Binh Phuoc Constantly Enhancing Tourism Appeal

5:08:12 PM | 6/14/2016

The Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People’s Committee of Binh Phuoc have devoted much attention and investment to tourism development in all aspects, such as infrastructure, human resources, product and service development, and investment attraction. Therefore, distinctive tourism advantages of Binh Phuoc province have been gradually tapped to open up enormous opportunities of socioeconomic development for the province. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Nguyen Tuan, Director of Binh Phuoc Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Nhat Minh reports.
Binh Phuoc is endowed with rich and diverse tourism potential, in both natural and human resources with distinctive identities. Could you please tell us more about these advantages?
Lying in the transitional zone from the southern central region to the southwest region, the natural landscape and ecological environment of Binh Phuoc province are relatively diverse and abundant to form enchanting tourist sites such as Trang Co Bau Lach, Ba Ra Mountain, Bu Gia Map National Park. The province also has other famous historical sites like B2 Ta Khiet Commander Base, Quang Loc VK98 Petroleum Depot, and S`Tieng Bom Bo National Culture Preservation Area, which are very appealing to tourists interested in exploring indigenous values. As Binh Phuoc is home to 41 ethnic groups, cultural festivals of ethnic minorities in mountainous areas are unique and fascinating to tourists because they are primitive and not spoiled by modern life. Sharing a borderline with Cambodia, Binh Phuoc can easily access tourism markets in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia via its Hoa Lu International Border Gate. These tourist markets have relatively strong growth rates in recent years. Tourists from these markets are keen on caravan tourism to Vietnam.
The Binh Phuoc Tourism Development Master Plan for the 2010 - 2015 period, with a vision to 2020, issued by the Provincial People’s Committee according to Decision 414/QD-UBND dated February 23, 2011, underlined three typical tourism products of Binh Phuoc, including ecotourism in association with cultural tourism and border gate trade; weekend travel in association with leisure and caravan tourism, and adventure tourism. To develop these characteristic products, the tourism industry will advise the Provincial People’s Committee to exploit local tourism routes in a separate manner. Specifically, the tourism route along National Road 14 will focus on completing and operating S`Tieng Bom Bo National Culture Preservation Area and the tourism route along Provincial Road 741 is calling investors to develop leisure tourism in Ba Ra Mountain. Particularly, the province will develop tourism in association with cross-border trade and caravan service, call for investment in recreational entertaining services in Hoa Lu Border Gate Economic Zone, and carry out the Ta Thiet historical tourism site in combination with ecological tourism to tap tourism potential on the Trans-Asia Road which runs through Hoa Lu International Border Gate.
Developing a sustainable tourism sector requires the following issues: human investment, tourism infrastructure development - particularly transport infrastructure, and a healthy tourism business environment. So, how has the tourism sector of Binh Phuoc province focused on these issues?
Tourism human resources development investment is a special concern of Binh Phuoc tourism sector. We regularly collaborate with tourism schools in Ho Chi Minh City to open professional training courses for tourism workers in order to improve service quality for visitors.
Regarding tourism transport infrastructure, the province currently has three main routes, including National Road 13, National Road 14 and Provincial Road 741, running across the province and linking tourist attractions and routes in the province. Binh Phuoc has invested and upgraded these routes to facilitate investors and tourists to reach places of interest in the province.
To strengthen State management over tourism business environment in tourism sites and routes, we advised the Provincial People’s Committee to issue Directive 19/CT-UBND dated November 7, 2013, aiming to educate the public to raise the awareness of improving tourism environment, intensify regular or irregular inspections, coordinate the organisation of cultural, sport and tourism events, and publicly quote tourism service prices.
In addition to unlocking its existing potential and advantages, how has the province cooperated with other localities, particularly major cities like Ho Chi Minh City, to better develop its tourism?
Apart from exploiting available potential and advantages, the province attaches great importance to developing tourism cooperation with other localities in the region, particularly Ho Chi Minh City - the largest tourism market of the nation. Given the importance of HCM City to its tourism development, Binh Phuoc signed cooperation programmes on tourism development with the city in order to boost cooperation and support in human resources training and development, tourism promotion, and investment attraction. As a result, hundreds of trainees in Binh Phuoc province have been trained by tourism schools in Ho Chi Minh City and dozens of tourism companies have explored and brought their customers to the province. Moreover, many tourism companies in HCM City have also come to explore opportunities of tourism development investment in Binh Phuoc.
Could you please briefly introduce tourism development orientations of Binh Phuoc province in the coming time? How has the province utilised State funds and non-government funds for developing unique tourism products to make its tourism products different from other localities?
The province will focus on well-oriented tourism development investment. It will give priority to completing the spiritual tourism development plan in Ba Ra Mountain, gradually completing and effectively operating S`Tieng Bom Bo National Culture Preservation Area, and completing the master plan for the special national historical site - the Commander Base of Southern Vietnam Liberation Army in Ta Thiet - to call for investment capital, developing ecological tourism in Bu Gia Map National Park, and adjusting the Binh Phuoc Tourism Development Plan for the 2011-2015 period, with a vision to 2020.
As a poor province, Binh Phuoc lacks available funds for tourism development. Hence, it particularly needs to search for other capital sources like the State Budget, non-government organisations, economic groups and companies inside and outside the province.
Indeed, the province has received a handsome sum of capital for building infrastructure for tourist areas in Ba Ra Mountain, S`Tieng Bom Bo National Culture Preservation Area, hotels and amusement areas. Hopefully, Binh Phuoc will continue to get more support from the Government, and boost access to internal and external capital sources to develop tourism infrastructure and products to strengthen the attraction of Binh Phuoc tourism.