HANOI, November 7 (Engineering Daily) -- Hanoi, where tourists go home to an international airport, is 180 kilometers to the west of the bay. Therefore, the obvious transit point for people wishing to visit the bay is Hanoi. The journey currently takes at least three hours.
Van Don International Airport around 50 kilometers from the bay is also scheduled to open next spring.
The $330 million airport is designed to receive two million arrivals a year by 2020, and there are plans to expand the capacity to five million by 2030.
Officials said the new infrastructure is being put in place so that Ha Long and Quang Ninh Province can host a national tourism year for the first time in 2018 and the ASEAN Tourism Forum in January 2019.
The national tourism year will include a paragliding tournament in April, an international car race in June and a food festival in the fall.
Ha Long Bay was named a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam.
Visitors to Ha Long during the first half of 2017 rose 12 percent on-year to more than 4.3 million, including 1.7 million foreign travelers, according to Quang Ninh's news portal.
The bay was used to film the recent Hollywood blockbuster “Kong: Skull Island”, and has been raved about by many travel bloggers.