KIÊN GIANG — Authorities in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Kiên Giang should offer incentives to attract investment in tourism infrastructure and services in Hà Tiên- Kiên Lương, Rạch Giá- Kiên Hải- Hòn Đất, and U Minh Thượng to realise their tourism potential, experts have said.
The province master plan identifies Hà Tiên- Kiên Lương, Rạch Giá- Kiên Hải- Hòn Đất, and U Minh Thượng as key tourism areas apart from Phú Quốc Island, one of the top destinations in Việt Nam, Phạm Vũ Hồng, chairman of the province’s People’s Committee, said.
The province has been focusing on investment in tourism infrastructure and services to actualise the potential of these areas, he told a recent conference in Hà Tiên town.
In 2016-20 the province has set funding of VNĐ369billion (US$15.9 million) for five projects in these three major tourism zones, he said.
The completed works include the Rạch Giá Air Port upgrade, linking the national power grid with islands such as Hòn Tre, Lại Sơn and Hải Tặc, and infrastructure in Mũi Nai, Hòn Trẹm Island, Hang pagoda, and the U Minh Thượng national park.
The province would continue to explore partnerships with local and foreign investors to develop these tourism zones, Hồng said.
Phạm Trung Lương of the Việt Nam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment, said Hà Tiên- Kiên Lương, Rạch Giá- Kiên Hải- Hòn Đất and U Minh Thượng play a vital role in the province and the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta’s tourism development.
He suggested prioritising three types of tourism for investment, ecological, cultural and community-based.
The local government should focus on tourism infrastructure development to create convenient transportation within the zones and link the zones with Phú Quốc Island, he said.
It should also invest in new tourism products based on local tourism resources, he added.
Nguyễn Văn Đính, deputy chairman of the Việt Nam Tourism Education Association, said the province has natural diversity ranging from the delta to seas and mountains, which is excellent for tourism development.
But it needs to invest heavily in road and sea traffic infrastructure and diversify tourism products to attract tourists, he said.
Tourism marketing and promotion are required, with a focus on key local markets such as the cities of Hà Nội, Hải Phòng, Đà Nẵng, Cần Thơ, and HCM City and international markets such as South Korea, China, Japan, the US and Western European countries, he added.
Experts also suggested that the province should pay more attention to improving tourism human resources and strengthening co-operation with travel firms in other provinces to develop new travel routes and products. — VNS