As many as 65 events are planned for the National Tourism Year 2016 in Kien Giang Province and other parts of the country next year, but only some of the events are new.
A foreign tourist takes a sightseeing tour in Phu Quoc District, Kien Giang Province. With many stimulus programs planned for next year, Kien Giang expects to welcome many more tourists – Photo: Kieu Giang
According to organizers, the central venue of the national tourism year themed “Discover the Southern Land” will be Phu Quoc Island off mainland Kien Giang Province and events will be organized every month in 2016.
Familiar events such as photo exhibitions, tourism conferences, poetry shows, tourism-trade fairs, sporting events, and folk festivals are scheduled to take place in the Mekong Delta, Central Highlands, central and northern regions.
Tran Chi Dung, director of the Kien Giang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the major events of the national tourism year will be an announcement ceremony of the national tourism year, opening and closing ceremonies, and an event held to publicize the recognition of U Minh Thuong Forest as a site of the Ramsar Convention of Wetlands of International Importance.
However, members of the organizing committee could not say much about new programs when asked by reporters at an announcement ceremony of the year in HCMC last week.
Ha Van Sieu, deputy head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, told the ceremony that most of the events would be the same as in previous years. However, the national tourism year is expected to bear fruit with Phu Quoc picked as the central stage for the program.
Mai Huynh, vice chairman of Kien Giang Province, admitted that most of the events for the national tourism year are old but the main objective is to promote Vietnam rather than just attracting tourists to such events.
Huynh said the tourism sector would have to go a long way to achieve higher growth as a national tourism year could not help much.
Kien Giang Province will have some 10,000 hotel rooms next year with half of them located on Phu Quoc to serve a large number of visitors to the island during the year. More transport services will be launched to meet rising demand.
Visitors to Kien Giang Province and Phu Quoc Island grow 18% and 40% a year on average respectively. With many stimulus programs for next year, the province expects to welcome more tourists. Last year Kien Giang welcomed 5.46 million visitors.