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New Infrastructures Along Ha Long Bay to Boost Tourism

To be able to host a national tourism year for the first time in 2018 and the ASEAN Tourism Forum in January 2019, a new expressway and international airport are being constructed along the Ha Long Bay area.

Ha Long Bay is a famous tourist destination worldwide because of its beautiful natural scenery. For would-be visitors, they have to start their travel at Hanoi which is about 180 kilometres (112 miles) to the west and usually takes about three hours before reaching Ha Long Bay. But when the new expressway opens, travel time will be cut by half to just one hour and a half. It is scheduled to be completed on March 2018.

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Van Don International Airport is located 50 kilometres from the bay. It has a capacity for two million arrivals by 2020 with an expansion capability for five more million passengers come 2030. The project is worth US$330 million and is scheduled to open next spring.

It will be the first time for Ha Long Bay and Quang Ninh Province to host such a prestigious event as National Tourism Year so the activities planned are quite grand: a paragliding tournament in April; an international car race in June; and a food festival in the fall.

According to official records, tourist arrivals in Ha Long Bay increased by 12% on-year during the first six months of 2017 alone. This is equivalent to over 4.3 million visitors, 1.7 million of which are foreigners. It was recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and was the location for the popular Hollywood movie “Kong: Skull Island.” With the construction of the new infrastructures, tourism in the area will surely surge even more.

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