Developing Chu Mom Ray National Park into Attractive and Distinctive Tourist Destination

10:10:19 AM | 8/2/2023

Being resolute to build Chu Mom Ray National Park into an attractive tourist destination, imbued with its own identity, Kon Tum province launched a project on eco-tourism, resort and entertainment development in Chu Mom Ray National Park in the 2021-2030 period to lay the groundwork for investment attraction. Mr. Dao Xuan Thuy, Director of the Management Board of Chu Mom Ray National Park, said that the management board is currently actively coordinating with relevant agencies and localities, especially with people, enterprises and investors, to effectively implement the project.

Could you introduce the features of Chu Mom Ray National Park that make it attractive to tourists, businesses and investors of tourism?

Chu Mom Ray National Park covers over 56,000 ha in Sa Thay and Ngoc Hoi districts, adjacent to Virachey National Park of Cambodia and Southeast Ghong Nature Reserve of Laos. The forestland of this area is about 700,000 ha, forming a large transnational protected area of particular importance to biodiversity conservation in Indochina and Southeast Asia.

In 2004, with the value of biodiversity and genetic resources of rare animals and plants, Chu Mom Ray National Park was recognized as an ASEAN Heritage Park by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Rich resources here are not only important for biodiversity conservation, but are also considered a potential tourism resource.

With altitude ranging from 200m to 1,773m above sea level, Chu Mom Ray National Park has a diverse topographic structure with many large and small rivers and streams to form a unique natural landscape suitable for ecotourism development, adventure climbing, sightseeing for tourists and scientific research. Besides, with the influence of the tropical monsoon climate of the northernmost Central Highlands, the park has a very diverse and rich ecosystem with 12 typical forest types of the Kon Tum Plateau. In the dry season, visitors can walk and camp in the giant crepe-myrtle forest and dipterocarp forest. The rainy season is an opportunity to attract herbivorous ungulates and migratory birds to large grasslands (Ya Book Valley in Chu Mom Ray is the largest grassland in Vietnam). This is an advantage to develop bird-watching and night animal-watching tourism.

According to statistics, Chu Mom Ray National Park is home to 1,895 species of plants, including more than 140 endemic and rare species like tracwood, rosemary, camellia, ca-te (afzelia xylocarpa), mahogany, nageia fleuryi and cypress recorded in the Red Books of Vietnam and the world. This is also the habitat for 1,001 animal species, including 120 endangered, precious and rare species recorded in the Red Books of Vietnam and the world, such as gaur, bison, wild buffalo, tiger, leopard, douc langur and many rare birds.

Chu Mom Ray National Park also advantageously has a unique natural landscape with many beautiful waterfalls such as Bay Tang Waterfall, Chang Waterfall and Bere Y Waterfall; primeval forests such as giant crepe-myrtle forest and resin tree forest. Surrounding the park (buffer zone) is a system of famous historical and archaeological sites such as High Point 1015 (Charlie), High Point 1049 (Delta), Chu Tan Kra Memorial Area and Lung Leng Archaeological Site in Sa Binh commune. The park is also home to about 20 ethnic groups, including the two smallest ethnic groups among 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam: Ro Mam (in Mo Rai commune) and B' Rau (in Bo Y commune). With the cultural diversity of ethnic minorities, it is likely to develop cultural tourism, community tourism combined with ecotourism.

Determined to turn Chu Mom Ray National Park into an attractive tourist destination, the Kon Tum Provincial People's Committee approved the eco-tourism, resort and entertainment development project in Chu Mom Ray National Park in the 2021 - 2030 period. Would you be kind enough to tell us more about this project?

On August 1, 2022, the Kon Tum Provincial People's Committee issued Decision 476/QD-UBND approving the eco-tourism, resort and entertainment development project in Chu Mom Ray National Park in the 2021 - 2030 period. The project's objectives are “Building Chu Mom Ray National Park into an attractive, professional tourist destination with diverse tourism products, imbued with its own identity; creating a sustainable source of income for Chu Mom Ray National Park as well as contributing to local economic restructuring, raising incomes and improving people's lives”.

The project clearly states that, in 2021 - 2030, it will focus on investment and development of tourist attractions, including the center for biodiversity conservation and eco-tourism (Sa Son commune, Sa Thay district), Dak Kan dipterocarp forest (Dak Kan commune, Ngoc Hoi district) and Safari Ya Book tourist site (Ro Koi commune, Sa Thay district). At the same time, it will launch ecotourism routes combined with community tourism and historical sites; and tours to explore the National Park with Bo Y International Border Gate.

Regarding resources for implementation, the project adopted a key solution of attracting resources for tourism development, especially from investors, businesses as well as joint ventures and associations with the national park to develop tourism. In particular, the solution for investors and businesses to rent the forest environment for tourism investment in combination with forest protection and development and natural resource conservation is of our strong concern and expected to be launched in the near future.

To effectively implement the project, what key solutions will the Management Board adopt in the coming time?

We will utilize all potential resources and strengths of biodiversity and primary forest ecosystems of Chu Mom Ray National Park to develop eco-tourism, resort and entertainment. We will develop sustainable tourism, coupled with the preservation and promotion of national cultural values to bring benefits to local communities; preserve the landscape, protect the environment, effectively respond to climate change and ensure national defense - security, social order and safety. Besides, we will focus on tourism development, build brands and strengthen cooperation with neighboring areas inside and outside the province to tap tourism potential.

In the coming time, we will concentrate on carrying out forest management and protection and nature conservation to enrich biodiversity and create better discovery tourism and experiential tourism. We will effectively advertise tourism and attract organizations, individuals and businesses to invest in tourism development in the national park. We will build harmonious, favorable and mutually beneficial cooperation mechanisms to attract investors; focus on international cooperation, and call for investment from international aid sources to create investment sources for tourism.

Chu Mom Ray National Park, 30km north of Kon Tum City, is one of the 10 ASEAN heritage parks of Vietnam, one of three heritage parks with the largest area and the highest biodiversity in the country.

In addition, we will continue to work closely with Sa Thay and Ngoc Hoi districts to carry out community tourism training and skills training in tourism business for local people; seriously implement laws on tourism development; and strictly abide by directions of the Party and local authorities in tourism development in the area.

Thank you very much!

Source: Vietnam Business Forum