Kien Giang Tourism: Post-COVID-19 Recovery

11:07:59 AM | 9/7/2022

The tourism picture of Kien Giang province brightened in the first six months of 2022, illustrated by a sharp increase in tourist arrivals and revenues. This good sign came as the tourism industry gradually regained recovery and development momentums and expected to reap more impressive results in the coming time. Mr. Bui Quoc Thai, Director of Kien Giang Tourism Department, gives an interview on these positive signals. Cong Luan reports.

Could you briefly introduce some remarkable tourism results in the year to date?

In the year to date, Kien Giang tourism industry has effectively cooperated with domestic and international provinces and cities, introduced local tourism resources and products to attract tourists to visit and experience; focused on consistent and effective recovery plans to woo domestic tourists to Kien Giang and pilot plans to welcome international tourists to Phu Quoc with “vaccine passport”. These important tasks marked tourism recovery and regrowth of Kien Giang province.

At the same time, the province's tourism promotion has been accelerated in a bid to woo more tourists to the province, attract new investment projects and operate ongoing ones. Tourism development planning and development projects and plans are focused for development. The province has invested in essential tourism infrastructure development. Transport capacity, especially by air and road to key tourist attractions, has been enhanced to better meet the needs of local people and tourists.

As a result, in the first six months of 2022, Kien Giang tourism welcomed 3.495 million visitors, up 51.2% year on year and equal to 62.4% of the full-year plan. International visitors were estimated at 46,200 strong, or 23.1% of the yearly plan; total tourism revenue was estimated at VND3,978 billion, up 65.7% year on year or fulfilling 51.4% of the yearly plan. Particularly, visitors to Phu Quoc were forecast at 2.397 million strong (up 50.1% year on year and equal to 36.1% of the full-year plan) and international visitors were projected at 46,200 strong (reaching 25.7% of the yearly plan).

The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the tourism industry, but also opened up new and creative directions. What are some new directions for the Kien Giang tourism sector?

The tourism sector has focused on accelerating digital transformation and technology development in a bid to improve the effect of operations and management and enable creation of unique tourism products for the new period; boost contact-limited tourism trends by scaling up technological application and artificial intelligence in tourism; associate and cooperate with technology firms to create and provide technology solutions for safe tourism; and work out tourism workforce development plans in the new normal period. At the same time, the sector has instructed localities and businesses to develop locally contextual tourism reopening plans based on continued implementation of Instruction 3862/HD-BVHTTDL of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to execute Resolution 128/NQ-CP of the Government on temporary regulations on “Safe adaptation to, flexible and effective control of the COVID-19 epidemic” in cultural, sporting and tourism activities; and continued to carry out Plan 201/KH-UBND dated October 21, 2021 of the Provincial People's Committee on restoring and attracting domestic tourists to Kien Giang.

Could you please tell more about tourism recovery plans of Kien Giang in the coming time and right in 2022?

Kien Giang tourism is recovering well under new normal conditions. In the last six months of 2022, the tourism industry continued to implement consistent recovery plans and draw domestic tourists to Kien Giang; strengthened Kien Giang tourism promotion, information and connectivity to domestic and international tourists; and implemented tourism restoration solutions and tasks associated with improving the quality of tourism products and services. At the same time, the province focused on removing difficulties and obstacles in tourism activities and local tourism development; welcomed domestic and foreign Famtrip and Presstrip delegations to survey, connect and cooperate in tourism development; and continued to open more international routes to connect Kien Giang tourism.

Specifically, the tourism sector carried out resolutions, action programs and plans of the Central Government, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial People’s Council and the Provincial People’s Committee on tourism development. It reviewed planned targets in 2022. For worse-than-expected targets, the province focused on working at the highest level in order to successfully execute tourism development targets and tasks in 2022, creating momentum for successful achievement of the sector’s goals and tasks in 2021 - 2025. It integrated the tourism development plan into the province's socioeconomic development master plan in line with Law on Planning 2017; organized “Kien Giang Tourism and Culinary Culture Festival 2022”; deployed tourism stimulus solutions and programs, promoted tourism, and informed destinations; strengthened coordination and execution of solutions on tourism environment management and protection; created best conditions for tourism businesses to develop infrastructure systems, build tourism products and services for post-COVID-19 recovery and development; paid special attention to tourism development while ensuring national defense and security, affirming sovereignty over territorial waters and islands.

To turn tourism into a leading economic sector of the province as stated in the Resolution of the 11th Provincial Party Congress, what key solutions will the tourism industry focus on?

First of all, the tourism industry will continue to seriously and effectively carry out tasks and solutions stated in Resolution 03-NQ/TU dated November 16, 2017 of the Provincial Party Committee on Kien Giang tourism development to 2020 and further to 2030 in line with tourism development viewpoints and goals stated in Resolution 08-NQ/TW dated January 16, 2017 of the Politburo. Second, the tourism industry will be restructured toward intensive and extensive development to adapt to climate change and epidemics; further interconnect sectors, fields, localities, enterprises, households and communities to form tourism value chains; ensure shared interests of community, businesses and tourists in tourism activities; and invest in tourism development and protect natural resources and ecological environment. Third, the province will focus on executing the master plan on tourism development; focus on developing Phu Quoc into a truly world-class tourism center; call for investment capital into key tourist areas such as Ha Tien - Kien Luong, Rach Gia - Kien Hai and U Minh Thuong. Fourth, Kien Giang will build and develop unique and high-quality tourism products to persuade tourists to stay longer, spend more and come back to Kien Giang more. Fifth, it will promote tourism in key foreign markets to attract more tourists to stay longer and spend more in Kien Giang, with emphasis on traditional markets such as China, South Korea, Japan, ASEAN as well as affluent markets where tourists are likely to stay longer and spend more such as Australia, Western Europe and North America. Sixth, it will appeal and attract tourism companies to cooperate in worker training and develop tourism schools. Seventh, Kien Giang will further apply digital transformation in tourism development, tourism administration and tourism promotion and develop smart tourist support applications.

Thank you very much!

Source: Vietnam Business Forum