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Need a plan to attract tourists in Red River Delta

The all 11 provinces and cities in the Red River Deltahave their own advantages to develop tourism. Nevertheless, their revenue from tourism remains very modest.

"The Red River Delta has stand-out advantages in comparison with other regions in terms of culture and history", Pham Trung Luong,said Deputy Head of the Vietnam Tourism Research Development Institute. 

Red River Delta is the cradle of the rice civilization of Vietnam, which stores the proofs of the 4000-year development history of the Vietnamese nation. The existing tombs, monuments and temples, which are the witnesses of the different dynasties in the past alone, are enough for travel firms to draw up hundreds of different attractive tours.

Hanoi capital, the political and cultural center of the whole country, is located in the core of the Red River Delta, which has been known as the second biggest place for passengers to transit in Vietnam, just after Ho Chi Minh City.

With the total area of 21,000 square kilometers, good road quality and modern coach system, it takes from one to three hours only to travel from the central area of Hanoi to the localities in the region, which is really suitable to inter-provincial tours. 

With its advantages, it is quite feasible to develop different kinds of tourism products suitable to both domestic and foreign travelers who like discoveries and national original cultural features.

However, according to the General Statistics Office, in 2000-2012, the number of travelers to Red River Delta just accounted for 20 percent of the total international tourists to Vietnam. The travelers mostly came to Hanoi and Hai Phong.

Despite the high number of immigrant people, which accounts for 23 percent of the population, domestic travelers only amount to 20-25 percent of the total domestic travelers of the whole country in the last five years.

A tourism expert has his every reason when saying that Red River Delta still needs a good cook. Though the great potentials of Red River Delta have been recognized, it still cannot attract many travelers. Therefore, a good cook is needed to process delicious dishes, attractive tours to lure more travelers.

“Powerful travel firms are the ones who can process the tourism potentials to create different creative menus,” he said.

However, the travel firms in the region are mostly small ones with limited experiences and capability. Most of the prestigious firms only have branches in Hanoi, while their head offices are in Ho Chi Minh City.

An executive of a travel firm said that most of the tours to Red River Delta are short term tours which do not bring high turnover to travel firms. The problem here is that travel firms are not creative enough to design longer tours.

For example, to exploit the Tran dynasty historical relics, travel firms offer the tours lasting one day only. Travelers would be either brought to the Tran Temple in Nam Dinh City, the Tran Temple in Thai Binh or Yen Tu Pagoda. Meanwhile, it is completely possible to design a longer tour, in which all the three can be the destination points.

Also according to Luong, local travel firms do not intend to design new tours, but they simply provide old products to travelers or copy tours from other travel firms; therefore, localities cannot attract travelers. 

In terms of sea tourism, Hai Phong has no rival in the Red River Delta. Thai Binh, Ninh Binh and Nam Dinh provinces also have coastal lines and want to develop sea tourism, but the beaches here are less beautiful and the seafood products are less diversified.

Meanwhile, Thai Binh, which still holds typical features of a northern village, can attract tourists with country tours, particularly the travelers from Europe, Australia and Japan. Nevertheless, the potentials in the province have not been awaken yet.