Bid to turn Khanh Hoa into tour hub

KHANH HOA, 7 March 2017: Vietnam’s Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, has called on Khanh Hoa authorities to develop tourism in the hope it will improve the province’s economy.

Local media reported the Prime Minister saying the province could ultimately accommodate up to 10 million visitors a year, including 3 million foreigners.

Today, slightly more than 1 million foreign tourists visit the province.

Tourism should contribute 15% to 20% to the province’s gross domestic product by 2020.

“The province should manage natural resources in tandem with environment protection, but during the process authorities have to ensure that Nha Trang remains attractive to residents.”

On planning management, he hailed the province’s decision to relocate its administrative area to provide more land for production, trading and tourism development.

The province also needs to build a high-tech agriculture zone that would support tourism. This would involve gaining support from the central highlands city of Dalat, which has experience in building organic farming areas, he suggested.

Khanh Hoa People’s Committee last month said it would brand the province as a marine destination focusing on sea and island tourism to boost the economy.

From now to 2020, tourist products will be developed that highlight the Nha Trang – Khanh Hoa region linking it to heritage sites. The emphasis will be on attracting visitors who want to explore heritage and then enjoy a seaside or island break.

The province will upgrade local cuisine and promote its night markets, entertainment spots and add new tourist products.

Other schemes will call for more investment in the northern Cam Ranh Peninsula Tourist Area to improve human resources and step up marketing.

Tourism and services make up more than 90% of the local economy.

Last year, the province earned USD565.1 million from tourism, up 16.43% year-on-year, the report said.

International tourists to the south central province of Khanh Hoa reached 1.115 million, a 21% increase over 2015 and for the first time surpassed the 1 million mark.

Chinese top the list of foreign tourists in Khanh Hoa followed by Russians.

Khanh Hoa is well known for its beaches, particularly along Nha Trang Bay, that are often voted among the most beautiful bays in the world.

The province, on Vietnam’s south central coast, enjoys the second largest economy of the central region after Danang.