Tapping Potential Advantages to Sustain Tourism Development

10:59:17 AM | 12/5/2023

As the gateway that connects the Southeast with the Mekong Delta, lying adjacent to Ho Chi Minh City, Long An is endowed with many favorable conditions in economic development, cultural exchange and tourism connection. By preserving, upholding and promoting cultural and historical values and unlocking potential strengths, the province’s tourism industry has increasingly developed, expected to become a key economic sector in the future.

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Exploiting potential strengths

The Mekong Delta province of Long An possesses a lot of potential resources for tourism development, especially natural tourism based on landscape values and typical biodiversity of Dong Thap Muoi wetland and Vam Co River system. Besides, the province has many famous handicraft industries, folklore festivals and biodiversity with plant and animal species. Especially, adjoining Ho Chi Minh City, Long An has favorable conditions to become a satellite tourist destination for the largest tourist hub of the nation thanks to its various tourism types like eco-tourism, entertainment tourism, weekend leisure and rural tourism.

In addition, Long An attracts tourists because of humanistic values of the Oc Eo culture, which was formed and developed in the Mekong Delta from the 1st to 6th centuries. This province is famous for revolutionary, cultural and historical traditions with 125 historical and cultural relics, architectures, arts, scenic spots and archaeological works, including 21 nationally recognized relics and 104 provincially recognized relics.

In particular, Long An is very well-known for its distinctive dishes such as sour soup with fish, grilled snakehead fish, fish braised in coconut water, fish sauce in hot pot, Nang Thom fragrant rice at Dao market and Go Den spirits.  Each specialty is imbued with local characteristics.

Over the past time, the province has constantly improved the quality of tourism services. The average tourism growth is over 20% annually. In 2022, Long An attracted 650,000 visitors, an increase of 88% over 2021 and 54% higher than the plan. The province will strive to welcome about 3.6 million domestic tourists and 130,000 international tourists by 2025 and make US$150 million in tourism revenue.

Toward sustainable tourism development

According to the master plan for Mekong Delta tourism development to 2020, with a vision to 2030, Long An province is located in the eastern tourism space of the region where locally typical tourism products will be focused for development, including river discovery, garden tourism, sightseeing handicraft villages and historical and cultural relics.

Currently, the province is focusing on developing three main categories of tourism products: Typical tourism products like ecotourism in the Dong Thap Muoi wetland region; main tourism products created from the combination of specific tourism products; and supporting tourism products like socialized investment in services, goods and souvenirs for tourists.

Mr. Nguyen Anh Dung, Director of the Long An Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said: In the coming time, to promote and upgrade Long An tourism as per its approved development plan, the province will carry out consistent solutions on mechanisms, policies, management, investment and markets.

Focused solutions include reviewing and speeding up implementation of detailed tourism plans and approved projects; concentrating investment funds in a synchronous and focused manner to stimulate socialized tourism development investment.

Moreover, the province will boost the promotion, communication, branding and image of Long An tourism under the theme of Vam Co River tourism and entertainment paradise. It will diversify forms of communication to domestic and foreign markets; and build tourism information centers in key destinations and markets.

Long An province will improve the quality of human resources, review and foster training and attract human resources. In the near term, priority will be given to recruiting, training and fostering tour guides at major historical, cultural and revolutionary sites.

Long An province is speeding up investment in river tourism on Vam Co Dong and Vam Co Tay river systems, from Tay Ninh province stretching down to Long An province's districts of Duc Hue, Duc Hoa and Ben Luc to Can Giuoc and Can Duoc rivers. The province also further plans, manages and implements plans to capitalize on local strengths, natural conditions, and historical and cultural relics to make highlights for key tourism projects. 

The province will expand and strengthen cooperation in tourism development with localities across the country; reinforce cooperation and facilitate corporations to invest in tourism development; and regularly work with businesses and investors to help them deal with their hardships.

In particular, towards sustainable development, the province will closely coordinate general environmental protection with the tourism environment. It will have a mechanism for encouraging scientific and technological application to environmental protection and brace up domestic and international cooperation in research and technology transfer for environmental protection.

By Hoai Nam, Vietnam Business Forum