Building Ninh Binh into Regional and National Tourism Center

9:22:02 AM | 30/8/2021

Ninh Binh province is famous for rich, unique tourism resources, featuring 1,821 historical and cultural relics, popular scenic spots and valuable natural ecological environment. To develop Ninh Binh into a regional and national tourism center as stated in the Resolution of the 22nd Provincial Party Congress, the tourism industry has promoted its effort, creativity and focus on tourism development to realize this goal.


Catalysts for tourism development

Mr. Bui Van Manh, Director of Ninh Binh Tourism Department, said, Ninh Binh province has always had policies and priorities for tourism development in the past years. Since 2009, the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People’s Committee issued many resolutions, master plans and detailed plans for tourism development. In particular, in response to Resolution 08-NQ/TW dated January 16, 2017 of the Politburo, the Provincial People's Committee issued Decision 1124/QD-UBND dated August 30, 2018 approving Ninh Binh Tourism Development Master Plan to 2025, with a vision to 2030, with the goal of turning the tourism industry into a spearhead economic sector. Since then, many important approaches and solutions have created momentum for robust tourism development as they engaged the entire political system, people of all classes and businesses of all scale in the province in the cause of tourism development. Tourism infrastructure has been constructed and upgraded synchronously to connect Ninh Binh City with tourist attractions, resorts and high-class hotels that are fully invested to provide best-in-class services for tourists.

Ninh Binh tourism has developed quite rapidly, illustrated in such indicators as tourist arrivals, tourism revenue and tourism workers. Tourism businesses and local communities are always active to improve service quality, diversify products and services, build a civilized tourism environment and meet increasing demands of domestic and international tourists. The image and brand of Ninh Binh tourism has been drawn boldly on the tourism map of Vietnam and the region. Ninh Binh province was voted as the most attractive tourist destination for three consecutive years by international travel magazines and websites (Telegraph, Tripadvisor and Business Insider).

Visible progress

Director Bui Van Manh emphasized that, with close, timely and effective direction of the Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial People's Committee has made remarkable changes to the Ninh Binh tourism industry. Specifically, tourist arrivals increased by 11% annually in the 2010-2019 period and tourism revenue rose by 23.6% a year. In 2019, Ninh Binh welcomed 7.65 million visitors and tourism revenue topped VND3,600 billion.

By the end of 2020, the province had 689 hotels and accommodation facilities, with 8,508 rooms, (including 15 hotels of 3-4 star standards) and had 21,500 tourism workers (5,500 full-time workers and 16,000 part-time workers).

Tourism development has effectively enabled local economic restructuring to which the share of the service sector is rising. Accordingly, provincial and local agencies have carried out surveys, studies and projects on development of tourism products and services like Dong Son peach blossom village, Ninh Son flower village, Van Lam - Ninh Hai embroidery village, Ninh Van refined stone-making village, Bo Bat - Yen Mo pottery village and Kim Son sedge village.

Projects on restoration, preservation and development of national arts (e.g. cheo singing, xam singing, van singing and folk drum dancing) have been launched. Some art forms have been introduced to tourist sites.

Agriculture and new rural construction aligned with tourism development has been implemented quite effectively. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has closely cooperated with relevant sectors and local authorities to actively introduce tourism potential and product values; select and standardize 26 OCOP products; introduce and promote tourism products at tourism fairs and exhibitions in Ninh Binh and other provinces.

Making and developing traditional handicrafts for tourism development is in line with the master plan for handicraft development. In 2010 - 2020, the Provincial People’s Committee certified 75 handicraft villages.

Moreover, tourism branding development by businesses is also assigned great importance: Building geographical indications for Dong Giao pineapple and Ninh Binh mountain goat; building collective brands and certificates for Kim Son sedge products, Ninh Van refined stone, Van Lam - Ninh Hai embroidery, Ninh Binh elderberry, Yen Mac fermented pork roll, Ninh Binh sticky rice, Tam Diep peach blossom and Cuc Phuong honey.

Ninh Binh is famous for picturesque natural landscapes and popular tourist attractions like Tam Coc - Bich Dong, Cuc Phuong National Park, Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve, Bien Son Beach - Con Noi Island. Especially, on June 25, 2014, Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex was named by UNESCO as a World Cultural and Natural Heritage, giving a new position and force for Ninh Binh to develop tourism and realize the goal of becoming a leading economic sector and a regional and national tourist center.

Handicraft producers, villages and artisans are supported to design and make handicrafts and souvenirs, organize contests on excellent handicrafts at trade, tourism and industry fairs and exhibitions, as well as tourist attractions in the province.

In 2021, the COVID-19 epidemic is very complicated, adversely hitting many economic sectors, especially tourism. But with its great efforts and determination, the tourism industry advised and proposed to the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People's Committee to open the National Tourism Year 2021 safely and successfully. The tourism sector also focused on advising resolutions and projects in respect of tourism development in 2021-2030 and to 2045 and the Marketing Master Plan in 2021-2025, focusing on creation and development of new tourism products and services. With consistent guidelines, directions and solutions, plus the care and leadership of the Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial People’s Council and the Provincial People's Committee and the ongoing effort, creativity and determination of the tourism industry, Ninh Binh is confident to have robust tourism recovery and development again and become a regional and national tourism center as stated in the Resolution of the 22nd Provincial Party Congress.

By Nguyen Nam, Vietnam Business Forum