The north-central province of Thanh Hoa will upgrade transportation
infrastructure and accommodations in preparation for hosting the 2015
national tourism year, heard a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on October 24.
Vuong Van Viet, the province's deputy chairman, said there were many ways to reach Thanh Hoa from other cities. The drive from Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport on the express highway takes one hour and 45 minutes. Tho Xuan Airport currently offers two flights a day to HCM City and will soon explore flights to cities of Da Nang and Buon Ma Thuot, in addition to installing an automatic control system and signal system for night flights next month. The construction of another terminal will begin next month, upgrading the airport into a reserve airport for Noi Bai International Airport.
The province also plans to upgrade National Highway 45, which connects the world heritage site of Thanh Hoa's Ho Dynasty Citadel to Ninh Binh province's Trang An landscape complex.
Pham Duy Phuong, deputy director of the province's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the province had attracted 66 tourism projects with total registered capital of 23.28 trillion VND. Thirty of them were already licensed and under construction.
The province currently has 16,000 people working in the tourism industry, 72 percent of whom are well-trained.
Thanh Hoa has around 672 accommodations offering 14,000 rooms. The province expects to increase the number of rooms to 17,200 by 2015 and 37,700 by 2030.
Six activities will be organised under the instruction of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to mark the Visit Vietnam Year. These include a world heritage festival in March, a photo exhibition and chanting festival in April, national and international sports events in May and a food festival in June.
Thanh Hoa will host the opening and closing ceremonies for the national tourism year in March and December, in addition to holding the 50th anniversary ceremony of the Ham Rong victory, an international stone sculpture camp and a sea tourism festival.
The other 15 cities and provinces with world heritage sites will also organise activities as part of the national programme.
Thanh Hoa hopes to turn tourism into a key economic sector by 2020 and draw as many as 650,000 international visitors and 17 million domestic travelers by 2030.
Revenue from tourism is expected to reach 158.6 million USD in 2015 and 1.2 billion USD in 2030. The province will need estimated investment capital of 340 million USD by 2015 and 480 million USD in 2016-2020 to achieve these goals.
The tourism sector also aims to provide jobs for 67,200 people next year and 180,900 by 2030.