Visitors at Hòn Thơm Island in Kiên Giang Province. — VNS Photo Thu Hằng
HCM CITY — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta region enjoyed a boost in tourist arrivals in the first half of the year as a result of efforts to diversify tourism products and services, authorities have said.
The Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ welcomed 4.9 million tourist arrivals in the first six months of the year, up 9.5 per cent year-on-year, according to the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
During the period, the number of foreign tourists visiting the city rose by 13.6 per cent to 199,500.
The city’s tourism revenue was estimated at VNĐ2.27 trillion (US$97.84 million) in the first half, a year-on-year increase of 17 per cent.
Cần Thơ City has focused on upgrading tourist attractions and developing new tourism products, especially MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) tourism.
The city organised various cultural and tourism events to lure visitors such as the Southern Traditional Cake Festival from April 12-16 and Tân Lộc Fruit Garden Festival from June 7-9.
Many provinces organised FAM (familiarisation) trips to Cần Thơ City to promote tourism product linkages and explore cooperation opportunities.
The tourism sector in Kiên Giang Province implemented various measures to attract investment and improve the quality of tourism products.
In the first half of the year, the province received nearly 4.3 million tourist arrivals, up 9 per cent year-on-year.
The province’s tourism revenue was estimated at VNĐ4.26 trillion ($183.6 million), up 42.6 per cent year-on-year.
Phú Quốc island is the most popular destination in Kiên Giang Province, with more than 2.2 million visitor arrivals, a year-on-year increase of 36 per cent.
Trần Chí Dũng, director of the province’s Department of Tourism, said the province effectively explored eco-tourism with exciting experiences at tourist attractions.
The An Thới - Hòn Thơm cable car and the casino at Corona Resort and Casino are new destinations on Phú Quốc island.
Đồng Tháp Province also saw a rise in the number of tourist arrivals in the first six months of this year, with a total of 1.95 million arrivals.
The province, which ranked third in the Mekong Delta region in tourist arrivals, saw strong growth in community-based tourism.
Ngô Quang Tuyền, deputy director of the province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said in recent years many households had begun homestay tourism and welcomed visitors to their orchid gardens, lotus fields and flower gardens.
The province has developed 78 community-based tourism sites that improve economic and environmental sustainability, Tuyền said.
The province has also focused on development of agro-tourism sites that offer tourists experiences on local farms.
Huỳnh Ngọc Hoàng Anh of Saigontourist’s marketing and communication department said the company operates various tours from HCM City to Mekong Delta region by air, sea and river.
Tours designed for travelers by sea are from HCM City to Tiền Giang and Vĩnh Long provinces, while river tours depart from HCM City to Tiền Giang, Vĩnh Long, Đồng Tháp and An Giang provinces, Anh said. —VNS