To make the most of the domestic market in the current climate, localities nationwide have been developing new tourism-related products and services and improving inter-regional connectivity to better suit the taste of Vietnamese travellers.
National Tourism Year' should have taken place in Ninh Binh in 2020, but the global COVID-19 pandemic has forced this event to be delayed repeatedly. However, the suspension means the northern province has been given more time to prepare tourism activities on a national level.
Granting an interview to VietnamPlus ahead of the launch of 'National Tourism Year', Director of the provincial Tourism Department Bui Van Manh said Ninh Binh's tourism sector has set its eyes on the targets of helping to develop the local economy and fighting the pandemic. So far, the province has shown good performance in this regard.
As Ninh Binh is the host of 'National Tourism Year 2021', it has taken direct action against COVID-19 since the start of the year, he said, noting that all tourist attractions must apply the 5K principle of "khau trang" (facemask), "khu khuan"' (disinfection), "khoang cach" (keeping distance), "khong tu tap" (no gathering), and "khai bao y te" (health declaration), issued by the Ministry of Health.
In particular, pandemic safety training has been provided for staff members that will have direct contact with visitors at major places of interest.
Manh went on to say that Ninh Binh views the hosting of 'National Tourism Year 2021' as an event for not just the province itself but also the entire country.
Particularly amid these difficult times as COVID-19 severely impacts the tourism industry, the opening ceremony and activities of 'National Tourism Year' will act as a source of inspiration for the tourism sector across Vietnam, not just in Ninh Binh.
Three targets the province has identified are, firstly, to gradually overcome the challenges caused by the pandemic and secondly, to organise activities around 'National Tourism Year' that will help advertise Ninh Binh and tourism in Vietnam in general and assure domestic and international holidaymakers that Vietnam is a safe and attractive destination once again.
The third target is for the province to coordinate with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to stimulate domestic travel through hosting specific tourist activities. Nearly 40 main events will take place in Ninh Binh and more than 100 smaller ones will be held in 27 provinces and cities nationwide throughout the year, according to Manh.
Manh believes that the simultaneous organisation of activities in different localities will help stimulate domestic travel and provide a boost to tourism companies and service suppliers in their recovery.
The director noted that in order to help reach the target of welcoming over 7 million domestic visitors this year, his province has developed several new tourism products and services to meet the demands of travellers, especially domestic ones.
Ninh Binh has often been a magnet for international visitors, so previous local high-end accommodation facilities have mainly targeted foreign tourists. In the present climate, as Vietnam has had to close its borders to foreign arrivals, authorities have been working to help businesses involved in tourism develop products and services that are better tuned to the expectations of domestic visitors, the official said.
Boasting some of Vietnam's most diverse terrain, the province, about 90km to the south of Hanoi, is home to well-known tourist sites as Tam Coc - Bich Dong, Cuc Phuong National Park, Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve, and several hot mineral springs.
Of particular note, the Trang An Landscape Complex was recognised by UNESCO as a World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site in 2014 - the first in Vietnam and Southeast Asia to receive the honour.
Ninh Binh is also home to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries and a number of spiritual destinations, such as Phat Diem Stone Cathedral and the pagodas at Bich Dong and Bai Dinh.
It is also the cradle of some Vietnamese folk music genres like "cheo" and "xam" as well as the traditional craft villages Ninh Van (stone carving), Bo Bat (pottery) and Van Lam (embroidery).
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