In recent years, Long An province has become increasingly attractive to tourists with a significant increase in local tourism revenue. This success is resulted from the province’s efforts to change and improve tourism service quality to create momentum for Long An to become a tourist destination of southwest Vietnam.
Developing highly competitive, unique tourism products
Located in the southern key economic region, Long An is the bridge between Ho Chi Minh City and Mekong Delta provinces. It has Binh Hiep - Pray Vo International Border Gate with Cambodia. With that special strategic position, Long An plays a bridging role between two important economic regions in the south and has an important strategic position in trade and tourism.
In addition to the favourable location, Long An is endowed with many other conditions for tourism development such as tourism infrastructure and tourism resources. Specifically, tourism resources in Long An are quite diverse and abundant, including natural tourism resources (landscape, climate and ecosystem) and humanistic tourism resources (historical - cultural relics, traditional festivals). In particular, many valuable tourist resources such as landscape and biodiversity of Dong Thap Muoi wetland ecosystem, the scenery of the Vam Co Dong River and the Vam Co Tay River have been honoured in poetry. This is considered a strong point of Long An tourism that many localities do not have.
With such advantages, Long An has become an attractive destination for tourists. However, to strengthen the appeal of Long An tourism and make Long An tourism competitive not only in the region but also in the country, the province will focus on developing characteristic, competitive tourism products, for example, waterway travelling on the Vam Co River (Vam Co Dong and Vam Co Tay rivers) and typical ecotourism in Dong Thap Muoi. “Tourism development investment on the Vam Co River will enhance the identity and attractiveness of the province. And in the future, if properly researched and developed, waterway tourism on the Vam Co River will be an important tourism product of Long An province,” said Mr Nguyen Anh Dung, Director of the Long An Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
In the Dong Thap Muoi region, Long An province together with Dong Thap province and Tien Giang province share resources for developing tourism products here, he said. To develop these unique products, Long An should rely on three important tourist sites: Lang Sen Wetland Reserve, multifunctional cultural site in Tan Lap floating village, and Dong Thap Muoi Pharmaceutical Development and Conservation Research Centre. The multifunctional cultural site in Tan Lap Floating Village and the Lang Sen Wetland Reserve are two important components of Dong Thap Muoi ecotourism products of Long An province. They are not competitive but complementary to meet diverse ecotourism needs. The Dong Thap Muoi Pharmaceutical Development and Conservation Research Centre, once planned and invested well, will become a place of study, research, relaxation and disease remedy in Long An province.
Socialising tourism investment
To effectively exploit tourism potential, socialise tourism development, encourage and facilitate investors to engage in tourism business, on December 9, 2015, the Long An Provincial People’s Council issued Resolution 234/NQ-HDND on the list of socialised investment projects engaged in education, vocational training, health care, culture, sports and environment in the province in 2016. Then, on December 31, 2015, the Provincial People’s Committee issued Decision 5269/QD-UBND on the list of projects calling for socialised investment in 2016 and on August 29, 2016 promulgated Decision 3516/QD-UBND approving the list of projects calling for socialised investment in 2016. According to these two decisions, socialised tourism investment projects included the multifunctional cultural zone in Tan Lap floating village, Lang Sen multifunctional cultural zone, Don Rach Cat tourist site and historical revolutionary areas.
He said, since the province advocated socialising tourism investment, many investors have invested and operated many charming tourist sites. Specifically, Saigon Consulting and Investment Joint Stock Company is building a wildlife area in the 47.93-ha My Quynh Zoo project, expected for opening in April 2018. The 120.33-ha Tan My Golf Resort project invested by C.S.Q International Investment Joint Stock Company is expected for operation in April 2018.
The Provincial People’s Committee also approved Thap Muoi Tourism Co., Ltd to take on two tourism projects: Multifunctional Cultural Complex in Tan Lap Floating Village and Lang Sen Multifunctional Cultural Area. As for Don Rach Cat tourist spot, the province is asking for permit from the 7th Military Region Command for adjusting 25 ha of land to cultural service land for investment, restoration and conservation of this tourist site. As for the Long An revolutionary base relic, three companies are applying for investment permits and the province is guiding through procedures. In addition, the province has a Youth Forest Park approved by the Provincial People’s Committee for Long An Young Entrepreneurs Corporation.