|The Cái Mép-Thị Vải Port in Phú Mỹ Township in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province is one of only 19 ports in the world capable of handling 190,000 DWT vessels. — VNA/VNS Photo Đoàn Mạnh Dương
HCM CITY — The southern coastal province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu is improving connections between its Cái Mép-Thị Vải Port complex and surrounding provinces to strengthen its marine economy, and promoting environmentally friendly projects to develop its tourism sector.
Experts have urged the province to turn the Cái Mép-Thị Vải Port into an international transshipment port a , nd develop its industrial parks and clusters. The deep-water port is capable of receiving large container vessels with international transhipments of up to 20,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT), carrying 18,000 TEU capacity.
Nguyễn Văn Trình, former chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said the Cái Mép-Thị Vải Port complex is one of only 19 in the world capable of handling 190,000 DWT vessels.
The province aims to increase the capacity of its seaports, improve international shipment services, and achieve throughput capacity of more than 100 million. By 2020, the province is expected to have 18 port operators and 219 logistics companies.
However, most experts said the transportation system connecting deep-water ports with major economic centres in the region remains weak. To improve the local marine economy, connectivity between the Cái Mép-Thị Vải Port complex and surrounding provinces should be improved, they said.
Trịnh Hàng, director of the provincial Department of Tourism, said in recent years the province was also speeding up eco-tourism projects and focusing on attracting investors.
However, only a few big investors have shown interest, although more investors have explored the area recently.
To tap the potential of sea tourism, the province has built a 10-km coastal route which goes through fishing villages and connects Vũng Tàu City with Long Điền, Đất Đỏ and Xuyên Mộc districts and Bình Thuận Province.
The local authority also wants to develop Côn Đảo Island into a high-quality national tourist site, Hàng said.
The province targets 8.6 million visitors by 2025, an annual average growth rate of 11 to 13 per cent, and an increase in the number of high-standard hotel rooms to 16,000. It also aims to create about 38,000 jobs by that time.
Hàng said that beaches and entertainment centres in Vũng Tàu City were undergoing cleaning and improvement to attract more visitors.
The province has invested in five tourism areas with varying functions, such as sports, entertainment, culture, trade and eco-tourism, he said.
The tourism department is proposing new incentive policies for tourism investment, completion of a tourism master plan, and improved tourism promotion.
In recent years, local authorities have focused on major, high-end tourism projects and encouraged businesses to tap potential markets. Many tourism complexes have gained prestige such as the Hồ Tràm Strip and Six Senses Côn Đảo resort.
The province also has high hopes for the Paradise Vũng Tàu complex under construction.
Experts and local authorities, however, are concerned about deforestation and pollution because of a boom in industrial zones along rivers, which is affecting environmentally friendly tourism projects.
Coastal aquatic-product processing plants discharge untreated wastewater into the environment daily, seriously threatening the mangrove ecosystem and adjacent land areas.
Water pollution in the areas has resulted in rapid saline intrusion, coastal erosion and environmental degradation.
Provincial authorities have been urged by experts to prohibit all types of exploitation in mangrove forests, and encourage local households to take part in reforestation programmes.
Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu, home to a 305km-long coastline, is one of the leading tourism hubs in Việt Nam. With a cool and dry temperature year round, it is an ideal place for sea sports tourism and deluxe seaside resorts.
Vũng Tàu City, lying on a peninsula of the same name, is the tourist and commercial centre of the province.
A number of beautiful beaches, such as Hồ Cốc, Bãi Sau and Đầm Trầu (in Côn Đảo Islands), have become magnets for local and international visitors. The province is also famous for many cultural and historic relics.
Last year, the province, one of Việt Nam’s leaders in FDI attraction, approved 44 new FDI projects and additional investment for 14 foreign direct investment projects, totaling $1.9 billion of registered investment.
In addition, the province approved 59 new domestic projects worth VNĐ18.76 trillion (US$806.7 million) in registered investment, according to the Department of Planning and Investment.
It is also focusing on attracting more investment in logistics, tourism, supporting industries, hi-tech agriculture and urban development. — VNS