Tourism growth of Khanh Hoa province averaged 15-20 per cent annually. Its tourism is playing a very important role in overall tourism development of the Southern Coast and the Central Highlands in particular and of Vietnam as a whole. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Tran Viet Trung, Director of the Department of Tourism of Khanh Hoa province, on this issue. Thu Huyen reports.
Mr Tran Viet Trung said tourism resources of Khanh Hoa are rich and diverse, with scenic landscapes and beaches stretching along a 385-km coastline, evenly situated in three bays of Nha Trang, Van Phong and Cam Ranh. Nha Trang Bay is recognised as one of the most beautiful bays in the world. The province has 200 near-shore islands. Long-standing culture and seascape with an ideal average temperature of 260C enable the province to provide tourism services throughout the year. In the Khanh Hoa economic development strategy to 2020, tourism will be invested to become a key economic sector and the province will be a major tourism centre of Vietnam. Nha Trang - Khanh Hoa tourism brand will be famous for its prestige and service quality in the country and in the region.
Khanh Hoa province has focused on tourism promotion, especially in its two largest markets of Russia and China, and enjoyed impressive growth. Could you please introduce solutions the province has taken to keep tourists from these markets staying longer and spending more, while attracting more tourists to the province?
International tourist arrivals in 2016 rose nearly 20 per cent over 2015, driven by Russian tourists (up 15 per cent to 260,000 visitors) and Chinese tourists (up four folds to 550,000 visitors). Currently, international travel businesses in the province are mainly focusing on Russia and China.
In order to create a healthy environment for the tourism industry and improve tourism service quality, the Khanh Hoa Tourism Department collaborated with the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Provincial Police, the Nha Trang - Khanh Hoa Tourism Association and other related agencies to hold a meeting with 27 international tour operators serving Chinese tourists, 3-star or higher-ranked hotels and over 100 Chinese tour guides to propagate, disseminate and thoroughly implement tourism legislations. The conference also discussed ways to clear difficulties against tourism firms and tour guides in their business. Thereby, the function proposed plausible suggestions to competent authorities and amendments to current provisions to suit the reality.
Developing high-grade resort tourism services and diversifying tourism products are the best ways to keep tourists staying longer and spending more. Would you tell us what Khanh Hoa province has done in these areas?
In recent years, Khanh Hoa province has concentrated on vigorously developing high-class maritime tourism in combination with high-quality beach entertainment, sightseeing and oceanic discovery. To date, some large-scale, well-branded sea resorts have helped the province to raise the brand name of Nha Trang - Khanh Hoa tourism. Besides, Khanh Hoa is interested in developing tourism products related to mountains, forests, countryside and cottage industry villages. Onsen bathing is typical of Khanh Hoa tourism. Festivals and folklore culture are opened to serve tourists, including gong festivals, traditional arts programmes and traditional music instruments, especially the biennial Khanh Hoa Sea Festival held in odd years.
In the coming time, what solutions will Nha Trang take to reduce its significant reliance on Chinese and Russian markets?
In 2017 and beyond, to reduce reliance on these two markets, the tourism sector of Nha Trang will focus on encouraging investment in new tourism products and services, better meet demands of international tourists for cultural enjoyment, entertainment, recreation and shopping, while enhancing quality and diversity of tourism products to attract tourists from old shrinking markets such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Finland, Australia, the United States, Japan and South Korea. Besides, Nha Trang will build a new tourism symbol and a tourism slogan for Khanh Hoa tourism. The city will intensify the popularity of destinations and raise the responsibility of local governments of ensuring security, safety, sanitation and communication in residential communities and tourist attractions. At the same time, it will pay attention to training and developing human resources for the tourism sector, particularly managers and staff at accommodation establishments and tour operators, while raising the capacity of professional tourism training institutions in the province to meet local qualification and employment demands.