Exploiting Tourism Potentials in Central Highlands Gia Lai Province

9:56:17 AM | 17/11/2009

Gia Lai is blessed with a potential for ecotourism since it is home to primeval forests with diversified fauna and flora. Together with beautiful natural landscape, Gia Lai is also a place which has a unique culture characterized by special traits of ethnic minorities. Gia Lai is really an appealing destination for tourists.
A terrain with waterfalls and rapids creates an impressive natural landscape for Gia Lai. The province prides itself on having such waterfalls as Phu Cuong, Cong Chua (Princess), YaMa – Yang Rung, Ia Nhi, Le Kim, Lo O, and Bay Tang (Seven grades), together with White stone stream and Heaven Gate mountain pass, etc. Besides, such romantic places as Bien Ho, Ayun Ha lake, Ia Ly lake and Hong valley are ideal destinations for tourists to go for a picnic. Nature also blesses Gia Lai with two primeval forests, namely KonKaKinh and KonJaRang, and Dakpo pine hill which are home to a diversified, valuable and rare fauna and flora. Ia Ly hydroelectricity plant, the nation’s second biggest hydroelectricity plant only after Hoa Binh hydroelectricity plant, attracts a large number of tourists.
Despite many historic ups and downs, Gia Lai still manages to maintain a diversified and rich culture which is strongly characterized by Central Highlands cultural traits, expressed via Gong culture, communal house architecture, tombs, traditional festivals, costumes and folk music instruments. Especially, “Space of Gong culture in the Central Highlands” gets recognized as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. In addition, relics in wars against invaders contribute to create strength for Gia Lai’s tourism development.
Eco tours and culture – traditional festival tours have attracted tourists to Gia Lai. In the first nine months of 2009, the number of visitors to the province is about 120,158, of those 5,542 are international guests. The turnover from tourism activities reaches VND81,762 billion. The system of accommodation for tourists gets expanded quickly. There are now 63 hotels in the provincial area.
However, Gia Lai currently lacks service points to serve visitors during the time they stay here. The province already has policies as provided in Decision No.84/2007/QD-UBND dated 27 August 2007 to encourage and support investors to invest in the tourism sector, in particular and in other economic sectors, in general.
In order to turn tourism into an important part of the province’s economy, Gia Lai has orientations for tourism development until 2015 and years afterwards. Accordingly, the tourism industry will be developed in a sustainable manner and in line with socio-economic development, national security while being able to improve its existing advantages. Ecotourism and traditional cultural – festival tourism will be strongly developed.
On the basis of common orientation, the Resolution figures out some key tasks, including accelerating the pace of the general tourism development programming for 2009-2015 period with vision until 2020 and the specific development programme with investment focused on such projects as Ayun Ha lake ecotourism place, Dak Po pine hill and KonKaKing national park, etc.
At the same time, Gia Lai pushes investment in developing the infrastructure system and tourism technology. Priority is given to development of cultural – historical tourist spots, ecotourism spots and complex tourism, etc. Besides, Gia Lai also attaches great importance to developing unique tourist products and providing training and knowledge for the staff working in the tourism sector so that they can well meet requirements of the integration process.

Quoc Hung