Quang Ninh promotes development of water sports, entertainment tourism
The authority of the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh has decided to open areas for water sports and entertainment tourism activities in Ha Long Bay, aiming to facilitate businesses’ investment in developing this form of tourism service.
Entertainment tourism services for tourists on Ha Long Bay include kayaking, rowing, speedboat riding, parasailing, and paragliding, which mainly operate during the summer season on beaches.
According to statistics provided by the People's Committee of Ha Long city, about 300 kayaks, 33 high-speed boats, and 108 rowing boats are operating on the bay. Several other underwater entertainment activities are also available in the area. These services have contributed to creating jobs and improving incomes for the local community.
The development of these services aligns with the orientation of developing new and unique tourism products on Ha Long Bay. However, this faces certain challenges due to the Government’s Decree 48/2019/ND-CP regarding the management of vehicles for water-based leisure and entertainment activities.
To ensure the safety of tourists and effectively manage these services, the provincial People's Committee issued Decision No. 2162/QD-UBND on August 1, 2023, which declares the opening of areas for entertainment and recreational tourism activities on Ha Long Bay. This move has resolved several challenges facing investment and business activities related to water-based entertainment services on the bay.
Accordingly, as of August 1, the provincial authorities officially announced the four water areas suitable for entertainment tourism services managed by the Ha Long Bay Management Board, which are Luon cave, Cua Van, Tien Cave and Cong Do area, covering a total area of nearly 130 ha.
The management board is responsible for implementing plans to ensure security, safety, rescue preparedness, and compliance to legal provisions related to inland waterway traffic, environmental protection, fire prevention, public order, safety, and other relevant laws, and prevent environmental pollution in these areas.
According to Vice Chairman of the Van Chai Ha Long Tourism Service Cooperative Vu Van Hung, a plan to welcome tourists has been outlined and submitted to the local authorities for approval.
The development and management of underwater tourism services in Ha Long Bay are essential to create unique tourism products, as well as diversify tourist services in the bay, towards meeting the demand for sustainable tourism development, especially after the Ha Long Bay - Cat Ba Archipelago in Quang Ninh and neighbouring Hai Phong city was officially recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site in September.
The recognition is said to be a strong push to help Ha Long Bay attract more holidaymakers. The tourism destination has so far this year served nearly 2 million visitors.
According to the provincial People’s Committee, Quang Ninh welcomed 12.06 million tourist arrivals in the first eight months of 2023, earning about 24 trillion VND (997.3 million USD) in the first eight months of 2023, rising 1.47-fold and 1.6-fold from the same period last year, respectively.
The province expects about 4.13 million visitors and 9.8 trillion VND in tourism revenue in the third quarter to raise the nine-month figures to nearly 13 million and 26.46 trillion VND.
The provincial Tourism Department said Quang Ninh began the official reception of Muslim tourists in line with the Muslim culture in late August. The department held a workshop in mid-September to discuss the exploration of Muslim tourist markets and the improvement of services for Muslim visitors.
In its newly-approved plan on tourism recovery and sustainable development to 2025 with orientations to 2030, Quang Ninh aims to turn tourism into a spearhead and sustainable economic sector and attract at least 25.5 - 26 million visitors, including about 8.6 - 9 million foreigners, by 2030.
It targets between 16 million and 17.5 million tourist arrivals by 2024 and 2025, including at least 3 to 4.5 million international guests, respectively.
By 2030, the province will have established itself as a tourism hub connecting with the region and the world and also a leading tourist destination of Vietnam, with an annual tourist growth rate averaging 10 - 11% during 2025 - 2030.
The tourism sector is hoped to gradually increase its contribution to the province's gross regional domestic product (GRDP), to a share of 10 - 11% by 2024, 11 - 12% by 2025, and 15% by 2030.