NINH THUAN (VNS) — Regional linkages and long-term planning are needed to improve tourism in the south-central coastal and Central Highlands regions, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has said.
Speaking at a seminar on tourism development in the two regions last week in the central province of Ninh Thuan, he said the travel industry has not taken full advantage of the potential or created attractive tourism products.
Tourism in the regions is plagued by a number of drawbacks like lack of long-term planning, attractive tourism products, or tourism promotion programmes, he said.
Sketchy socio infrastructure and poor human resources are also problems, he added.
He called on the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to work with the Viet Nam Tourism Association to develop a clear long-term strategy for the tourism industry to promote the advantages of each locality in the two regions.
Nguyen Thi Ngoc Le, deputy chairwoman of the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong, said tourism should be promoted in mountainous provinces.
Other speakers also said that localities in the regions should co-operate to improve their tourism market and develop quality human resources.
They said localities with similar tourism features and products should co-operate to strengthen their competitiveness.
Dam stressed that roads in the regions must be upgraded, adding that the two main roads in the regions — National Highways 1A and 14 — should be further improved to facilitate travel.
The south-central coastal region comprises Da Nang and the provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, and Binh Thuan. The Central Highlands is made up of Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, and Lam Dong provinces.
The country received 7.7 million foreign and 33 million local visitors last year, and earned revenues of VND200 trillion (US$9.4 billion), according to Nguyen Van Tuan, chief of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism.
The numbers in the first half of this year were almost 4.3 million, 23.4 million, and VND125 trillion ($5.87 billion), with the revenues going up 22.5 per cent year-on-year.
The seminar was held on the sidelines of the International Grape and Wine Festival in Phan Rang –Thap Cham in Ninh Thuan last week.
The festival sought to boost tourism in the province, exchanges between grape farmers and businesses, and investment opportunities. — VNS