Ninh Thuan - An Enticing Destination

8:25:58 PM | 5/28/2024

Once a region overlooked by the tourism industry, Ninh Thuan has undergone a remarkable transformation. Through the implementation of effective investment policies over recent years, this arid, sun-drenched land, known for its scorching winds, has been transformed into a lucrative tourist hub, drawing both domestic and international tourists to its sunny, wind-swept landscapes.

Nui Chua National Park, renowned for its natural beauty, attracts eco-tourists seeking pristine landscapes and biodiversity

Rich potential for tourism development

Ninh Thuan province lies in the South-Central Coast, with many distinct potential and competitive advantages for tourism development. The province has a coastline of more than 105 km long from Binh Tien district to Ca Na, featured with high mountains protruding into the sea to form bays with blue water, white sand and golden sunshine such as Ninh Chu, Binh Tien, Ca Na, Nam Cuong, Mui Dinh and Hang Rai. Vinh Hy Bay is ranked as one of the eight most beautiful bays in Vietnam and Nui Chua National Park is one of nine biosphere regions of the world.

Besides, Ninh Thuan boasts a distinctive and enduring culture, enriched by folk songs, traditional Cham dances and customs. The region is home to ancient Cham towers such as the Po Klong Garai Tower, Po Rome Tower, and Hoa Lai Tower, which remain remarkably preserved. These towers are the sites of unique Cham religious rituals that form an integral part of the area’s cultural fabric. The region’s unique Kate Festival, the tradition of hand-weaving brocade, and Bau Truc - recognized as the oldest pottery village in Southeast Asia - further contribute to the rich cultural heritage of Ninh Thuan. These tangible and intangible cultural elements have become invaluable assets, enhancing the richness of Vietnamese culture.

Po Klong Garai Cham Tower 

In addition, with 360 sunny days in a year, Ninh Thuan is suitable for plants and animals to grow and develop well, including grapes, apples, garlic, asparagus, aloe vera, sheep, goats and butterfly lizards. The province has focused on developing many agritourism models such as vineyard tours in Thai An grape village (Ninh Hai district), tours to grape and apple farms (Ninh Phuoc district), tours to Lam Son ecological fruit garden (Ninh Son district), visits to shepherd fields (Ninh Hai district and Bac Ai district) to woo domestic and foreign tourists.

This is a huge potential for Ninh Thuan to develop diverse types of tourism like eco-tourism, resort, beach tourism, sporting tourism, experiential tourism, cultural tourism (especially Cham cultural heritage) and agricultural tourism which carry local unique characteristics and are highly competitive in attracting domestic and foreign tourists. Accordingly, to effectively promote this potential strength, Ninh Thuan tourism industry has focused on developing green, clean and sustainable tourism and attracting many large-scale tourism investment projects. More tourism infrastructure has been invested, upgraded and expanded. Many forms of tourism have been promoted to entice more domestic and international tourists to experience and explore.

Exploring Ninh Thuan’s vineyards has become a signature tourism activity

By the end of 2023, the province had 57 licensed tourism projects with a total registered capital of over VND51,690 billion. Tourism firms in Ninh Thuan have invested in building and upgrading many high-class tourist attractions and resorts while actively tapping local potential strengths to diversify tourism products for tourists, especially marine tourism, agritourism, ecotourism and cultural tourism. Popular tourist destinations include Amanoi, Vinh Hy, Ninh Chu, Nui Chua National Park and Phuoc Binh National Park along with entertainment spots and traditional craft villages.

In 2023, tourist arrivals to Ninh Thuan totaled 2.9 million, up 20.8% year on year, including 40,000 international visitors, up 239%. Room occupancy reached 65%. Tourism revenue grossed VND2,300 billion. The developed tourism sector has helped boost economic restructuring and employment, improve the material and spiritual life of people, speed up international integration, and sustain socioeconomic development.

Developing tourism into key economic sector

The resolution of the 14th Provincial Party Congress for the 2020-2025 term states the goals of developing comprehensive tourism into a key economic sector to create a driving force for stronger socioeconomic development; having professional tourism; having relatively synchronous and modern tourism infrastructure; diversifying and improving the quality of tourism services (maritime tourism, eco-tourism, sporting tourism, adventure tourism, community tourism, cultural tourism and especially Cham culture); and building highly competitive branded specific tourism products. Ninh Thuan province aims to form large-scale, high-class tourist areas with unique forms and premium services. Ninh Thuan is aimed to become an important destination in the Central Coast tourism chain.

To develop and make tourism a key economic sector, Ninh Thuan province focuses on tapping tourism resources, building new, unique and high-quality tourism products, forming tourist attractions in association with neighboring provinces, prioritizing the development of four novel tourism products: maritime leisure tourism, cultural tourism (especially with Cham cultural heritage), high-tech agriculture and ecotourism associated with Nui Chua National Park; four new products: sand and salt exploration and entertainment, semi-wild hunting, experiential railway traveling, and nursing and health care; and four complementary products: community tourism, entertainment and cuisine, sightseeing renewable energy facilities, and travel business.

Furthermore, the tourism landscape will be strategically developed into four distinct zones namely Central Zone: This zone will focus on urban tourism, heritage exploration, beach resorts, and culinary experiences, primarily centered around Phan Rang - Thap Cham City and its surrounding areas. The development plan includes the provision of tourism, entertainment, and nightlife services; Northeast Zone: This zone will be dedicated to marine, forest, and agricultural ecotourism, with a particular emphasis on the Vinh Hy - Binh Tien - Nui Chua and Thai An areas. The goal is to develop upscale tourism offerings, including maritime leisure activities and grape and wine leisure experiences; Southeast Zone: This zone will cater to leisure tourism with a unique focus on the exploration of sand, salt, and sea. The primary focus will be the Ca Na - Mui Dinh area, targeting high-end tourist segments with salt-based leisure tourism products and desert-style leisure experiences; Western Zone: This zone will promote community tourism intertwined with forest and waterfall eco-tourism.

By Thanh Loan, Vietnam Business Forum