Realizing the Potential of Ha Giang Tourism

10:09:50 AM | 9/19/2023

Ha Giang tourism has leveraged its diverse and rare potential to achieve remarkable changes in recent years, consolidating its position on the tourism map of Vietnam and beyond. The province aims to make tourism a key economic sector by 2025. Vietnam Business Forum reporter interviewed Mr. Nguyen Hong Hai, Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Ha Giang province, on the solutions to realize this goal.

Lung Cu Flag Tower, Dong Van district

Can you tell us about the potential and space for tourism development in Ha Giang province? With these strengths, what progress has Ha Giang tourism sector made recently?

First of all, it can be affirmed that Ha Giang is a province with special strengths in tourism potential. As the northernmost highland province of the country, Ha Giang is famous for its majestic and pristine natural landscape of the Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark; favorite destinations of domestic and foreign tourists include: Lung Cu flagpole, Dong Van ancient town, Vuong dynasty architectural relics (Dong Van), Nam Dan ancient stone field (Xin Man), terraced fields (Hoang Su Phi), Ma Pi Leng Pass, and buckwheat flower season (Meo Vac).

Not only that, Ha Giang is also a land with a long cultural history, a convergence of 19 ethnic groups with unique characteristics such as: Mong, Dao, Pa Then, Co Lao, Lo Lo, Bo Y, Phu La, and Pu Peo, creating the cultural diversity of Ha Giang. The province also has many famous specialties such as: Ha Giang Sanh oranges, ancient Shan Tuyet tea, and products made from buckwheat flowers. The culinary culture is also very diverse: Au Tau porridge of the Mong people, grilled moss of the Tay ethnic group, Chung cake of the Red Dao people.

In 2023, Ha Giang is honored to be ranked 25/52 most attractive destinations in the world (voted by the US New York Times Magazine). Canadian travel newspaper “The Travel” voted Ha Giang as one of the 10 most beautiful destinations in Vietnam. Ha Giang was also nominated as "Asia's leading emerging tourist destination" at the 30th World Travel Awards for Asia and Oceania.

Clearly aware of the potential and advantages of tourism development, in recent years the provincial Party Committee and authorities have paid attention to directing the implementation of specialized programs, resolutions and plans on Ha Giang tourism development in accordance with the context and situation in each period. Accordingly, Ha Giang province focuses on developing 3 tourism space areas: Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark area, Hoang Su Phi terraced fields, and the Central and mountainous area; along with that are 5 strong product lines, including: Community tourism, Cultural tourism, Eco-tourism, Sports and adventure tourism, and Commercial and border tourism.

In addition, Ha Giang province takes advantage of investment resources to improve the quality of technical infrastructure and transportation infrastructure of tourist areas in the province, strengthens solutions to attract investment, and creates favorable conditions on policy mechanisms to attract businesses. Thanks to that, the province's tourism infrastructure is increasingly improved, meeting the entertainment needs of people and tourists. Up to now, a number of large investors in the market have begun to build large-scale resort - tourism - service urban areas, becoming a highlight in Ha Giang tourism such as: Ha Giang Shophouse complex project, H'mong Village Resort, PaPiu, Panhou, and Yen Bien Luxury Hotel Project.

In 2022, Ha Giang province welcomed 2,268,000 tourist arrivals, including 71,308 international tourist arrivals. Tourism service revenue is estimated at VND 4,536 billion. In the first 6 months of 2023, Ha Giang welcomed 1,418,000 arrivals (an increase of 28.2% over the same period in 2022, reaching 56.7% of the 2023 plan), including 136,360 international visitor arrivals with revenue of VND 3,332 billion.

In order to realize the goal by 2025, of making tourism a key economic sector of Ha Giang province, which key tasks and solutions has the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism applied to create momentum for Ha Giang tourism to "take off", sir?

To achieve this goal, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will continue to advise and organize the effective implementation of the guidelines and direction of the Central and the province on tourism development. The Department will focus on the goal of fast and sustainable tourism development on the basis of effective implementation of the tourism product development plan in Ha Giang province to 2025, with a vision to 2030. We will continue to synchronously implement the approved plans, focusing on implementing the Planning of Dong Van Karst Plateau National Tourist Area.

The Department will also promote innovation in forms of tourism and trade promotion activities through technology application and digital transformation. The Department will participate in domestic and international tourism cooperation and development activities, focusing on cooperation groups with 6 provinces in the Northern area, 8 provinces of the North West expansion and Ho Chi Minh City, the international market from Western European countries, North America, and Northeast Asia. The Department will continue to survey and build new tourism products suitable to the province's exploitation advantages such as adventure sports tourism and high-end resorts.

According to the orientation of Ha Giang province, by 2025, tourism will become a key economic sector of the province, with 01 tourist area recognized as a provincial tourist area; attracting 3 million tourist arrivals; total revenue from tourists is estimated at VND 7,800 billion, contributing 10.34% of tourism value to the total product in the area.

We will also develop feasible tourism development mechanisms and policies to call for investment projects to develop tourism infrastructure, prioritize the allocation of land fund and space for large-scale and key tourism investment projects to create motivation for regional socio-economic development. At the same time, we will continue to review proposed policies to attract tourism investment, creating mechanisms for businesses to access credit capital to invest in tourism projects and tourism business infrastructure.

In addition, the Department will effectively implement the project on training and fostering tourism human resources, improving capacity, management efficiency, and coordination between levels and sectors in managing tourism investment and business activities. There needs to be a synchronous and thorough solution to handle violations related to business activities and illegal construction affecting the landscape and environment. In particular, aiming for sustainable development, the Department will strengthen and accelerate the implementation of project programs and solutions to restore and embellish works and cultural heritage, effectively implement the project to preserve traditional culture, and improve service quality in community tourism cultural villages.

Thank you very much!

By Nguyen Bach, Vietnam Business Forum