On January 15, 2015, the People's Committee of Dong Thap Province issued the project on the development of tourism in Dong Thap province in the period of 2015 - 2020 (scheme). Up to now, after more than 2 years of implementation of the project, Dong Thap tourism has made remarkable changes and attracted more and more tourists.
Multi-hit tourist paintings
According to Mr Nguyen Ngoc Thuong, Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Dong Thap, although the tourism development project in Dong Thap has been implemented for just 2 years, the efficiency has been achieved satisfactorily. By identifying the right direction and positioning of tourism images, focusing on specific products based on the strength of each zone and key tourist spots, Dong Thap tourism has created its own mark, drawing the attention of the media and the response of visitors at home and abroad.
Growth in tourism revenue is relatively positive. In 2016, Dong Thap tourism welcomed and served 2,663,050 visitors, increasing 17.45 percent over the same period in 2015 (including 68,714 international visitors, up 54.53 percent); Total tourism revenue reached 487.78 billion, up 9.8 percent over the same period in 2015. Dong Thap tourism ranked first among the eastern 6 Mekong Delta provinces.
To meet the needs of visitors, the route leads to the key tourist attractions of the province, such as Go Thap Relic Site, Xeo Quyt Relic Site, Nguyen Sinh Sac Relic Site, Tram Chim National Park, and Sa Dec art flowers village. The province has 73 accommodation establishments with 1,362 rooms, of which 40 are classified as tourist accommodations.
From the point of exploitation based on available resources, the tourist sites have added products and services to serve the needs of visitors. From 2015, when the project was implemented, the tourist sites and areas have simultaneously embellished the landscape and built new products and services according to the specific strengths of each unit, The Xeo Quyt relic has developed according to the theme of "preserving history - preserving the soul" and the collection of lilies; Gao Giong eco-tourism (KDL) eco-tourism area has developed into a countryside food village and bamboo collection; Tram Chim National Park has developed into a bird park with a bird egg museum and displayed freshwater fish and water season experiments. The province has also developed many new tourism products such as, Phuong Nam, known as a local tourist destination, and put into operation seven tourist attractions, initially attracting a large number of domestic and foreign tourists.
More drawing power
However, over the two years of implementing the project, besides the achievements, Dong Thap tourism still faced many difficulties: the progress of implementation of investment items under the Scheme is still slow; the investment capital for the development of high quality products and services is very limited; the tourism products are still rudimentary and duplicated; the service quality is not stable; the skill of tourism workers does not meet the demand for quality service; the investment funding for tourism development is limited; and the level of community participation in tourism is low, mainly spontaneous.
To step by step overcome these difficulties, aiming to build Dong Thap into one of the three most attractive destinations in the Mekong Delta by 2020, as set out in the provincial Tourism Development Plan for 2015-2020, the tourism industry will focus on renovating its direction and operation in an active and positive manner; and improving the efficiency of specialized state management. Particularly, the People's Committee is advised on policies, start-ups in the field of tourism to create good conditions for businesses and households to effectively do business in tourism. Besides, the department collaborates with the consulting units to deepen the characteristics of particular tourism products, coupled with the experiential activities of each themed location.
To diversify tourist products for tourists, Dong Thap focuses on developing community-based tourism in Sa Dec Village, Tan Thuan Dong, Lai Vung, Thap Muoi, Dinh Yen mats, Chau Thanh pottery bricks and the investment in infrastructure works for tourism; calling for and attracting social resources to invest in, upgrade and build new amusement parks for visitors at relics and key tourist spots, thereby creating one big picture of Dong Thap tourism, not duplicating other localities.
Mr Nguyen Ngoc Thuong said that the province will also strengthen the training and fostering of human resources to serve tourism in the direction of professionalism and identity, and continue to link with provinces, cities, tour operators, domestic and foreign tour operators to promote road and waterway tours to Dong Thap. At the same time, the province is interested in improving the tourism environment; ensuring security and safety for tourists; listing prices and selling products at the right prices listed, and visualizing the codes of conduct in tourism activities to raise awareness for tourists and people.