Phu Tho Tourism Promoting Potentials and Advantages

5:16:57 PM | 3/1/2013

Promoting existing advantages, making flexible use of favourable conditions, and overcoming obstacles and challenges, Phu Tho has achieved certain results in tourism sector during recent time. In 2010, the number of tourists to Phu Tho reached 5.2 million and turnover was estimated to be VND652 billion. In 2012, the number of tourists is estimated to reach 6.1 million and turnover, VND735 billion. Regarding this issue, the Vietnam Business Forum had an interview with Mr Tran Van Khai, Deputy Director of Phu Tho Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Quang Sang reports.
With advantages for tourism development, what achievements has Phu Tho’s tourism sector gained during the past time?
Phu Tho is our ancestral land with historical and cultural traditions closely connected with our nation’s foundation and defence. In addition to cultural tourism resources, Phu Tho is blessed with diversifying natural resources which well facilitate tourism development. 
The number of tourists to Phu Tho has been on an increase. Such important annual events as Hung King’s death anniversary – Festival at Hung King’s temple and “Reversion to the original points” tourism programme have attracted a large number of visitors to the province (2.5 million in 2000; 5.2 million in 2010 and estimated-to-be 6.1 million in 2012). However, there exists a fact that despite the large number of tourists to Phu Tho, tourism here is highly seasonal. Tourists are mainly attracted by these events and the remaining time of the year is quite quiet.  Length of accommodation and number of international arrivals, therefore, makes up low proportion.
Tourist attractions, cultural and historical relics, festivals and natural landscape all contribute to development of tourism products of Phu Tho. Cultural and religious tourism routes and ecological and relaxation tourism are exploited. Accommodation and food services are being improved and traditional craft villages, restored.
Thanks to the Government’s and economic sectors’ investment in construction of tourism infrastructure, acceleration of tourism promotion and marketing via organization of large events and festivals in the province and the interest and investment of economic sectors, the turnover generated by tourism sector has kept increasing at a good pace (VND342.026 billion and VND652 billion and VND735 billion (estimated figure) in 2005, 2010 and 2012). The average growth rate is, thus, 18 percent per annum.
Socialisation in tourism is well exercised, successfully attracting economic sectors to invest in development of accommodation establishments. In 2000, the whole province had 12 hotels with 326 rooms and 621 beds. The province is now home to 194 accommodation establishments, 29 of which are hotels with 871 rooms) and 165 guest houses with 1,775 rooms) to serve tourists.
Due attention has been paid to provision of consultancy to development of resolutions, plans and projects so that appropriate orientation can be provided for each specific period and such direction harmonises with local and national development trend. The master plan for tourism development in the period of 2011-2020, orientation towards 2030 will guide tourism development in coming time following the spirit of the Resolution of the 17th provincial Party Congress in which tourism sector is identified to be one of three sectors to make breakthroughs in socio-economic development of the province.
What policies has Phu Tho promulgated in order to better exploit its tourism potentials in the time to come?
With a view to better promoting potentials for tourism development, beside state investment, our province has been enthusiastically invited and called for investment of other investors. In addition to preferential treatment offered by the State, investors are supported via the one-stop shop mechanism, policies on land usage, investment in infrastructure, infrastructure use fee, land filling fee and investment promotion services, etc. as regulated under Decision No. 2478/2009/QD -UBND issued by the Chairman of Phu Tho Provincial People’s Committee.
At the same time, Phu Tho has accelerated HR training in order to guarantee quality and quantity to meet development requirements of the sector. Efforts have been made to reform investment promotion activities, create favourable conditions for enterprises to access information of mechanism, policies and administrative procedures as well as enhance State administration of tourism.
In 2011, Phu Tho’s PCI ranked 27th out of63 provinces and cities (up 26 places). To keep improving its PCI, what solutions does Phu Tho need to implement?
It can be said that PCI is the mirror for provinces and cities to look at themselves and thereby put forth policies and solutions to overcome their limitations in management in order to enhance attractiveness of their investment environment. Thus, to further improve investment environment, it is necessary that a uniformed and effective action plan be available, and be implemented in a drastic and patient manner.
In immediate time, Phu Tho needs to analyse and evaluate its PCI in order to identify its strengths and weaknesses and thereby seek for solutions to overcome limitations. Boosting public administration reform will be the core activity. Advanced science and technology, Internet and ISO will be applied more and more to improve effectiveness in fulfillment of administrative procedures.
A “bottleneck” which needs tackling is to improve land access for enterprises and improve land use effectiveness. Phu Tho will implement the HR development strategy, focus on training and improve quality of training institutes as well as connect and assist enterprises in training and recruitment. What is of the most importance is the dynamism and leadership of local leaders, i.e determination of the administrative apparatus.
Unless mentioned above activities are implemented, can Phu Tho continue to maintain and improve its PCI and create the basis and determination for boosting rapid and sustainable socio-economic development.
Thank you very much!