|Tourists riding on horse carts for sightseeing in Chau Thanh District, Ben Tre Province. The Prime Minister has approved a master development plan to turn the southeast region into Viet Nam's centre of culture, arts, sports, and tourism. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Thi Thu Hien
HCM CITY (VNS) — The Prime Minister has approved a master development plan on culture, family, sports and tourism for the Southeast region to 2020.
The plan will focus on HCM City and the provinces of Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Long An and Tien Giang.
The plan aims to turn the region into Viet Nam's centre of culture, arts, sports, and tourism.
HCM City, the region's largest city, is expected to provide cultural and arts training and research for the country, and be the biggest market for fine arts, theatre, film and performing arts.
The plan's priority is restoring and promoting the region's heritage, especially World Heritage Sites and national relics, as well as the country's traditional and contemporary performing arts such as don ca tai tu (Southern folk music), cai luong (reformed opera) and hat boi (classical opera).
The plan calls for more high-quality contemporary music performances and fine art exhibitions, and the use of modern equipment in theatres and exhibition houses.
For sports, the plan will enhance community activities in the region to help people improve their health.
The region will also concentrate on developing Olympic sports to provide the best athletes for the country and to keep Viet Nam in the top three countries in Southeast Asia in terms of sports.
Under the plan, tourism will become the key economic sector of the southeast region.
The region, which is the gateway to Cuu Long (Mekong) River region and major destination in Asia, is the country's leading tourism market with a wide range of tourism products.
The plan targets will attract six million foreign tourists and 34 million local visitors by 2020. Total revenue for tourism will reach VND170 trillion (US$7.6 billion).
For accommodation, the tourism sector will aim to have a total of 150,000 hotel rooms and 200,000 jobs.
The sector will focus on exploiting major international markets such as northeast Asia, southeast Asia, Europe, North America and Australia.
It will also market tourism in the country's south-central coastal region, the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands), the Cuu Long River Delta, and Ha Noi.
The plan gives priority to ecological and river tourism, sea tourism, urban tourism and conferences and meetings.
Focus will be on some of the region's major tourism sites, including Cu Chi and Can Gio in HCM City, Long Hai – Phuoc Hai and Con Dao in Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Ba Den Mountain in Tay Ninh, Happy Land in Long An, Cat Tien and Tri An Lake in Dong Nai, and Ta Thiet in Binh Phuoc.
The plan will outline the development of tourism routes which connect the area with other regions and other countries via roads, airways and waterway systems, including Tan Son Nhat and Long Thanh International Airports, the Asian Highway, highways to border gates, and waterways crossing HCM City and Vung Tau City. — VNS