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Tourism revenue of Quang Ninh, the home to Ha Long Bay, a world natural heritage, is lower than Khanh Hoa, Danang and Binh Thuan.
Wast on the coast of Ha Long.
After touring Ha Long Bay, Ms. Thu Anh, from Hanoi, said that her family wanted to stay there for several days but finally they shortened the time because they did not find anything to play or where to play. “Services in Ha Long are similar as those of ten years ago,” Thu Anh said.
She added that the Royal Park did not have many games to play. The Tuan Chau tourism zone still offered a dolphin and seal circus and several games which are popular at any park. The beach was very muddy and even had oil, so no visitor dared to bath.
Many other tourists regretted that this tourist attraction has not been developed to its full potential, because it does not have enough entertainment sites, resorts and qualified restaurants.
Some tourists from Hanoi said their families sometimes went to Da nang for relaxation for a week and they did not go to Ha Long, though Ha Long is much closer.
“We can’t have baths in Ha Long because water is polluted. We cannot stay there for over three days because Ha Long does not have entertainment centers,” a visitor named Hung said.
Ha Long has attracted a large number of visitors but its tourism revenue is not high because visitors did not stay there for a long time and they did not spend much money.
According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the total turnover of over ten four-star hotels in Ha Long in 2011 is equivalent to that of the Hanoi Metropole Hotel, VND690 billion ($3.4 million).
Previously, Quang Ninh was among provinces that had high tourism revenue, ranking behind only Hanoi and HCM City. But in the first half of 2012, tourism turnover of Khanh Hoa, Da nang and Binh Thuan passed Quang Ninh, to reach VND2.5-2.8 trillion ($125-140 million).
CEO of the Ha Long-based Tuan Chau Tourism Zone, Dao Hong Tuyen, said Danang has only beaches but this city has created many tourism products to earn high profit, while Quang Ninh only explores its available natural resources. However, its tourist fee is too low so the province does not have enough funds for preservation.
“I’ve been to many countries and tourism fees there are very high. To have funding for preservation, we have to use Ha Long Bay more effectively,” Tuyen added.
Tuyen also said that Ha Long still lacks streets for shopping, food and souvenirs. Moreover, tourist boats usually cut down and raise service prices based on the volume of tourists to Ha Long.
At a recent seminar, VNAT’s head Nguyen Van Tuan said that the current tourism organizing way in Ha Long is selling natural resources at cheap prices, which is ineffective. There is no famous tourist site in the world where a tourism ticket is priced less than $10/person. Neighboring countries like China and Cambodia collect high tourism fees and this is an important source for tourism preservation.
Tuan suggested that Ha Long needs to develop international-level tourism products in order to keep visitors for a long time and to urge them to spend more. For example, the city can build a coastal road for pedestrians, connecting Ha Long with Van Don, Yen Tu and Bach Dang, investing in the Tuan Chau tourism wharf and the golf course and high-quality entertainment services in Tuan Chau.
The director of Quang Ninh Department of Culture, Sports and Touris, Mr. Ha Quang Long, admitted the existing problems of Ha Long tourism. He said Quang Ninh would encourage investors to diversify tourism products in the city.
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