Quang Ninh tourism is increasingly occupied an important position, has great attraction to domestic and foreign tourists. Out of the total of more than 8 million tourists to Quang Ninh each year, about 70% of tourists participate in sea tours. It shows that sea tourism is increasingly confirmed as one of the potential marine economy. However, in order to develop sustainable tourism, attracting many tourists to visit and relax, one of the important factors is to protect the landscape and marine environment.
Take advantage of strong points
Quang Ninh has 50% of island area with more than 2,000 islands, accounting for 2/3 of islands in the country. Along with 250 km of coastline, Quang Ninh has many famous beaches. This is an invaluable resource for Quang Ninh to promote its strengths in marine tourism.
One of the main highlights of Quang Ninh sea tourism that every visitor to Quang Ninh can not ignore is the tourist center of Halong City, which owns Halong Bay – the heritage, natural wonder of the world. With values of aesthetics, geological landscape, Halong Bay is always an attractive destination to tourists. Each year Halong Bay welcomes about 3 million visitors. In the first half of this year, Halong Bay welcomed nearly 1.9 million visitors, an increase of 41% over the same period of 2016.
Another strength of tourism in the sea island of Quang Ninh is Van Don island district and Co To. These will be two high quality island eco-tourism centers in the future being invested. The two island districts, besides poetic beauty, also own many beautiful beaches, such as Quan Lan, Minh Chau, Ngoc Vung (Van Don), Van Chay, Hong Van, Thanh Lan, Small Co To. In addition, the seas of Quang Ninh also contain historical sites and scenic spots that have been ranked nationally and many traditional folk festivals. The festivals also preserve the culture of each region, reflecting the customs and habits of fishermen in the sea such as Tra Co Festival (Mong Cai city), Quan Lan Festival (Van Don), etc. It is worth mentioning that in the sea areas of Quang Ninh province, there is an abundant source of seafood, Quang Ninh is famous for its delicious cuisine and attractive seafood such as: shrimp, crab, squid, sea oysters, ect.
Along with these strengths, sea tourism in Quang Ninh also has a special attraction for international cruise tourism. This has been proved very well. Recently, many international shipping companies, such as Star Cruises, Costa Crociere, Nautica, Seaborn, Legend of the Sea and Azmara, Aurora, Sun Princess, etc have chosen Halong as the point to take tourists to visit. Every year, in the season of international cruise tourists (from October to April), Halong is packed with thousands of international tourists.
Recently, with the improvement of infrastructure for tourism, inviting investors to coastal tourism, Quang Ninh has paid special attention to the construction, diversification of tourism products on Halong Bay and tourism products in the sea tourism areas. Quang Ninh has expanded and developed new tourism products to the island, such as Van Don, Co To, Bai Tu Long Bay. Many coastal resorts have been planned and developed. In particular, it must be mentioned that Halong tourism center has attracted many big economic groups to invest in the field of developing tourism services, typically Sun Group Corporation, this group has deployed Halong Ocean Park in Halong City with the total value up to 6,000 billion VND. So far, many products of Sun Group have been put into operation to attract a large number of tourists.
Overcome the challenges
Marine tourism plays an important role in the economic development of Quang Ninh. In the process of development, marine tourism is facing many environmental problems, such as the decline of marine ecosystems, biodiversity, sea water pollution, which have significant impacts on the marine environment as the amount of waste from tourism increases, especially in tourism destinations. These issues have been affecting the development of sustainable marine tourism.
In fact, in recent years, Quang Ninh has made efforts to strengthen the environmental protection in general and marine environment in particular. Accordingly, in addition to raising public awareness on sustainable marine resources management and protection, Quang Ninh has implemented a number of measures to mitigate pollution impacts on the marine environment; in particular, the implementation of measures to reduce environmental pollution in Halong Bay, such as the relocation of coal mining operations, sorting and screening, the ban on clinker, cement and loose products (wood chips, stones …) on Halong Bay. This includes the relocation and planning of fishing village habitats in the Gulf and a series of measures to protect the marine environment, such as laundering of crucible wastes on tourist vessels, collecting waste to protect ecological environment on Halong Bay.
The master plan for tourism development in Quang Ninh to 2020, with a vision to 2030, has determined that island tourism plays an important role in the development of the local tourism industry. Therefore, in order to develop sustainable sea tourism, there must be solutions to preserve and protect environmental resources. Because the existence and development of tourism is linked to the environment, tourism develops only when the environment is protected. Fresh environment, beautiful natural landscape will make the difference and attract more visitors.
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