Attaching special importance to the investment of new attractive tourism products contributing to making Hai Phong become an international tourist destination

Hai Phong is considered as a locality naturally favored with many plus points in terms of tourism development. (Photo: Foreign tourists visit Viet Hai Island Commune)

( – The city's tourism development is identified as one of three pillars to renew the growth model and restructure the economy. At the same time, it is also one of breakthrough solutions that need to be implemented in the 2020-2025 term of the City. In order to achieve that goal, the City has recently put forward many orientations in building mechanisms, policies and infrastructure development.

* Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the city's tourism

Over the past decade, Hai Phong tourism has made great progress. In a press conference on tourism, Vice Chairman of Hai Phong City People's Committee Mr. Le Khac Nam said that before 2012, Hai Phong always failed to achieve the target of tourism development, but from 2013 (when Hai Phong hosted the National Tourism Year of Red River Delta), the city's tourism has prospered with remarkable development steps. By 2019, Hai Phong reached 9 million tourists.

Many tourism experts assessed that Hai Phong is a locality naturally favored with many plus points in terms of tourism development. Firstly, it is the advantage of the sea. The sea forms Hai Phong people with "strong-willed, outspoken character", creating a unique feature for visitors coming to the City. The sea is also the source of forming the marine economy, and the landmark of founding Hai Phong Port.

According to the history introduction of Hai Phong Port, the port was founded in 1874 when French colonialists embarked on the port construction in order to turn the wharf of Cam village into a major military and commercial port, serving the colonial exploitation intentions of French colonialists. The first large-scale project was a warehouse system consisting of 6 warehouses, so it is called the wharf of 6 warehouses (Ben Sau Kho).

From a small commercial port of previous century, up to this time, Hai Phong seaport has become the largest seaport center in the North, in which, the port of Tan Cang Hai Phong International Container Port Company Limited (TC-HICT) ) is the largest deep-water container port in the North of Vietnam, having capability of receiving ships with a tonnage of up to 14,000 TEUs and having direct service routes to America and Europe, significantly reducing logistics time and costs.

The development of seaports promotes the development of other economic and social sectors including tourism sector. Along with the tourist attraction strategy of Hai Phong tourism sector, the relatives of about 5,000 foreign experts from many countries and territories working in Hai Phong's industrial parks are also "silent messengers" bringing the city’s images to international friends.

In addition to the potential of marine economy, Hai Phong is also a locality with many valuable historical and cultural relics. According to Hai Phong Department of Tourism, the whole City currently has 470 ranked relics, including 02 special national relics (Scenic spots on Cat Ba archipelago and Relic site of Trang Trinh Nguyen Binh Khiem Temple); 112 national-level relics and hundreds of city-level relics. There are many major festivals such as: Buffalo Fighting Festival (Do Son) - National Intangible Cultural Heritage; Minh The Festival (KienThuy) - National Intangible Cultural Heritage; Cat Ba Fishing Village Festival (Cat Hai); Dump Singing Festival (Thuy Nguyen); Trang Trinh Nguyen Binh Khiem Temple Festival (VinhBao); Red Flamboyant Festival - a unique festival held annually has become a spiritual and cultural activity of the city's people. Many traditional craft villages have been restored, maintained and developed for tourism development. Hai Phong cuisine is famous for its seafood specialties such as: Crab rice noodle, Ha Lung cotlete, Cat Ba snout otter clam and many rustic dishes attracting tourists such as: Spicy bread, Bloating fern-shaped cake, Sea lingulida, Jellyfish salad…

The City has great tourism potentials, but according to evaluation of Hai Phong Department of Tourism, the city's tourism development has still had a lot of limitations; has not been developed commensurate with its potentials and advantages; and has not yet been confirmed the position and comparative advantages in the region. The economic efficiency of tourism is low, the structure and proportion of tourism in the service sector is still small. There are no major tourist attractions, entertainment areas, resorts, and shopping malls. Tourism products have not been deeply invested and mainly based on exploiting available values, not having unique tourism products, catching up with the trends and needs of tourists; lack of attractive and highly competitive products. Most tourism businesses, especially travel businesses have small scale and low competitiveness. Propaganda, advertisement activities for tourism promotion are still very limited in terms of both funding and implementation methods. The lack of synchronous infrastructure, especially in sea and island areas, is also the city's tourism disadvantage. Quality facilities and professionally trained human resources are also limited.

Hai Phong Red Flamboyant Festival - a unique festival held annually has become a cultural and spiritual activity of the city’s people. Photo: Trong Luan

* Formulating tourism goals
On January 24, 2019, the Party Central Committee issued Resolution No. 45-NQ/TW of the Politburo dated January 24, 2019 on the construction and development of Hai Phong City to 2030, with a vision to 2045. In this resolution, the Politburo set out specific goals for Hai Phong to strive with tourism sector, by 2025, Hai Phong City must basically complete the cause of industrialization and modernization; meet the criteria for grade I urban areas; become an industrial city with the direction of modernity; is a national key marine economy, a national center for logistics service, a national center for training, research, application and development of marine science and technology, a Northern region center for fisheries, fishery logistics and search and rescue services; Cat Ba, Do Son together with Ha Long become international tourism centers.
In order to achieve these goals, in addition to taking advantage of available potentials and advantages, the City Party Committee, the City People's Council, and the City People's Committee have directed leaderships, issued resolutions for implementation.
The Resolution of Hai Phong City Party Congress determined that the city's development direction is to arouse all potentials and advantages, attract resources to focus on developing breakthroughs in transport and urban infrastructure. The city's three economic pillars are identified namely: high-tech industry, seaport - logistics, tourism – trade. According to the process of industrialization and modernization of the City was set out by Resolution No. 45-NQ/TW of the Politburo, one of economic targets needs to be achieved by 2025 is to attract 20 million tourists.
Recently, Hai Phong city has approved many projects and plans to promote the city's tourism development, including Plan No. 85/KH-UBND on implementing the Strategy for Vietnam Tourism Development to 2030 in Hai Phong City.
This plan has set out a goal, by 2025, Hai Phong City strives to build and develop Cat Ba, Do Son and Vu Yen tourist areas to become international tourist centers as well as becomes a national major tourist center, welcoming and serving 20 million tourists per year, including 2.7 million international visitors. By 2030, Haiphong City strives to welcome and serve 35 million tourists, including 5.8 million international visitors, creating 23-25 thousand directjobs in tourism sector.
Besides, the City has also approved the project on “Developing countryside tourism in association with new rural construction in Hai Phong in the period of 2021-2025 with orientation to 2030". The project focused on assessing the current potentials and conditions of countryside tourism development in Hai Phong; the viewpoints and goals of countryside tourism development of central and city governments; as well as forecasting trends, consumer demands for tourism products. From those points, the project proposed tasks and solutions to develop countryside tourism in association with new rural construction in Hai Phong.
The project has studied the current potentials and conditions of tourism development in Tien Lang, Vinh Bao, An Lao, Thuy Nguyen, KienThuy and An Duong Districts from 2016 to present and proposed solutions to develop countryside tourism in Hai Phong in the period of 2021-2025, with an orientation to 2030.
In addition to tourism products, Hai Phong has focused on building an infrastructure system to serve socio-economic development in general and tourism sector in particular, such as the development of Cat Bi International Airport, the construction of bridges serving inner city traffic demands and connecting other localities. In the period of 2015-2020, the City has put into use 5 5-star hotels. In the period of 2021-2025, the City will build and complete 6 other 5-star hotels./.
Th.s Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy
Hai Phong Portal -