An Giang Turning Tourism into Spearhead Economic Sector

6:21:35 PM | 10/11/2016

With abundant potential and advantages in natural and ecological conditions, and cultural and historical traditions, the tourism sector of An Giang province is having great opportunities to affirm its position on the Mekong Delta tourism map. By tapping its potential, the province has actively increased investment for tourism infrastructure development to turn tourism into a spearhead economic sector, raise the share of tourism in gross domestic product (GDP), speed up economic restructuring, service development, and create jobs for society.
Effectively exploiting existing potential
An Giang is a frontier province in the southwest of Vietnam where the Mekong River runs into Vietnam. The province is known for having the essence of unique cultures of four ethnic groups: Kinh, Cham, Hoa and Khmer, with many traditional festivals. The province is home to a lot of famous scenic spots such as Ba Chua Xu Temple, Hang Pagoda, Thoai Ngoc Hau Tomb, Oc Eo - Ba The archaeological and architectural site, President Ton Duc Thang Memorial, Cam Mountain, Bung Binh Thien Tra Su cajuput forest, which enable it to develop spiritual tourism, leisure tourism or cultural and historical discovery tourism. An Giang also has advantages of developing tourism villages, agri-tourism, community tourism and river tourism.
Mr Nguyen Van Len, Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said, based on those advantages, the Provincial People's Committee approved the master plan for An Giang tourism development from 2014 to 2020, with a vision to 2030 and the Resolution of the 10th Provincial Party Congress on “Building An Giang tourism into a key economic sector and an attractive destination, creating tourism products typical of An Giang culture and people, building the image of prestigious, quality and competitive tourism in the Mekong Delta and in Vietnam.”
To realise this goal, the tourism sector of An Giang has made efforts to implement State tourism management and facilitate connection between State management agencies and enterprises. The province has coordinated with tourism companies to train tourism professionalism, promoted tourism advertisement and enhanced tourism development cooperation with neighbouring localities and major cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang to introduce “One destination, four arrivals+” tourism product.
Tourism revenue was estimated at VND1,660 billion in the first nine months of 2016, up 107 per cent over the plan. Tourist arrivals were estimated at 6.3 million, fulfilling 100.8 per cent of the plan. Tourists served by travel companies reached 390,000, equal to 70.9 per cent of the plan and international arrivals were 50,000, or 67.5 per cent of the plan. By 2020, the sector will target at 800,000 - 1 million tourists staying overnight, 180,000 - 200,000 international tourists, and a double revenue of VND3,000 - 4,000 billion. In addition to popularising green tourism model, the tourism sector of An Giang province has encouraged enterprises to create typical tourism products, enhance tourism human resource development and introduce its tourism potential to domestic and foreign friends.
Tourism infrastructure development
A major drive for tourism development is boosting investment in tourism infrastructure development. In the year to date, the Provincial People’s Committee approved investment in principle for Tra Su Mountain tourism site (Tinh Bien) and Ba Chua Xu spiritual and cultural tourism site - Sam Mountain cable car system (Chau Doc) with a total investment of VND433 billion. The tourism sector of An Giang province has also actively joined tourism investment promotion events organised by national and regional bodies to call investment capital into tourism, post its tourism projects on the province’s websites and guide investors to seek investment opportunities in An Giang province.
In the coming time, An Giang will focus on turning Sam Mountain, Cam Mountain and Ong Ho Island (My Hoa Hung) into national and regional tourist destinations; build large-scale modern amusement parks in Long Xuyen City, interconnect four key tourist sites in the following order of priority: Chau Doc - Long Xuyen - Cam Mountain - Oc Eo.
Besides, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will ask the Provincial People’s Committee to direct relevant bodies to encourage and incentivise investment into tourism. It will review tourism site development plans and complete documents for formation of new tourism sites. It will advise the provincial government to support and fund State tourism management to provide seed capital for tourism projects and stimulate tourism companies to build tourism products and facilities.
Viet Hung