|Visitors at Cái Răng Floating Market in Cần Thơ city. — VNA/VNS Photo An Hiếu|
HCM CITY — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta city of Cần Thơ enjoyed strong growth in tourism last year due to a series of international political and cultural events and traditional festivals, according to its Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The number of tourist arrivals surged 40 per cent to 7.5 million, while tourism revenues rose 61 per cent to VNĐ2.9 trillion (US$127.6 million).
The political, cultural and tourism events the city hosted included the APEC Food Security Week, Việt Nam-Japan Culture and Trade Exchange, and the Southern Traditional Cake Festival.
The tourism sector is focusing on developing river-based tourism, especially upscale products such as three- to five-star cruise ships, Lê Minh Sơn, deputy director of the department, said.
It is encouraging investors to develop inter-provincial and international river-based tours, he said.
The tours are designed to take in historical and cultural relics, traditional craft villages, and ecological and spiritual destinations.
Last year the neighbouring province of An Giang attracted 7.3 million visitors, up 12 per cent, earning revenues of VNĐ3.7 trillion ($162.8 million).
The province is the centre of spiritual tourism in the south, with people flocking especially to Bà Chúa Xứ Temple in Châu Đốc Town.
Kiên Giang Province, with its beautiful landscapes, islands such as Phú Quốc, archipelagoes such as Nam Du and Bà Lụa and the U Minh Thượng National Park, attracted more than six million visitors last year.
The province’s tourism revenues were worth more than VNĐ4.58 trillion ($201.52 million), the highest in the delta. — VNS