3:53:46 PM | 18/11/2015
Ca Mau province is hugely rich in ecological tourism development. With Ca Mau Cape, the southernmost tip of the nation and the legendary U Minh Forest, the tourism sector of Ca Mau province has seen stable and effective development in recent years. Vietnam Business Forum Magazine has an interview with Mr Duong Huynh Khai, Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Ca Mau Province. My Chau reports.
How has ecological tourism been tapped by Ca Mau province?
Ecotourism resources of Ca Mau province are abundant and diverse. The province is home to two national parks, Ca Mau Cape and U Minh Ha which are recognised as world biosphere reserves for their unique ecosystems. Especially, Ca Mau Cape is the southernmost tip of the country. Most forests are primitive with a lot of rare plant and animal species such as python, snake and turtle. Specifically, Ca Mau Cape and U Minh Ha National Parks are certified world biosphere reserves by the UNESCO and most recently Ca Mau Cape is named a Ramsar site by the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention. This will be a potential ecotourism attraction in Ca Mau province in the future.
As the southernmost point of the country together with two specific forest ecosystems, Ca Mau province has made a lot of effort to develop tourism. Its tourism products and services have substantially improved in quality and quantity. Some tourism sites have been brought into operation with a variety of services. Currently, the province is cooperating with central authorities and other localities in the region to build ecotourism - agriculture models, build plans to restore and develop typical Ca Mau Cape tourism products, and mangrove forest ecotourism products to attract more tourists to the province.
It is quite clear that, in the Mekong Delta region, not only Ca Mau but many localities in the region like Tien Giang, Ben Tre and Dong Thap have potential and advantages for ecotourism development. How has Ca Mau province built up its unique points and characteristics in ecotourism to attract more tourists?
To develop ecotourism into a potential vital service sector, the province has based on its unique conditions and characteristics to develop ecotourism.
Regarding tourism resources, as the southernmost tip of the country, with particular mangrove forest ecosystems and many canals, Ca Mau thus possesses unique high-value tourism resources, including Ca Mau Cape, national parks, biosphere reserves, Ramsar sites, canals and popular Uncle Ba Phi legends. In addition, coastal mangrove forest systems and biodiversity values will be increasingly valuable after 2020. This diverse tourism potential is one of important special strengths of Ca Mau tourism sector that other Mekong Delta provinces do not have.
With the diversity of tourism resources, including many unique resources, Ca Mau can absolutely develop distinctive tourism products in the region. This will create the sole attractiveness of Ca Mau tourism.
Besides, in tourism development, destination image is an important factor to draw tourists. Ca Mau Cape and vast mangrove forests are exceptional and appealing images of Ca Mau. This is a very important strength in tourism development.
To develop ecotourism and make Ca Mau a charming destination in the Mekong Delta on the regional and global tourism map, what policies and measures has the province’s tourism sector taken?
Ca Mau province approved the master plan for tourism development through 2020, with an eye to 2030. Particularly, in the tourism planning scheme of the nation adopted by central authorities, Ca Mau is in the heart of regional tourism clusters comprising Kien Giang, Can Tho, An Giang, Bac Lieu and others. This is a plus for tourism development.
To make Ca Mau an attractive tourist destination in the future, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism planned to coordinate with other relevant agencies to further accelerate information and communication to raise public awareness about environmental protection and biosphere reserve protection together with building forms of restoring and developing specific tourism products in biosphere reserves. The province has focused on advising relevant authorities to remove obstacles to facilitate investors to invest in developing tourism products and support local people to participate in tourism activities. Currently, the local infrastructure system, especially transportation infrastructure, is receiving urgent investment.
The province has also implemented ecotourism human resource training and development support policies to increase investment and restore natural landscapes and ecosystems affected by human impacts. It has effectively consolidated and expanded the domestic market and approached international markets; carried out theme-based communication programmes and combined sports, cultural and conferences with tourism; attended and attended domestic and international tourism fairs, exhibitions and conferences to introduce Ca Mau province’s tourism potential.
Currently, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has opened an affiliated website to the website of the Ca Mau Provincial People’s Committee (www.camau.gov.vn/dulich
) where all information about Ca Mau tourism like tourist destinations, tour schedules and contents, hotels, restaurants are updated to help domestic and international tourists to grasp necessary useful information for their visits to Ca Mau.