Quang Binh Making Tourism an Economic Leverage

2:26:32 PM | 12/30/2014

Endowed with the longest coast and beach in Vietnam, Quang Binh has managed to upgrade tourism infrastructure, improve the quality of the tourism workforce, intensify tourism promotion and encourage tourism investment. However, outcomes are still incommensurate with the local potential and strengths.
Quang Binh province has seen marvellous tourism development in 2014. The province welcomed over 2.5 million tourists in the first 10 months of the year, an increase of 113 percent over the same period of 2013. In particular, international tourist arrivals reached 38,291 in the period, up 27 percent year on year. The tourism revenue grossed more than VND2,500 billion, up 112 percent on year.
These extraordinary results are first of all attributed to the support and leadership of the Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial People Council, the Provincial People's Committee and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, as well as to the effective coordination of relevant departments. The province has constantly tapped potential and promoted strengths to develop many different tourism products and forms to meet the needs of visitors. Improving professional service quality is one of important objectives of Quang Binh province’s tourism industry. The province has focused on tourism and travel infrastructure, accommodation and transportation; trained tourism workers to raise service quality; and enhanced tourism advertising on mass media.
At present, Quang Binh province has 265 accommodation establishments, of which 47 hotels meet 1-5 star standards, and 21 travel businesses. The province is certifying standard restaurants for tourist service.
Presently, Quang Binh is home to many places of interests to tourists like Phong Nha - Tien Son, Paradise Cave, Mooc Spring, and Chay River - Toi Cave. Especially, the province has piloted the operation of the world class tour "Conquering Son Doong - the world's largest cave.” Son Doong was named an “unbelievably beautiful destination on earth” by The News Magazine of Australia and one of 12 most spectacular caves in the world by the Business Insider Travel Magazine of the United States. Son Doong has indeed become a favourite tourist destination of Quang Binh province and Vietnam as the whole.
Besides, the tour to discover Tu Lan cave system has been officially opened to serve tourists and initially confirmed a new brand beside Phong Nha - Ke Bang. Spiritual tourist attractions like Lieu Hanh Princess Temple, Than Linh (Holy) Mountain, historical revolutionary bases and legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail are becoming more attractive to tourists. Especially, the eternal resting place of legendary General Vo Nguyen Giap in his motherland of Quang Binh has drawn a lot of visitors to the province to pay tribute to him. Visiting Quang Binh province, tourists not only can visit beautiful landscapes, but also can dip themselves in the clean beach water or lie on sandy beaches of Nhat Le, Quang Phu, Bao Ninh and Da Nhay and enjoy special seafood dishes.
In 2014, Quang Binh was voted eighth out of the 52 top destinations in the world and the first out of 12 destinations in Asia by the US-based The New York Times. In early 2014, Lonely Planet published a tour-guide book for 2014 - one of the books popular among foreign tourists – in which six pages were used to depict the beauty of Phong Nha - Ke Bang and Quang Binh.
However, tourists mainly visit the province during the summertime. Without enough tourism infrastructure, sea tourism products, resorts, entertainment centres and shopping centres, tourists do not tend to stay long and do not spend much when they are in the province.
In the future, tourism will be a driving force to accelerate social and economic development in Quang Binh province. But to do that, the province will first of all have to have specific mechanisms and policies to further encourage tourism. It will necessarily invest more to improve traffic, power and water infrastructure; direct relevant department and branches, tourism firms and related units to carry out water supply systems and build standard toilets in tourist areas; erect instruction boards in both Vietnamese and English to tourist sites; invest in high-grade accommodation establishments and restaurants to serve tourists; restore and upgrade Dong Hoi Market; build new airports and upgrade Dong Hoi Airport into an international airport; and speed up slow-moving tourism investment projects. In addition to tourism development investment socialisation, the province spends a suitable budget for tourism promotion and tourism personnel training.
Thu Thuy