|Tourists visit Phước Lộc Thọ ancient village in Long An Province’s Đức Hoà District. — VNA/VNS Photo Đức Hạnh|
LONG AN — Long An Province is stepping up connection with other provinces and cities to develop tourism, especially its specific tourism products.
Located as a gateway of the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta and neighbouring HCM City, the province has great potential for developing specific tourism products such as exploring the lives of local people living along rivers, orchards, craft villages, and historical and cultural relics.
The province has vast cajuput forests, orchards, and rice, lotus and vegetable fields.
It has advantages for tourism infrastructure, especially transport, as National Highway No.1 A and the HCM City-Trung Lương expressway run through it.
It has various tourism products such as ecotourism, amusement parks, and sports and historical sites.
It is co-operating with HCM City, the delta’s other provinces and Cần Thơ City to develop tourism and trans-province tours, according to its Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
It is linking with these localities to open inter-provincial boat tours, and tours on Vàm Cỏ Đông and Vàm Cỏ Tây rivers, which are its two major rivers.
It is also linking with the delta’s Đồng Tháp Province to develop a tour to explore the lives of local people in the Đồng Tháp Mười (Plain of Reeds) low-lying region during the delta’s flooding season.
At the beginning of last year, Long An participated in implementing inter-provincial tours such as a six-day tour (HCM City-Long An-Tiền Giang-Vĩnh Long-Cần Thơ-Hậu Giang-Sóc Trăng- Bạc Liêu-Cà Mau) and a four-day tour (HCM City-Long An-Đồng Tháp-An Giang-Kiên Giang).
Nguyễn Văn Hiểm, chairman of the province's Tourism Association, said the association has linked with travel companies in other provinces and cities to develop tourism in Long An.
“The association is making efforts to have the best tourism products to offer tourists more choices,” he said.
Đỗ Thị Kim Dung, director of the department’s Tourism Promotion Centre, said the department is co-operating with the delta’s other provinces, Cần Thơ City and HCM City to implement a comprehensive agreement for tourism development in the region in 2020-25.
The agreement aims to promote the competitive strength of each locality to build specific tourism products and tourism brand names for the region, she said.
“Long An, HCM City and the delta’s other provinces and Cần Thơ City regularly co-operate in sharing tourism information, management experiences and promotion, and this helps orientate the development of tourism and tourism products of each locality,” she said.
This year, Long An is also co-operating with these localities to develop a plan to advertise and promote its tourism, and another plan to implement the programme of co-operating with these localities to develop tourism, she said.
It has also boosted links with Cambodia to develop border tours between Long An and Cambodia’s Svay Rieng Province.
With its roads connecting to HCM City’s Tân Sơn Nhất Airport and Bình Hiệp international border gate with Cambodia, Long An has opportunities to directly receive foreign tourists through these sites.
The province is strengthening activities to advertise and promote tourism, and develop potential and specific tourism products to create its tourism identity and build a tourism image of safety and attractiveness.
Specific tourism products
Long An is developing specific tourism products, such as tours of rivers, agriculture, craft villages and medicinal plant farming, and these tours have been warmly welcomed by tourists.
Láng Sen Wetland Reserve in Tân Hưng District, Tân Lập Floating Village eco-tourism area and the Đồng Tháp Mười Herbal Medicine Research, Conservation and Development Centre in Mộc Hoá District are the province’s specific tourism destinations.
The province has 125 historical, cultural, architectural, artistic, landscape and archaeological sites recognised as provincial and national heritage sites, and has specialty meals such as sour and sweet soup, baked snake-head fish, and fermented fish hot pot.
It is well-known for having a rich history of the Óc Eo culture, which existed between the first to the seventh century.
Nguyễn Anh Dũng, director of the department, said Long An will expand co-operating with provinces and cities nationwide to develop tourism, and create favourable conditions for firms to invest in tourism.
The province received about 360,000 tourists, including 7,700 foreigners, in the first half of the year, up 54 per cent against the same period last year.
It earned tourism revenue of VNĐ174 billion (US$7.1 million) in the period, up 39 per cent year-on-year.
It targets to receive 3.6 million local tourists and 130,000 foreign tourists in 2025. — VNS