The Mekong Delta province of An Giang is striving to take full advantage of its potential for tourism development and turn it into a spearhead economic sector.
According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Binh, the province issued a resolution on tourism development until 2020 with orientations through 2025, which identifies four key tourism types, namely spiritual tourism, eco- and resort tourism, eco and water tourism and cultural – heritage tourism.
Measures have been devised to tighten the management of tourism activities while boosting efforts to attract international tourists and improve tourism service quality.
By 2020, the province hopes to welcome 10.1 million visitors and earn about 4 trillion VND (176.36 million USD) from tourism services, making up 8.8 percent of its gross regional domestic product (GRDP).
By 2025, the figures are expected to reach 12.9 million visitors and 15.3 percent of GRDP.
To realise the targets, the sector needs to focus on publicity work to get the community more involved in tourism development, invest in infrastructure facilities, particularly the traffic network to explore border tourism, said Binh, adding that efforts are also needed to mobilse resources to build infrastructure and train human resources.
Dang Duc Phong, Director of the Centre for Tourism Promotion, underlined the need to offer a wide range of tourism products, particularly community-based tourism, sports tourism, resort tourism, among others.
Investment should be made in key products to develop brand names for the locality’s tourism while protecting natural resources, cultural values and the environment, Phong said.
An Giang has cultural diversity with four ethnic groups, namely Kinh, Khmer, Champa, and Chinese, and a wide range of traditional festivals, such as Ba Chua Xu Nui Sam in Chau Doc and Bay Nui (Seven Mountains) cow racing festival, according to Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Len.
An Giang has 15 major tourism sites, including Nui Cam and Nui Sam tourism sites. Cu Lao Ong Ho tourism site in My Hoa Hung commune was named among national tourism sites in the Master Plan for tourism development in the Mekong Delta region by 2020 with a vision to 2030.
The number of visitors to An Giang has increased rapidly, from 4.5 million in 2010 to 6.5 million in 2016, including 70,000 foreigners, generating 3.2 trillion VND (140 million USD).