The Ngã Bảy floating market in Hậu Giang Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Ba
HCM CITY — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Hậu Giang plans to focus on sustainable agricultural tourism as part of its effort to lure tourists to the Mekong Delta region.
Speaking at a conference held this week in the province, Lê Tiến Châu, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said the tourism sector played a vital role in the area's socio-economic development.
Over the past five years, the province has developed key projects related to tourism infrastructure and products, and has strengthened linkages with travel firms in other provinces. It has also enhanced tourism promotional activities.
However, the area's potential for agrotourism has yet to be realised.
Nguyễn Thị Lý, deputy director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said that agrotourism has helped reduce poverty and raise incomes of households in the province.
It has also contributed to cultural exchanges and raised awareness about environmental protection.
More and more travellers like to visit the countryside to enjoy peaceful scenery and sample fresh fruits and local specialties.
The province has special produce such as Năm Roi grapefruit, Ngã Bảy orange, Long Trị mandarin orange and Cầu Đúc pineapple.
The province has also developed many tourist attractions and community-based tourism sites, she said.
However, a lack of professional skills in tourism services and unstable, small-scale tourism products are among the major challenges for agrotourism development, Lý said.
Underdeveloped tourist attractions and traffic infrastructure have also hindered tourism development, she said.
Lê Minh Hoan, Party secretary of Đồng Tháp Province, said: “Agrotourism should be developed in combination with community tourism. Local authorities should work with farmers to develop agrotourism. They need to fully understand tourism resources in the province and encourage farmers to ultilise the resources.”
Phan Đình Huê, director of the Việt Circle Tourism Service Company, said the province should provide tourists with unique experiences in agricultural activities and community-based tourism products such as fishing, visits to fruit gardens and homestays.
Travel officials and households should also receive training to improve their professional skills in tourism services, Huệ said. — VNS