Tourism Developed into Highly Competitive Economic Engine

12:58:51 PM | 6/16/2021

Badly wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, Quang Ngai tourism has still managed to achieve its assigned tasks and positively contributed to local socioeconomic development. This is also a solid foundation for the sector to improve its competitiveness and gradually realize the goal of becoming a leading economic sector of the province. Our reporter has an exclusive interview with Mr. Nguyen Minh Tri, Director of the Quang Ngai Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

By promoting all available advantages, how has Quang Ngai fostered tourism development in the past time?

Endowed with natural and humanistic resources, Quang Ngai province has all favorable conditions to develop various tourism types (ecological tourism, leisure tourism, cultural - historical tourism, geological tourism, heritage tourism and maritime tourism).

Being aware of these resources, tourism development is defined as a key task in the 2016-2020 period and the province has paid attention to investing in technical infrastructure development, human resource development, investment attraction and tourism service infrastructure development. Tourism indicators grew 15% a year on average, with some areas expanding by 35-38%. Some eco-tourism and high-class resorts were invested, including Cocoland Resort and Spa, Nghia Thuan Hot Mineral Spring Resort; Suoi Chi Eco Resort, Dao Ngoc - Ly Son Resort, and Muong Thanh - Ly Son Hotel. Many community-based tourism models initially attracted tourists and provided exciting experience services for visitors such as the ethical cultural experience model in Ba Tu, Go Co community tourism village in Duc Pho, Binh Thanh orchards in Nghia Hanh, culinary experience with garlic farming in Ly Son island, and Ganh Yen 3D mural painting village.

The pride of Quang Ngai tourism is the charming outpost island of Ly Son, the core of Ly Son - Sa Huynh Geopark with outstanding values of Sa Huynh cultural heritage, marine volcanic geological heritages and Vietnam’s history of waters sovereignty in the East Sea, voted by Forbes as one of 10 most beautiful islands in Vietnam.

This is also the nucleus that makes maritime tourism a key tourism form and an important drive of Quang Ngai tourism development. On that basis, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has made efforts to complete the documentation on Ly Son - Sa Huynh Geopark and submit it to UNESCO, which has already received documents. With more than 300 recognized heritage sites, the Management Board of Ly Son - Sa Huynh Geopark selected 89 destinations, including typical geological heritage sites, geomorphologic features, landscapes, cultures and handcraft villages to build four tourist routes: “Mystery of the Sacred Island”, “Ancient Continent - Dance of Time”, “Journey to Ancient Cultures”, “Sound of the Sea and Memories of War” on the theme “Land of Motion”. These are all unique and attractive tourist routes expected to entice many tourists in the coming time.

In the context of complicated epidemic development, is forming safe and attractive destinations a focus of the tourism industry to attract more and more visitors to Quang Ngai?

The COVID-19 pandemic, along with natural disasters and unfavorable weather, has adversely undermined tourism revenue of Quang Ngai province. Faced by the above reality, the department actively proposed the Provincial People's Committee to issue policies on tourism restoration in the 2021 - 2023 period; stimulated domestic market demand in line with the motto “Quang Ngai - A safe and friendly destination”.

Accordingly, the department developed products called “Discovery journey of maritime cultural and geological heritages” to affiliated partners, including 17 safe and charming destinations; cooperated with Quang Ngai Radio and Television Station to produce “Quang Ngai - A safe and friendly destination” program; worked with Quang Ngai Newspaper to make a tourism column; coordinated with partners for tourism marketing like S Vietnam, V Vietnam and VTV Travel of Vietnam Television as well as other mass media. In addition, eco-tourism and health tourism also attracted investors to develop and operate tourist resorts (Bai Dua, Suoi Chi and Nghia Thuan), created new high-class products for the province and lured tourists.

The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism also advised the Provincial People's Committee to establish a research and development team for community tourism; develop and submit Plan No. 72 on community tourism development in Binh Son, Ly Son, Nghia Hanh and Ba To districts to the Provincial People's Committee in order to promote tangible and intangible cultural values, create new experience tourism products for visitors, create jobs and increase income for people. Some community-based experience tourism services have been effectively exploited in recent years, such as night fishing, coral diving, culinary and onion and garlic cultivation in Ly Son (built by the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism into an experience model that is likely to become an OCOP product); experience culture, cuisine and brocade weaving in Ba To; enjoy garden tourism in Binh Thanh village (Nghia Hanh); travel to discover Champa culture in Go Co village (Duc Pho); community tourism associated with 3D painting in Ganh Yen and seasonal festivals (Mo Duc). The Department also organized many assessment surveys on active community tourist sites and collected professional advice for localities. It also conducted potential sites for community tourism development at Dakring hydropower plant (Son Tay) and Tu Cung village (Tinh Khe commune - Quang Ngai City).

In addition, MICE, conferencing and team building tourism products are quite developed in the province, mainly held in Ly Son and popular tourist attractions. Tourism products, coupled with sports events, started to effectively draw athletes and visitors (Ly Son International Paragliding Tournament 2019 and Ly Son National Marathon Championships 2020). Annual paragliding tournaments are selected as a sports tourism event typical of Ly Son.

The core solution of the tourism industry is speeding up tourism marketing, tour cooperation on community-based, ecological and spiritual tourism development in 2021, and boosting the appeal of Quang Ngai tourism brand?

The province will step up investment promotion and call for investors of coastal high-class resort and entertainment complexes; Ca Dam, Ganh Yen, Thach Bich, Dang Thuy Tram tourist sites; Thien But Park; Binh Chau Beach; and maritime sports activities. The province will continue to support ongoing projects to accelerate progress to be operational soon in Van Tuong, My Khe, Binh Son, Duc Pho and Ly Son. It will review the progress of tourism investment projects, drastically revoke belated projects; and allocate investment funds for tourism service infrastructure projects.

Furthermore, it is urgent to develop plans to position and develop the province's tourism brand to 2025, with an eye to 2030; diversify and improve tourism quality; allocate prioritized State fund for product development and tourism promotion on domestic and foreign mass media; organize domestic and international tourism promotions and surveys; strengthen cooperation with other localities and partners in tourism development, especially with Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and localities in the central key economic zone . At the same time, it is important to effectively manage and operate a mobile travel application (Quang Ngai Travel App) to help travelers easily look up, find information, contact destinations and service providers and travel schedules to Quang Ngai, thus helping enhance tourism competitiveness and realize the goal of turning tourism into a strong economic locomotive.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum