Mekong Delta to improve tourism services

The number of tourists to the Mekong Delta has increased significantly as many tourism programmes have been successful over the last year, according to provincial authorities.

Many attractions in the Mekong Delta have maintained their high traffic since the beginning of the year.

The Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Dong Thap province reported that the province welcomed 110,000 arrivals in October, up 25% year-on-year. This brought the number of arrivals to 2.5 million in the first 10 months, up 24% year-on-year. 

Tram Chim National Park, Nguyen Sinh Sac and Xeo Quyt relic sites were among the popular attractions.

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To boost tourism, the province has also promoted ecotourism and created tours to local fruit gardens.

Nguyen Ngoc Thuong, director of the provincial Culture, Sports, and Tourism Department, said that development plans, including better infrastructure and effective promotion campaigns, had brought about positive changes to the tourism sector.

Around 5.3 million tourists visited Can Tho city in the first eight months of the year, up 43% year-on-year, according to the municipla Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

The city welcomed 76,700 arrivals during the National Day (September 2) holiday period, generating more than VND48 billion (over US$2 million) in revenue.

The department aims to attract 5.5 million arrivals and earn VND2 trillion (US$88 million) this year.

Since Kien Giang has the most tourism potential in the Delta, the province in recent years has been a hotspot for investment, with 274 ongoing tourism projects on 7,690ha of land, worth VND231 trillion (US$10.17 billion). 

Tran Chi Dung, director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, said that investors had been eyeing Phu Quoc Island, with 218 tourism projects on 6,445ha of land, worth VND222 trillion (US$9.7 billion). About 30 projects had been carried out on the island so far.

The province has called for investments to upgrade its infrastructure and build airports, seaports and roads.

Between 2013 and June 2017, Kien Giang province drew 20.4 million tourists, of whom 1.1 million were international visitors.

In 2016, the province had 5.6 million arrivals, and of that number, 309,700 were foreigners. Tourists generated a total of VND3.67 trillion (US$158 million) in revenue.

The province targets more than six million arrivals this year.

The Mekong Delta has attracted more local visitors compared to the south and north central coastal areas of Vietnam. However, the number of visitors to the Red River Delta and the southeast are higher than that of the Mekong Delta.

Also, differences in the number of arrivals between provinces in the Mekong Delta are noticeable. While foreigners to Tien Giang and Ben Tre provinces accounted for 50% of the total number of international tourists, local visitors to An Giang province made up one-third of total local tourists.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said that tourism in the Mekong Delta had gained more recognition, but that it should have been better.

Due to the lack of diverse tourism products, international tourists typically spend an average 1.95 day and local visitors an average 1.7 day in the region.

Pham Vu Hong, chairman of the Kien Giang province People’s Committee, said that to meet the demand of visitors, the province would expand the airport, improve power systems and upgrade infrastructure, and complete them before the deadlines.

But he said it was also important to invest in more tourism products to extend visitors’length of stay. 

Secretary of Dong Thap province’s Party Committee Le Minh Hoan said that Dong Thap, Tien Giang and Long An provinces had collaborated with HCM City to create a tour called "Mot Hanh Trinh Ba Diem Den" (A journey to three destinations).

Starting from HCM City to Long An, Tien Giang, and Dong Thap provinces, tourists will be able travel to Tan Lap Floating Village, an ecotourism site, the Dong Thap Muoi Ecological Reservation Area, and Tram Chim National Bird Park, among other attractions.

The Mekong Delta Tourism Association has also urged local provinces not to copy each other’s tourism products as all of them have similar conditions for tourism.

Tourism experts said that Can Tho city and Phu Quoc island should be key destinations, while My Tho city could play a support role for tourism in the eastern area of the Mekong Delta.

VNA

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