long city and Hoanh Bo district.
Local authorities have also paid great attention to diversifying resources to build key tourism development regions such as Ha Long city, Van Don and Mong Cai economic zones.
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.
Last year, Quang Ninh hosted the National Tourism Year 2018 under the theme “Ha Long-Heritage, Wonder, Friendly Destination”. The province welcomed 12.3 million visitors, including 5.2 million foreigners, and earned 24 trillion VND (1.03 billion USD) in tourism revenue.
The operation of the Van Don International Airport in December 2018 is expected to help Quang Ninh achieve its target of welcoming 15-16 million tourists, including 7 million foreigners, by 2020 and 30 million arrivals, including 15 million foreigners, by 2030.
Therefore, local authorities have been offering many incentives to promote the launch of flights to the airport, the first of its kind invested by a private business in Vietnam.
Passengers on flights to Van Don can visit a number of local attractions including the complex of Yen Tu monuments and landscapes, the world natural heritage site of Ha Long Bay, and Bai Tu Long Bay free of charge within 30 days since their arrival at this airport.