Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved the master plan on developing tourism in the Hong (Red) River Delta and the northeastern coast until 2020, with a vision to 2030, reported the Party online newspaper.

Under the master plan, by 2020, the region, including Hanoi, Hai Phong city, Vinh Phuc, Bac Ninh, Hai Duong, Hung Yen and Thai Binh, Ha Nam, Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh, Quang Ninh provinces, will build connections between localities, develop tourism comprehensively and build specific tourism products in a tourism trademark for the whole region.

It is striving to become the leading destination for tourists in the country by 2030.

In addition, the master plan pointed out the target of attracting 5.37 million foreign and 21.5 million domestic tourists by 2015, and 7.12 million foreign and 26.4 million domestic tourists by 2020.

These are expected to contribute 48.6 trillion VND (2.37 billion USD) and 84.7 trillion VND (4.13 billion USD) to the country’s GDP by those dates, respectively.

Regarding developing tourism markets, attracting both foreign and domestic tourists was stressed in the master plan.

For domestic tourism, the region was asked to develop tourism within itself, as well as in neighbouring regions, with the focus on tourists visiting for recreation, relaxation, festivals, shopping and spiritual purposes.

For foreign tourists, it stressed the necessity of attracting and developing regional markets such as Northeastern Asia (Japan, China, the Republic of Korea and China’s Taiwan) and ASEAN, continuing to exploit traditional high-end markets such as Western Europe, Northern Europe, Northern America and Eastern Europe, and expanding to new markets of the Middle East and India.

Developing tourism routes with festival and spiritual themes such as Huong pagoda - Tam Coc - Bai Dinh - Tran temple, Giay temple - Tran temple, Keo pagoda (Thai Binh) - Yen Tu (Quang Ninh), Hanoi - Hai Phong - Nam Dinh, and caves in Trang An and Ha Long Bay, are included in the master plan.

The Red River Delta region is a cradle of the wet rice civilisation and is proud of its outstanding cultural and historical values. Numerous significant architectural relics, traditional festivals and ancient villages have cemented the region's unique and rich culture.