2:42:24 PM | 3/1/2008
Quang Ninh province has significant tourism potential with famous places such as Yen Tu, Nha Tran relic area and Van Don trading port. The province also attracts a large number of local and foreign visitors because it is well-known for Ha Long bay, a world natural heritage site nominated as one of the seven new natural wonders of the world. In the sidelines of the “International Conference on Cruise Tourism”, Nhu Thi Hong Lien, deputy chairman of the Provincial People's Committee talked with the press about strengthening the maritime economy in the locality.
How do you assess Ha Long Bay's importance in Quang Ninh's tourism development strategy?
Quang Ninh has many advantages for tourism development. The province regards tourism development as a key to boosting local economic development. Developing tourism in Ha Long is part of Vietnam's national tourism development strategy. Marine tourism in the province is a valuable asset, with Ha Long bay and its beautiful surrounding areas. The province has planned to invest, exploit, and develop marine tourism focusing on Ha Long Bay, as well as other economic sectors. Currently, Quang Ninh is mobilising all possible resources to boost the local tourism sector and bring Ha Long Bay up to its international potential.
What specific priorities does the province give under the plan?
We have given priorities to investment in technical infrastructure systems, seaports, and high quality marine services. Recently, we have built a big seaport, in Hai Ha seaport industrial area of Hai Ha District, to welcome foreign visitors. Vinashin Ocean Shipping Co. Ltd (Vinashinlines) and Vietnam's other economic corporations are also investing in the area. We are building a mechanism to encourage marine tourism development, as well as many policies to facilitate investors. For example, major international cruise lines will enjoy fee reduction on tourism weeks.
Protecting the environment is a key factor for sustainable marine tourism development. How does the province address this issue?
Quang Ninh has issued a special instruction to protect the environment of Ha Long Bay. We distribute recommendations for local residents and visitors to protect this world natural heritage site. Especially, we are focusing on measures for treating water systems on the bay. The water environment in the bay is now clean, so we take measures to maintain a clean water environment in Ha Long bay in this period of rapidly increasing tourism. We have received assistance from many international projects on this issue, while asking organisations and enterprises operating in Ha Long Bay area to ensure environment protection.
How do you evaluate the importance of travel firms and international cruise ships to Quang Ninh's marine tourism development?
Travel companies and international cruise ships play an important role in Quang Ninh's tourism development. The expansion of sea-route tours by international travel firms, especially tours from Beihai, and Guangxi to Quang Ninh, have helped attract more foreign tourists to the province. While asking major cruise lines to come to Ha Long, we provide quality services and stable prices, and have improved technical and material facilities to welcome foreign travellers.