Ideas to boost Hai Phong tourism post-pandemic

Expertises affirmed the need for Hai Phong tourism industry to diversify tourist products, paying attention to develop unique, classy, and highly competitive products for growth promotion.

Attractive view of cage aquaculture on Gia Luan Bay – Cat Ba. (Photo: Trong Đat/Vietnam News Agency)

The Workshop titled “Hai Phong Tourism –Golden opportunity for breakthrough” was held by Tien Phong Newspaper and Hai Phong Department of Tourism on the morning of April 20 in Hai Phong to discuss measures for the city’s toursim development, making good use of potentials and advantages to restart local tourism along with other localities after a long time suffering COVID-19 severe impacts.

Advantages to develop a dynamic area of tourism

Located in the center of the Northern coastal region, Hai Phong is one of the few localities owning 05 types of synchronous transport including maritime, waterway, roadway, railway, and airway. Hai Phong has been also known as a long historical port city with famous tourist attraction such as Do Son or Cat Ba, among which Cat Ba archipelago was recognized with 05 national and international titles: Tourist destination – Special national monument, the World Biosphere Reserve, National Park, Marine Protected area and among the most beautiful bays in the world with outstanding values of marine and island ecosystems, biodiversity and aesthetics.

Ten years ago, Hai Phong tourism was merely well-known for Do Son, whereas domestic and international tourists now become familiar with various famous tourist attractions such as Cat Ba, Lan Ha Bay, Cat Co Beach. Besides, Cat Ba archipelago has been evaluated by UNESCO for the title recognition World Natural Heritage along with Ha Long Bay.

According to Director of Hai Phong Department of Tourism Nguyen Thi Thuong Huyen,  Hai Phong has recently been shifting its focus from port services, industries with important achievements to, tourism in line with market demand and the city’s policy in economic structure.

At the City’s 16th Party Congress, Hai Phong passed resolutions on 03 strategic breakthroughs in the 2020-2025 term, including “developing Hai Phong into a big central tourist hub of the whole country with a focus on tourist infrastructure development, particularly tourist projects, trade centers, luxurious and international-standard resorts; establishing the city’s unique tourist products attached with islands, historic and cultural relics.”

Addressing the workshop, Deputy Chief of Tourism Department (Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism) Nguyen Le Phuc highly appreciate Hai Phong’s proactiveness in preparing conditions for intra-provincial and domestic tourist development, and its willingness for reconnecting tourism along with the whole country.

Mr. Nguyen Le Phuc held that Hai Phong had numerous favorable conditions to develop tourism as a major sea tourism center of the Northern region and the whole country. Hai Phong has been a historic area with long tradition of culture, festivals, and abundant natural resource, in which tourism was developed toward sustainability into a key of national tourism.

Doctor Nguyen Anh Tuan, Director of Tourism Development Research Institute informed 07 key areas of Viet Nam’s tourism identified in the national tourism development strategy by 2030, including Ha Noi – Quang Ninh – Hai Phong – Ninh Binh where is of considerable signigicance of boosting toursim in the whole Red River Delta – the Northern coastal region and the Northern region, which is motivated by Hai Phong toursim development.


Renew products for quantity and quality growth

Despite its numerous outstanding advantages, Hai Phong’s tourism achievement remains humble(i.e. the number of foreign tourists reached merely 1 million – 1/18that of the total foreign tourists to Viet Nam).

A view of Hai Phong City. (Photo: An Dang/Viet Nam News Agency)

In 2022, Viet Nam’s tourism has focused on “renewing” tourist activities regarding products, promotion, advertisement toward international markets. Regarding this note, Deputy Chief of Tourism Department Nguyen Le Phuc requested Hai Phong’s tourism to concentrate on tourist products development towards diversification and connection with other provinces and cities such as Ha Noi, Quang Ninh, the Middle region, etc. to create groups of tourist products and to upgrade existing tourist products; creating safe corridor and prolonging tourists’ stay; increasing tourist expenditure. The City also needs to pay proper attention to developing shared-economic models, night-time tourism economy,  enhance airways promotion from Cat Bi international airport to optimize performance in tourism.

According to Doctor Nguyen Anh Tuan, Hai Phong’s tourism needs to focus on diversifying tourist products with differentiated, classy and highly competitive items as prority, consisting of: ecotourism, sport, amusement, luxurious relaxation at Cat Ba archipelago; relaxing, entertainment and sport (golf) tourism, casino service at Do Son peninsular; MICE tourism, shopping at central areas of Hai Phong City; cultural and historical tourism, community tourism and agricultural tourism at suburb areas of Hai Phong City.

Specifically, Hai Phong is required to develop its tourism brand based on prioritized products in line with specific directions such as developing Cat Ba and Do Son tourist areas into high-quality island tourist centers with modern facilities, and differentiated tourist products; making good use of available resources to build up Hai Phong as a leading MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) tourist center of the region and the whole country with high international competiveness.

According to Vice Chairman of Cat Hai Island People’s Committee Nguyen Quang Vinh, Cat Hai island district’s tourism in the coming time would pay attention to accelerate promotion and advertisement for soon recovery and development in accordance  with its advantages and potentials, in which the District focused on domestic tourist section in its market development strategy, specifically in early spring reasons (festival reasons), holidays, Tet and in the summer. Particularly, Cat Hai’s tourism paid attention to domestic tourists from Southern provinces; renovating measures, approaches, formats, contents and enhancing technological application into tourist promotion and advertisement.  

Cat Hai district has also expanded cooperation to attract tourists from international markets with direct flight route to Hai Phong (Northeast Asia, Australia, Western Europe, Eastern Europe) and those who are expertise working and living in Viet Nam, overseas Vietnamese.

The District has kept strengthening cooperation for tourism development, enhance connection between Cat Ba and Ha Long as well as other tourist spots nationwide; prioritizing linking routes – sightseeing spots between Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Archipelago’s bays after Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago was recognized by the UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage./.

Thanh Giang (Viet Nam News Agency/Vietnam+)