|Danang Tourism: Major Socio-economic Growth Driver|
Tourism is considered a spearhead economic sector of Danang city. The city is becoming more attractive to tourists, especially international ones. In the coming time, the city continues to improve the quality and diversification of products and services and plans to increase the proportion of the tourism contribution to the city's GDP in 2015 to 7 percent.
Danang, a coastal city located in a region with world heritage sites, and synchronous infrastructure - with seaport and international airport. The city is the final point of the East-West Economic Corridor that leads to the East Sea. With abundant and diverse natural resources, Danang has many advantages to develop its tourism economy. Thanks to these advantages, tourism sector has become the driving force in the process of socio-economic development in Danang while others keep sluggish in the context of economic difficulty.
In the first six months of 2012, Danang's tourism sector has achieved quite satisfactory results. Total number of visitors to the city is 1,326,983, up 9 percent against the same period in 2011, achieving 51 percent of the plan in 2012. International tourists reached 351,545, up 18 percent against the same period in 2012, achieving 64 percent of the plan in 2012. Domestic tourists reached 975,438, an increase of 7 percent compared to the same period in 2011, reaching 48 percent of the plan in 2012. Total tourism revenue reached VND2,916 billion, up 39 percent against the same period in 2011, achieving 58 percent of the plan in 2012. It is expected that the situation will continue to get better in the next 06 months.
According to Mr Tran Chi Cuong, Deputy Director of Danang Culture, Sports and Tourism Department, some projects are still in good progress including Fantasy Ba Na entertainment area and the Novotel hotel, expected to be put into operation in December. These will help Danang tourism to become more attractive to tourists far and wide.
Mr Cuong further reiterated that for such impressive results, the tourism sector has made great effort in promotion activities, market launch, potential market discovery especially the markets of the countries having direct flights to Danang.
Danang has actively exploited the nature-endowed strengths and selects the appropriate venues to organize events, national and international festivals such as fireworks, beauty contests, music and sport competitions... The sector also sends representatives abroad to boost marketing and promotes the media cooperation in order to attract tourists faraway to Danang.
It should be noted that during the past time, Danang has worked out preferential policies to call for greater investment in the high-end coastal resort and interesting entertainment areas to meet increased demand of tourists. The city also encourages potential investors to make investment in the tourism products of high quality. Currently, Danang has eight 5-star resort hotel, four 4- star hotels, and thirty 3-star hotels.
Danang tourism sector also pays attention to strengthening supervision and inspection of the hotel services via hotel ranking according to star rating standards of Vietnam's tourism; provide training to the staff in the sector including all the traders in the market and shops or store doing business related to tourism. This will help them to improve their communication skills which will leave good impression on the tourist to the city. In addition, the sector also focuses on the diversification of tourism products, investment in polishing products to increase the attractiveness to tourists. The city is also promoting the 3 localities-one destination program namely Quang Nam-Danang and Hue.
Sharing about the objectives of the sector in 2012, Mr Cuong revealed that 2012 is the 15 year anniversary of Danang becoming a centrally-run city. 2012 is also the second year that the city has realized the strategic objectives on the socio-economic development and implemented the sector development program for the period of 2011-2015. The orientation of tourism development in 2012 is to create strong and sustainable step of tourism development, contributing to getting the sector develop in line with the potential and requirements of the city. Especially, it is planned to make a strategic breakthrough proposed by the Municipal Congress Party in the session XX, which focuses on the development of the service sector including trade, tourism services and high-quality entertainment.
So as to develop tourism as a key economic sector of the city, it is necessary to attract more and more tourists to Danang, especially the international ones, improve the quality and diversification of tourism products and services, tourism services, effectively combine the exploitation of cultural and tourism development, constantly upgrade tourist infrastructure and effectively implement the investment project, develop a modern and civilized tourism environment and high-quality human resources for the tourism industry, increase the proportion of the contribution of tourism to the city's GDP in 2015 to about 7 percent.
Danang tourism sector needs to achieve some targets in 2012 including tourist arrivals reaching 2,580,000 (up 10 percent against 2011), 550,000 of which being international ones and 2,030,000 being domestic ones, yielding a total revenue of VND 5,096 billion.