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Last updated: Monday, September 25, 2017

 

Constantly Diversifying and Improving Tourism Product Quality

Posted: Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Endowed with a diverse, distinctive ecosystem together with the presence of many ethnic groups, Soc Trang can potentially develop diversified tourism models. To help the tourism sector fly, on August 2, 2016, the Soc Trang Provincial Party Committee issued Resolution 05-NQ/TU of the Provincial Party Executive Committee on Soc Trang tourism development to 2020, with a vision to 2025, with the goal of turning tourism into an important economic sector of the province in 2020. The following interview with Mr Trinh Cong Ly, Director of Tourism Promotion Centre and Chairman of Soc Trang Tourism Association, expands on this issue. Hoang Lam reports.

Could you introduce the advantages of Soc Trang tourism? How has the provincial tourism industry effectively tapped these potential advantages?
Distinctive tourism strengths of Soc Trang province are spiritual tourism, cultural tourism and festival tourism in combination with preserving and developing national cultural identity. Therefore, in recent years, improving tourism product quality is a way for the province to maintain its brand and attract more tourists.
In addition, Soc Trang has paid attention to preserving and promoting unique cultural values of the Kinh, Khmer and Hoa ethnic groups; composed cultural and artistic performances of the three ethnic groups featured with creativity, flexibility, attractiveness and reasonable prices to attract and retain visitors. The province has been keen on preserving and promoting intangible cultural heritage values such as theatrical art of Ro Bam and Du Ke, classical and folk dances of the Khmer and Hoa peoples to create appealing tourism products.

Tourism infrastructure has been improved. Many companies have boldly invested in expanding infrastructure and improving infrastructure quality in all aspects. Many new tourist attractions are put into operation such as Ho Nuoc Ngot Culture Exhibition Centre, Doi Temple Tourist Site, Tan Hue Vien Tourist Site and Dat Set Pagoda. The province has also placed an emphasis on creating garden-based tourism products and organised famtrips to tourist gardens to introduce homestay experiences, with popular destinations being orange gardens and tangerine gardens in Hung Phu commune (My Tu) and My Phuoc Islet where a garden and water-based festival is held on the fourth and fifth days of the fifth lunar month. To create favourable conditions for households to develop community tourism, the Soc Trang tourism industry formed and launched the first tourism cooperative group on My Phuoc Islet. To date, the cooperative has welcomed about 3,560 visitors and earned VND335 million of revenue. Facilities have been upgraded to provide better experiences for tourists when they go sightseeing and buying local fruits.

Thus, more tourists are arriving in Soc Trang province. In 2016, it welcomed 1,133,358 tourists, 7 per cent higher than the annual plan and 6 per cent higher than in 2015. Tourism revenue valued VND460.336 billion, 5 per cent above the full-year plan.

Would you introduce the remarkable tourism development cooperation programmes of the province?
In recent years, tourism development cooperation between Soc Trang with Mekong Delta provinces and others in the country has positively progressed. With its attendance to trade fairs, conferences, cultural and tourism weeks, and website affiliations, the Tourism Promotion Centre and tourism and travel companies of Soc Trang province have established business ties with partners in other localities to introduce tourism potential, advantages, destinations, cultures, festivals and specialties in a bid to draw more tourists to Soc Trang. Recently, Soc Trang joined the West Mekong Delta Tourism Development Cooperation Complex and became a member of the Mekong PC Club. This is an advantage for the province to confirm its roles in tourism development cooperation with other provinces in the region through various activities such as participation in trade fairs, festivals, seminars and website affiliations and to bring Soc Trang tourism to integrate more deeply into the world.

In the coming time, the province will continue to improve cooperation quality, create and upgrade distinctive tourism products, set up new interesting unique tours to attract more tourists to Soc Trang province in particular and the Mekong Delta region in general. To promote cooperation effectiveness, the province will regularly meet, listen and establish cooperation among enterprises to tackle emerging hardships facilitate their operations. Specially, the province will have solutions to attract investors and travel companies to bring tourists to Soc Trang, particularly during local traditional festivals like Ooc Om Boc Festival - a boat racing scheduled to be held from October 28 to November 3, 2017 in Soc Trang City.

Could you please tell us more about the province’s tourism investment attraction efforts?
In the past years, Soc Trang province has actively called investors to invest in key tourism projects such as Ho Be ecological tourism site, Mo O ecological tourism site, Song Phung ecological tourism site, and Tran De (Soc Trang) - Con Dao (Ba Ria - Vung Tau) high-speed tourism cruise route. And, some investors decided to apply for investment projects but they failed to meet requirements. As a result, the province continues to seek new investment sources for those projects.

At the beginning of 2017, Tran De - Con Dao cruise route, invested by Superdong Fast Ferry Kien Giang Joint Stock Company, was licensed for commencement by the Soc Trang Provincial People’s Committee on July 14, 2017. The company already operated the first cruise on the route. Gieng Tien project (Phu Tan commune) is being prepared for deployment by the investor. Song Phung 3 project has also been registered by some investors and the Provincial People's Committee is considering. It is hoped that new tourism projects of Soc Trang province will be an opportunity for investors to tap local tourism potential in a sustainable manner. Tourism projects and tourism potential of Soc Trang are always available to investors.

Resolution 05-NQ/TU of the Provincial Party Committee on Soc Trang tourism development to 2020, with a vision to 2025, set the goals of tourist arrivals increasing 7 per cent per year on average, and tourism revenue rising 20 per cent. What solutions will the tourism industry focus on to accomplish these goals?
Based on the Resolution, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism drafted Plan 384/KH-SVHTTDL and carried out Action Programme 06/CTr-UBND dated December 12, 2016 on Soc Trang tourism development to 2020, with an eye to 2025, to work out specific solutions to this effect. Accordingly, the tourism industry will focus on improving existing tourist sites, build a project on restoration and embellishment of cultural and historical relics and celebrities, and preserve and promote traditional arts in service of tourist development. The sector will develop ecological tourism based on gardens on islands on the Hau River and in Cu Lao Dung and Ke Sach districts. It will coordinate with the SME Association to develop three tourism complexes (Soc Trang City, Nga Nam floating market and Cu Lao Dung); enhance the quality of My Phuoc Island Tourism Complex (Ke Sach district) and construct a new tourism complex in Long Hung - My Phu (My Tu district).

In addition, the tourism industry will jointly raise the quality of festivals and build new tourism products such as countryside festival (Ke Sach), Thac Con Festival (Chau Thanh), Tan Long Stork Sanctuary (Nga Nam). It will also step up training and enhance human resources quality.

With the above-mentioned decisive solutions, I believe that Soc Trang tourism will make strong progress, attract more and more domestic and foreign tourists to experience and explore interesting discoveries in the province.








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