Over the past years, despite the adverse impacts of the world's unstable situation, with the advantage of natural conditions and the right orientations of the province, the efforts of the whole system, creative steps of the business community and strong consensus among the people, Khanh Hoa Tourism has always achieved impressive growth. By 2017, Khanh Hoa Tourism aims to welcome 5.5 million visitors. Vietnam Business Forum has conducted an interview with Mr Tran Viet Trung, Director of Khanh Hoa Tourism Department.
Could you describe the development of tourism in Khanh Hoa province in recent years?
In 2016, tourism activities of Khanh Hoa continued to grow strongly. The tourism has increased by 10-20 per cent on average, specifically, the tourism revenue is estimated at USD 8.378 billion, up 19.97 per cent over the same period of 2015 and the total number of visitors reached USD 4.7 million, up 10.3 per cent over the same period; and international visitors were 1.4 million, an increase of 21 per cent.
With developed modern infrastructure, the province has been very successful in attracting domestic and foreign capital to invest in business tourism; so far, the province has 638 accommodation facilities with 23,693 rooms, up 27 facilities with 3,426 rooms over 2015, of which there are 85 three-five star facilities with 12,742 rooms, up 7 facilities with 2,119 rooms.
The key infrastructure projects of the province are accelerated, such as the No. 2 International Terminal of the Cam Ranh International Airport, Nha Trang Port built as an international tourist port; and the tourism projects in the North Cam Ranh Peninsula tourist area gradually formed to national tourism calibre.
What experiences has Khanh Hoa built on to obtain the remarkable changes in the past?
At the XVI and XVII Party Congress of Khanh Hoa Province, the tourism industry has been prioritized to be a spearhead economic sector, and to date, the Tourism Service has been a spearhead economic sector, accounting for the largest share of the structure. The economy contributes 50.45 per cent to the GDP of the whole province.
First of all, the effective exploitation of competitive advantages of nature for the development of luxury beach resort tourism is one of keys to our successes. Good planning and tourism development strategy becomes a spearhead economic sector with a competitive vision in the ASEAN region, in which marine tourism is the main strength.
In addition, to put the policies in practice, the Party committees, authorities and people have paid high attention to investment in tourism development. From 2001 to now, Khanh Hoa Provincial Party has identified tourism development as one of the key socio-economic programs. Since then, resources have been prioritized for investment, and many policy mechanisms have been developed to create motive force for development. Specifically, Khanh Hoa province is implementing a solution to mobilize capital in the forms of BT and BOT, and applying the real estate tourism system with land support, compensation and land clearance. This has strongly attracted the participation of economic sectors domestically and internationally to invest in key infrastructure projects and large-scale investment projects. The local government also provides the timely resolution, effective social issues, cultural preservation and development, and protection of environmental landscapes.
Competition in tourism is very harsh, not only locally but also at the national level. What is the orientation of Khanh Hoa in improving the quality and diversification of tourism products in order to improve its competitiveness?
With good signs of strong growth of international tourists in Khanh Hoa, especially the recovery of Russian tourists and growth of Chinese tourists, and the launch of new flights from Hong Kong, Singapore and Germany to welcome more tourists coming from the European market, Khanh Hoa tourism activities will be promising in 2017 and continue to develop sustainably in the direction of resort tourism. The province is expected to be known as a safe, civilized and friendly destination.
In the year 2017, Khanh Hoa welcomes over 5.5 million visitors, up 15 per cent from 2016, of which international visitors are 1.7 million, up 11 per cent.The province is speeding up investment in the construction and development of tourist infrastructures and tourist projects in Cam Ranh peninsula tourist area and form a national-scale tourist resort of regional and international brand names. Besides, the province is formulating plans on investment and development of Nha Trang Port into a specialized sea port of international standard; completing the construction of the No.2 runway and extension of the passenger terminal of Cam Ranh Airport to meet the needs of transporting passengers to Khanh Hoa and other localities in the area.
The province also focuses on improving service quality and diversifying tourist products; appealing investment in new tourism products and services to better meet the needs of enjoying culture, entertainment, convalescence, shopping; promoting the activities of Khanh Hoa's key tourist markets, particularly solutions to restore the exploitation of traditional international tourist markets, which have been decreasing in recent years, such as France, Germany, England, Finland, Australia, and USA. It makes a breakthrough in the training and development of human resources for tourism, especially management staff and staff serving in accommodation establishments, travel companies, capacity building of training institutions; creates tourism in the province and works out a plan to rationally combine the training and make use of human resources to ensure quality and quantity, and meeting the requirements of tourist development in the new period.
In 2017, Khanh Hoa is determined to successfully organize the APEC Vietnam 2017 event. The Nha Trang Sea Festival will be held under the theme of "Expanding friends' arms". In addition to the main events such as the opening ceremonies, closing ceremonies, street festivals and art shows, there will be groups for performing arts, public performances, exhibitions, sports, tourism, education, cuisine, and commerce.