Trang An is a complex of scenic landscapes and historical and cultural heritage sites. The complex consists of the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Tam Coc and Bich Dong natural sites that offer boat trips through spectacular caves, and the Trang An ecological site of spectacular limestone areas and rice fields. The site dates back some 250 million years and contains hundreds of valleys and caves. In 2014 it was recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
In 2018, the Trang An landscape complex was listed by the US website Insider among the 50 best spots to visit in the world. Annual tourism to the site grew 5.96 percent between 2015 and 2020, with international visitor growth reaching 11.4 percent a year, and tourism revenue increasing by 22 percent a year.
In 2017, Ninh Binh welcomed more than 7.5 million visitors, earning a turnover of over VND3.6 trillion. Since then, the province has upgraded tourism infrastructure in both quality and quantity so that by the end of 2019, 653 tourist accommodation establishments offered 7935 rooms, 60 percent more than in 2015. Of those, 60 hotels were rated from 1-4 stars, averaging 13.5 percent growth rate a year. The rapid development of tourism created jobs and stable incomes for residents, especially in rural areas.
While the Eiffel Tower took 131 years to reach a brand value of US$600 billion, and Britain’s Tower of London more than 1,000 years to be worth US$95 billion, the value of the 20-year-old Trang An landscape complex is estimated at about US$2 billion. Raising its brand value to US$10-15 billion in the next decade needs to be fully researched and calculated based on studies of unique values of heritage for advertising and attracting domestic and foreign tourists.
To achieve this target, Trang An must rank as one of the 10 most attractive destinations in Vietnam and one of top 20 in the Southeast Asian, focusing on synchronous development of infrastructure and services and a comprehensive and methodical promotion campaign to develop the brand of the complex.
Tourism developers should link the heritage with neighboring regions to form digital platforms, creating tourism products using artificial intelligence technology to introduce and connect heritage sites such as Trang An, Bai Dinh, Van Long, and Tam Chuc and the Bai Dinh-Kim Son route to increase their value and form a Trang An ecosystem.
In addition, they should improve the quality of the tourism workforce in accordance with Vietnam Tourism Occupational Standards (VTOS) to improve professionalism and service quality.
Kim Chi & Bui Huyen