Gia Lai is both a wild and majestic land and a prosperous and bustling destination of Central Highlands tourism. The province has made important changes to promote tourism activities. Nevertheless, given current realities, it has much to do to become an appealing tourism destination.
Prosperous land with rich tourism potential
From the heights of Pleiku City, the growth engine of Gia Lai, the city looks like a picture on the important transport axis running across the nation. With its rich natural resources and cultural identity, Gia Lai has huge potential for strong tourism development.
The climate in Pleiku City is divided into two distinct seasons: rainy season and dry season. The rainy season usually starts from May to October while the dry season is from November to April of the following year. The pinkish grass hills in Glar commune turn yellow. Fiery sunset dyes the grasslands into a brilliant hue. Getting lost here, visitors will never forget this beauty.
When visitors set foot in Pleiku, they often immediately think of “Pleiku eyes - Full Bien Ho Lake" song and Ialy Hydropower Plant - one of two hydropower plants in the country serving tourism development with marigold blooming on mountain slopes. Besides, Gia Lai has many tourist sites such as Kon Ka Kinh National Park which was already recognised as an ASEAN Heritage with diverse fauna and flora, pristine Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve, and Tay Son Martial Complex.
Especially, Gia Lai preserves distinctive cultures, including the Cultural Space of Gong in the Central Highlands which was recognised by UNESCO as the Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The cultural identity of indigenous ethnic minorities is reflected in the architecture of stilt houses, communal houses or nha rong, tombs, traditional festivals, musical instruments, epics, and ancient tales composed by the Gia Rai and Ba Na peoples. In addition, many ecotourism sites are associated with majestic nature, cultural relics, and historical sites blessed with a plenty of indigenous products and items used for consumption or presentation such as pepper, coffee and honey.
Coming to Gia Lai these days, visitors will be surely amazed by the spectacular beauty of blooming marigold at the foot of Chu Dang Ya Volcano. Chu Dang Ya is one of three symbols of Gia Lai province, which was voted by Vietkings - the Vietnam Record Organisation - as the most attractive destination of the Top 10 destinations in Gia Lai province in 2017. Visitors will experience cultural activities and customs of indigenous peoples such as cross-bow shooting, gong performance, Chu Dang Ya Mountain climbing and water drop worshipping ritual.
Gia Lai province targets to receive 400,000 visitors by 2020, including 15,000 foreign tourists and 385,000 domestic visitors, and rake in VND400 billion of tourism revenue. The tourism growth will stay at 15-18 per cent per year and the tourism industry will employ 2,000 workers. Gia Lai will be an important tourist site of the Vietnam - Laos - Cambodia Development Triangle Area.
Mr Nguyen Duc Hoang, Deputy Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Gia Lai, said, "We have long only focused on developing tourism on Western Truong Son Mountain Range, and we are now developing on the East Truong Son Mountain Range. We have a cooperation programmes with Quy Nhon, Binh Dinh to organise tours into forests as well as down to the sea. We hope that these tours will be good choices for tourists since they can land on Quy Nhon Airport and travel to Eastern Truong Son, then to Pleiku City and end the tour at Pleiku Airport. I hope that this will be a new typical product for further Gia Lai tourism development.
In order to achieve effective cooperation in general development plans, concerned agencies and units, especially localities with rich tourism potential, necessarily define their specific tasks of introducing local tourism images, attracting investors and attracting tourists. Then, they can raise the awareness of people, businesses and communities in building and protecting the image and environment, thus contributing to overall tourism development.
Mr Nguyen Van Dung, Vice Chairman of Kbang District People’s Committee, said, “Investors, businesses, authorities and people in the district are working together to repair waterfalls or roads into experimental forests and revolutionary bases to draw tourists to Kbang district, and develop tourism and other services as well. Overall, this will help develop the local economy.”
Gia Lai tourism in particular and Central Highlands tourism in general are developing. In addition to available resources, Gia Lai is focusing on developing tourism human resources to improve its safe and friendly tourism image with tourists.