Haiphong gets tourist-ready

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{mosimage}The port city of Haiphong in northern Vietnam welcomed more than two million tourists in 2005, including 512,000 foreigners, 16 percent more than in 2004. This year the city is doing what it can to increase the number of visitors.

Wishing to become a northern coastal tourist center in the recent years, the city has looked for internal strength and been promoting tourism, hoping to establish a reputation as a tourist-oriented city.

A full range of tour packages are available, including trips to the countryside south of the city, which thousand of Vietnamese and foreign tourists have enjoyed.

The scenery and traditional products of nearby craft villages and the traditional art and culture found in the Vinh Bao rural district of the city are all making a good impression on tourists.

To continue drawing visitors to the city, the Haiphong Tourism Department worked with UNESCO Vietnam, the Human and Biosphere Program, the Environment Research and Education Center, and the Vietnam Television Station and together made a film about the world biosphere reserve in the Cat Ba Archipelago. The film has been shown at the Aichi International Exhibition held recently in Japan. The tourism department also got together with the Haiphong Department of Culture and Information to organize a tourist-cultural day and the second Haiphong Integration and Development fair.

In 2005 the tourism department and 22 others from around the nation, plus Yunnan province, China, and the Hanoi Department of Tourism, welcomed a group of Russian TV journalists and visited several tourist sites in Haiphong to promote the area in Asia and Europe.

The city has encouraged companies in Thailand, China and Japan to provide sea, air and bus transportation between Nanning, China, and Haiphong, and its preparing for helicopter service which can take visitors to the bay, the sea and the Bach Long Vi Island in Haiphong.

As a result, tourism in Haiphong increased in the first half of this year. About 1.49 million people visited the city, 29.37 more than in the same months of last year (foreign tourist arrivals grew 6.64 percent).

The number of people visiting Cat Ba and Do Son, the most popular tourist sites, has increased. The Do Son Tourist Resort welcomed 820,000 guests this summer, up 20.58 percent from this same period of time last year and the number of tourists staying at the Cat Ba Tourist Resort was up 6.12 percent (foreign tourists, 31.43 percent).

The Haiphong Tourism Department said that in the near future the city will be improving service quality and promoting tourism potential. This October, the leaders of the Haiphong Peoples Committee and the Haiphong Tourism Department will attend the Tourism Promotion Organization (TPO) Forum in China. The Haiphong Tourism Department has taken preliminary steps to prepare for the TPO Summit in 2007. Haiphong is trying to present a good image to China and neighboring countries and present itself as a new tourist destination, while drawing up plans for tourism development until 2010.


(Source: Vietnam Economic News)

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