As part of the Hanoi-Hai Phong-Quang Ninh economic development triangle, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh has a great potential for tourism development with Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh and Cat Ba World’s Biosphere Reserve in Hai Phong.
However, poor cooperation between the two provinces is one of the factors that has lead to poor development in this sector.
According to Dr. Pham Trung Luong from the Institute for Tourism Development Research under the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), although Hai Phong and Quang Ninh are committed to strengthening cooperation to develop tourism in these regions, there have been no joint programmes to promote both provinces. There have even been contradictions in the business operations of some travel agencies in the two provinces and this has negatively affected the tourism.
Nguyen Anh Tuan, deputy head of the VNAT’s Travel Department, said that Hai Phong and Quang Ninh have not been able to offer diversified tourist services even though they have great potential with the World Heritage Site at Ha Long Bay and the World’s Biosphere Reserve in Cat Ba. Tourists to Quang Ninh often only visit Ha Long Bay, which overloads and pints pressure on the environment while the advertising for tourism in Hai Phong is still poor, so it does not attract many foreign visitors.
There have been many models to develop tourism such as the one between Lao Cai, Yen Bai, and Phu Tho and one between the eight northeastern provinces. In addition, the Vietnamese provinces of Yen Bai and Sapa have had a cooperation programme with China’s Yuanyang County to exploit the beauty of their terraced fields.
Hai Phong-Quang Ninh is one of the seven key regions in Vietnam’s tourism development strategy until 2020, so cooperation between the two provinces is very significant for tourism development in the Northeastern Coastal region.
Tuan said that Hai Phong and Quang Ninh can cooperate in many ways such as exchanging experiences in planning, upgrading the infrastructure for traffic, offering more tourist products, advertising, protecting the environment, and training more staff for the sector.