Viet Nam News
HẬU GIANG — The Mekong Delta has vast tourism potential but it has not been exploited well, partly due to poor communications among relevant players, a seminar on tourism development in the delta heard yesterday.
Experts and officials attending the meeting, held under the auspices of the 2016 Mekong Delta Economic Co-operation Forum, said tourism development in the region has seen much planning but little execution.
Officials and tourism business executives discussed three issues: development policies; tourism products, markets, and promotions in the Mekong Delta; and measures to enhance tourism performance, making the delta a key destination in the region.
Hà Văn Siêu, deputy director general of the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said though the delta has more tourism potential than other regions, it has not thrived due to various challenges.
The seminar provided an opportunity for government agencies and enterprises to discuss solutions and draft plans to improve tourism in the delta and review its competitive advantages, he said.
Deputy chairman of the Hậu Giang Province People’s Committee, Đồng Văn Thanh, said the seminar is expected to help strengthen the linkage between southern provinces and the government, enabling smooth co-operation for better performance.
The delta has 700 kilometres of coast with several picturesque beaches and three biosphere reserves recognised as world Ramsar sites, a rich tourism resource.
But connectivity and long-term investments are missing, according to Trần Hữu Hiệp of the committee.
Locals have not exploited their unique culture and natural values for tourism development, he said.
Lack of well-trained human resources and infrastructure for tourism development, and poor inter-provincial co-operation, mean tourism here cannot match its potential, he said.
Leaders of the delta’s provinces have focused on establishing regional linkages to develop tourism, but there is no system in place to foster its development.
Nguyễn Hoàng Hành of the committee said relevant agencies have been ordered to promote the delta’s unique tourism products, create favourable policies to attract large investors, and encourage local residents to embrace regional competitive advantages.
In 2015 the delta welcomed more than 25 million local and international visitors, an increase of 19.4 per cent over the previous year, with revenues topping VNĐ8.6 trillion (US$3.9 billion), a 30 per cent rise.
An Giang and Kiên Giang provinces and Cần Thơ city attracted the most visitors. — VNS