Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The northeastern border province of Hà Giang boasts majestic scenery, geological features, a diverse eco-system, rare fauna and flora, and the unique cultures of 22 ethnic minorities, but has yet to realise its enormous tourism potential, tourism officials say.
The province has seen average annual growth of 32 per cent in the number of tourist arrivals in the past few years, said Nguyễn Văn Sơn, chairman of its People’s Committee, said.
Last year arrivals numbered nearly 854,000, including 176,500 foreigners.
Revenue from tourism was estimated at VNĐ795 billion (US$35 million), a year-on-year increase of 13 per cent.
In the first six months of this year, there were more than 470,000 tourists, with visitors from HCM City accounting for 35 per cent.
But, speaking at an event to promote Hà Giang as a tourist destination in HCM City yesterday (July 21), Sơn said: “The province’s tourism sector is at an early stage of development and faces obstacles like limited human resources and infrastructure.
“The province promises to offer favourable conditions for domestic and international investors to develop tourism projects.”
Trần Thế Dũng, deputy director of Young Generation, an HCM City tourism company, said the province should offer other tourism products besides the Đồng Văn Karst Plateau Geopark to attract more tourists.
He suggested adventure travel in the Tu Sản alley area, Hoàng Su Phì terraced fields, the Gâm River and festivals of ethnic groups.
The province’s tourism authorities should develop closer co-operation with travel agents and inform them early about activities like festivals to enable them to make tour plans, he added.
In October 2010 the geopark was recognised as a member of the Global Geopark Network, the first in Việt Nam and second in Southeast Asia to achieve the status.
It covers an area of 2,356sq.km and with an average altitude of 1,400-1,600 metres, enjoys a cool climate and a range of different terrains.
There are many grand, deep canyons. Mã Pì Lèng Pass, recognised as the deepest canyon in Việt Nam, is 700-800m deep and 1.7 km long.
Lũng Cú flagpole, the northernmost point of Việt Nam, is a must-see tourism destination for not only Vietnamese overseas who come back for a visit but also for many locals across the country.
Highland unique cultural feature of the 22 ethnic minorities living in the province.
The Hoàng Su Phì terraced fields, recognised as national heritage, is considered one of the most beautiful landscapes in the whole country.
Khâu Vai love market, where people can meet up with their old flames for a chat takes place once a year on the evening of 26th and morning of 27th in the third lunar month in Mèo Vạc District’s Khâu Vai Commune. Due to exessive tourism and intruding photographers, locals say they have moved further to find their own quiet space to meet up with their once loved-ones.
With its inherent appeal, the market has become a unique cultural identity of the ethnic minorities in the region.
The province hopes to welcome 1.5 million tourists by 2020, including 600,000 foreign visitors. —VNS