Kon Tum Turning Tourism into Economic Spearhead

11:00:10 AM | 7/2/2023

Kon Tum is known as a locality that has rich and unique tourism resources, with specific factors of topography, soil, climate and many special traditional cultural values. The province aims to develop tourism into a spearhead economic sector, in association with protecting natural resources, well solving the problem of employment and social security.

A corner of Mang Den town

Great potential

Located in the North Central Highlands, Kon Tum is blessed with beautiful landscapes. Kon Tum includes Mang Den town, Kon Plong district, which is dubbed the "second Da Lat", at an altitude of 1,200m above sea level. Mang Den is likened to the "muse" of the Central Highlands region with a cool and mild climate all year round. Mang Den is also surrounded by primitive forests so the natural landscape is both majestic and poetic. In addition, Kon Tum owns many beautiful spots, dubbed "gold mines" for the province to develop eco-tourism, experience or adventure sports tourism, such as Chu Mom Ray National Park with a diverse and unique ecosystem, Ngoc Linh Nature Reserve with a species of ginseng that is recorded in the Red Book, Dak Uy special-use forest, Pa Sy waterfall, Dak Ke lake, Dak To and Dak Lung hot springs, Yaly lake, and Dak Bla tourist area.

Kon Tum is also a land of long-established history with a heroic revolutionary tradition, and still preserves many traditional cultural values of ethnic minorities. Kon Tum is home to 7 indigenous ethnic groups that have formed a rich cultural heritage system, both tangible and intangible, deeply imbued with unique local cultural identities of minority ethnic groups, expressed in forms of culture of customary law, culture of residence, festivals, all kinds of traditional folk art, cuisine, costumes, language - writing.

The reservoir of the Plei Krong hydropower plant

The Space of Gong Culture in Central Highlands, which has been recognized by UNESCO as a "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity", is a favorable condition to develop community-based tourism, in order to bring practical benefits, both physically and mentally, to people, social communities, contributing to the preservation and promotion of traditional cultural values.

Kon Tum currently has 23 ranked monuments, of which historical and revolutionary relics ranked at the national level such as Kon Tum Prison Historical Relic (Kon Tum City), Dak Glei Prison Historical Relic (Dak Glei district); Dak To - Tan Canh Victory Historical Relic (Dak To district), Plei Kan Victory Historical Relic (Ngoc Hoi district) help tourists learn about the Central Highlands battlefield as well as the fighting traditions of ethnic groups. Religious buildings with unique architecture and art, such as Kon Tum Wooden Church and Bishop of Kon Tum's Building, are also attractive destinations for many tourists.

In addition, Kon Tum shares the border with two countries of Laos and Cambodia, with 1 international border gate and 2 auxiliary border gates for trade with Laos. Especially, at the Bo Y International Border Gate Economic Zone, there is a landmark where the borders of the three neighboring countries Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia meet, at the junction of Indochina. This is a very favorable condition to maximize the potential and benefits in tourism development in Kon Tum province, connecting tourism between the Central Highlands provinces and provinces of Southern Laos, Northeast Thailand and Cambodia.

Pa Sy Waterfall is a popular destination in Mang Den eco-tourism area

Solution for Kon Tum tourism development

To develop tourism, Kon Tum province has implemented many measures, specifically focusing on investing in the synchronous development of high-quality tourism infrastructure, attracting many strategic investors. Thereby, high-class complex tourist service areas, shopping centers of large reputable domestic corporations are formed, fundamentally changing the urban appearance and tourism industry of Kon Tum city.

Currently, Kon Tum province has 153 tourist accommodation establishments with a total of 2,183 rooms. Room occupancy has steadily increased by 65-75% over the years. Kon Tum province has recognized 10 province-based tourist attractions, of which Kon Plong district has 6 sites; Dak Ha district has 1 site and Kon Tum city has 3 sites. Some outstanding tourism products have been well built and maintained by the province such as eco-tourism, community-based tourism, cultural-historical tourism; and cultural-spiritual tourism. The number of tourists and social income from tourism are increasing. The total number of visitors in the period 2011-2015 reached 985,284 arrivals (international visitors reached 331,186 arrivals; domestic visitors reached 654,098 arrivals); total visitors in the period 2016-2020 reached 1,808,353 arrivals (of which international visitors reached 645,130 arrivals, domestic visitors reached 1,163,223 arrivals). Average tourism revenue is over VND200 billion per year.

In 2021, Kon Tum province issues a list of projects attracting investment into the province in the period of 2021-2025, in which 47 projects involve the tourism service. The province gives priority to promoting investment attraction projects in areas with potential for tourism development such as: Bo Y International Border Gate Economic Zone, Ngoc Hoi district, Mang Den town, Kon Plong district, Kon Ray district, Tu Mo Rong district. Prioritizing the development of eco-tourism, vacation; experience and discovery tourism; cultural and community tourism; tourism conferences, seminars, exhibitions, events, sports resorts, amusement parks, entertainment, moving towards the goal of completing the green tourism ecosystem according to the value chain.

The 16th Provincial Party Congress determined that "strengthening tourism development with many types of tourism model” is one of three breakthrough areas in the 2020-2025 term. With a view that development is to exploit the diverse potentials and advantages of local tourism in association with protecting sustainable resources, well solving problems of labor, employment and social security; guaranteeing national defense, security, social order and safety in the area, the Provincial Party Committee issued Resolution 12-NQ/TU giving its views and goals for tourism development to 2025, with orientation to 2030. Accordingly, the province aims to turn the tourism industry into a professional service economy, rich in identity, increasingly competitive in the country, connected and promoting other industries and fields to develop together, making important contributions to socio-economic development.

On that basis, Kon Tum province continues to invest and attract investment in transportation infrastructure and tourism infrastructure projects, meeting the increasing demands of tourists. Kon Tum province continues to promote vocational training and fostering to improve the quality of human resources in tourism; enhance promotional activities, cooperate in tourism development at home and abroad; improve quality and develop tourism products, prioritize specific tourism products with their own identity; develop tourism in association with protecting natural resources, landscapes and environment; and expand and develop markets.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum