Quang Binh Makes Tourism Key Economic Sector

5:32:11 PM | 29/5/2015

Quang Binh intersects various cultural flows and holds many historical and cultural values created in different ages. The province is typical of the north central region where numerous ethnic groups reside with various cultural traditions and significant diversity. Ahead of the Quang Binh Tourism Promotion Conference 2015, Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Luong Van Luyen, Director of Quang Binh Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Duy Binh reports.
Could you please introduce remarkable results the Quang Binh tourism sector has achieved in recent years? What are the core factors that brought in those results?
In 2014, the tourism sector of Quang Binh province enjoyed tremendous growth and affirmed the “Quang Binh tourism” brand name in domestic and international markets. In the year, the province welcomed 2,748,369 tourists, an increase of 99.76 per cent over 2013, including 43,253 international tourist arrivals, up 26.39 per cent. Tourism revenue reached VND2,748 billion in 2014, up 99.76 per cent.
In the first four months of 2015, tourist arrivals to the province reached 881,000, including 17,400 foreigners. During the National Reunification Day and May Day holidays, the province welcomed over 221,000 tourists, up 34.1 per cent over the same period in 2014, including almost 7,000 international visitors, up 65 per cent year on year. Until now, the province has 270 tourist accommodation establishments, including 55 hotels ranked 1-5 stars, and has 24 domestic and international tour operators. Quang Binh certified standard restaurants to serve tourists in a bid to develop a professional and sustainable tourism.
In the past years, tourism potential in Quang Binh is rated high by domestic and international media. Particularly, The New York Times (US) voted it as eighth out of the 52 most attractive destinations in the world and the first out of 12 destinations in Asia. Business Insider, a travel magazine in the US, named Son Doong Cave among the 12 most magnificent caves in the world.
To obtain these results, first of all, Quang Binh province certainly has huge potential and advantages for tourism development. Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park is recognised as the World Natural Heritage by UNESCO - a strong motivation for its tourism development. Vung Chua - Dao Yen, where legendary General Vo Nguyen Giap rests in peace, has attracted a large number of tourists to the holy site to pay tribute to him.
Besides, the tourism sector of Quang Binh province has received a lot of effective support from the Government, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), and central agencies; the close and timely guidance of the Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial People's Council and the Provincial People's Committee; the positive cooperation of provincial and local authorities and the Steering Committee for Tourism Development; the effective management of tourism authorities; more focused and professional tourism promotion; dynamic, creative and professional operations of tourism companies and their employees; and the friendliness and hospitality of Quang Binh people. These are important foundations for tourism development in recent years.
To become a spearhead economic sector and create sustainable development, what will the Quang Binh tourism sector do in the coming period?
The Resolution of the 15th Provincial Congress Party states that tourism will be developed into a key economic sector. From this guidance, Quang Binh worked out the tourism development master plan to 2020, with a vision to 2025, in order to effectively tap local tourism potential and create a base for the development of appealing tourism products. Also, the province has issued tourism development programmes and directives, applied investment attraction policies with a lot of incentives and supports for tourism investors, adopted socialised tourism development to diversify tourism forms and products; and encouraged the development of high-grade tourism services.
The tourism sector of Quang Binh has carried out consistent tourism development solutions like planning, managing and implementing tourism plans; training human resources and improving tourist service quality; effectively improving and implementing tourism investment incentive policies; stepping up tourism propagation and promotion, with focus placed on the cooperation with VNAT, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other localities to develop the Quang Binh tourism brand; protecting natural resources and environmental tourism; raising awareness and effective participation of local communities in sustainable tourism development; developing tourism infrastructure and services; pushing scientific and technological research and application to tourism development; strengthening tourism cooperation with provinces in the northern central region, along the Central Heritage Itinerary and the East-West Economic Corridor, in central Laos and northeast Thailand.
What are important tasks in Quang Binh tourism promotion and development in the coming time?
Future important tasks in Quang Binh tourism promotion and advertisement activities include professional tourism promotion engaged by authorities and businesses at domestic and international tourism events, exhibitions, fairs and fam-trips. The province will also coordinate with central and local communication agencies to advertise local tourism in both domestic and international tourism markets. Specifically, in 2015, the province will step up tourism promotion in Ho Chi Minh City, southern provinces, Hanoi and northern provinces; host tourism promotion conferences in South Korea; and participate in tourism fairs and tourism promotion events in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang.
Quang Binh will also compile and issue tourism publications in various languages like English, Korean and Thai, local tourism maps and local tourism handbooks; create Quang Binh tourism logo insignias to serve tourism promotion; effectively operate the tourism websites http://www.quangbinhtourism.vn and www.hiephoidulichquangbinh.com. In May 2015, the US media giant ABC aired live footage from Son Doong Cave to a worldwide audience. In July 2015, the Quang Binh Province People's Committee held tourism promotion conferences for 2015 expected to be attended by potential investors, big travel companies, leading experts and prestigious speakers in Vietnam and the world.
Would you mind telling us about investment support policies to attract tourism investment?
It is certain that Quang Binh province very much needs investment for socioeconomic development, especially in tourism development. Therefore, the province has many incentive and support policies to lure investors. Quang Binh province issued Decision 04/2014/QD-UBND dated April 3, 2014 on investment incentives and supports in the province, stating that “Investors are entitled to receive the highest incentives in tax and land in the regulatory framework”. Investors will also receive assistances for site clearance, technical infrastructure and labour training.
For tourism investors, the Quang Binh Provincial People's Committee issued Decision 38/2014/QD-UBND dated December 31, 2014 on policies on investment supports for accommodation and restaurant establishments. Thus, apart from tourism infrastructure investment in Quang Binh, investors will receive investment preferences concerning land rent, tax, site clearance and technical infrastructure development. Besides, the province will also provide the following supports.
Providing a construction support of at most VND500,000 for a square metre of large-scale restaurant infrastructure construction capable of serving 300 guests at the same time in Dong Hoi City and 150 guests in Phong Nha - Ke Bang and Bang tourist sites.
Providing construction support of at most VND10 million per room for 3-star hotels and VND15 million per room for 4-5 star hotels in Dong Hoi City; providing support of VND10 million per room for 2-star hotels, VND15 million per room for 3-star hotels and VND20 million per room for 4-5-star hotels in Phong Nha - Ke Bang and Bang tourist sites.
Providing labour training aid of at most VND1 million per labourer working in new hotels and restaurants in the province.