Diversifying and Improving Tourism Product Quality

2:21:09 PM | 18/8/2022

Focusing on tourism infrastructure investment, diversification and tourism product improvement, the tourism sector of An Giang province has achieved optimistic strides to meet rising needs of tourists. Our reporter has an interview with Mr. Dao Si Tuan, Deputy Director of An Giang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, on these outcomes. Hương Sa reports.

Could you please briefly introduce remarkable tourism results of An Giang province?

An Giang province effectively implemented the resolutions, plannings, programs and projects for tourism development to 2020, aiming to raise local community awareness by launching many training courses, conferences and workshops on tourism and tourism environment protection.

The province's tourism products are also increasingly perfected, diversified and deepened with many forms such as eco-tourism combined with shopping tourism, agricultural tourism combined with community-based tourism, and historical and cultural tourism combined with river-based tourism. Especially, An Giang focuses on developing spiritual tourism and finding solutions to effectively promote revenue from this type of tourism.

According to statistics, in 2013-2020, An Giang attracted more than 55 million visitors, including more than 5.5 million visitors served by tourism businesses and over 594,000 international visitors. Tourist arrivals increase year by year. The tourism industry's revenue reached VND25,000 billion 2013-2020.

Currently, how has the tourism infrastructure in An Giang province developed to meet tourism and sightseeing needs of tourists?

At present, An Giang province is home to 95 hotels with nearly 3,000 rooms ranked 1 to 4-star class; two domestic tour operators, 12 international tour operators and 16 tourist attractions. In particular, the province focuses on investing in key tourist areas such as President Ton Duc Thang Monument, Sam Mountain and Cam Mountain tourist areas, Oc Eo cultural relic site and Thoai Son Lake for tourism development.

Tourism industry was hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. What solutions did An Giang province take to overcome this difficulty?

The COVID-19 epidemic severely wrecked the tourism industry in the country, including An Giang province. During the epidemic peak, many tourist sites, restaurants, and hotels had to close, causing tourism workers to lose their income and employment. In 2021, An Giang only welcomed 3.5 million visitors to attractions, down 46% year on year and equal 50% of the plan.

To support businesses and workers to recover and develop tourism, An Giang province promptly adopted many solutions. When the epidemic was controlled, the province immediately launched tourism promotion and stimulus programs in order to help overcome damages and gradually restore and develop tourism.

The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism strictly followed directions of central and provincial authorities on COVID-19 epidemic prevention and plans of the Provincial People's Committee on socioeconomic recovery and epidemic control; advised the provincial government on a plan to An Giang tourism restoration in the new normalcy: safe and flexible adaptation to the pandemic; actively consulted and deployed support for tourism companies and workers affected the epidemic; reviewed and proposed amendments and supplements to legal provisions that hinder tourism investment and business in order to support tourism firms to overcome difficulties.

Those efforts helped the local tourism industry recover quickly. In the first six months of 2022, it welcomed 5.2 million visitors, up 60% year on year or 113% of the plan, and fetched VND2,900 billion in revenue.

Recovery will be followed by an accelerating phase. What solutions does An Giang tourism industry continue to have to achieve its goals?

Currently, the province continues to carry out the Action Program on An Giang Tourism Infrastructure Development in 2021-2025 phase; continues to implement support policies on tourism investment and development in a bid to diversify tourism services to 2025; organizes tourism personnel training and retraining to meet requirements in the new context in the 2021-2025 phase; and strengthens tourism authorities to ensure security, order and safety in tourism service.

The province continues to invest in upgrading tourist sites, attractions, festivals and tourism services, create diversity and individuality of culture to woo tourists; improves service quality and develops new tourism products based on local cultural, ecological and community-based strengths; boosts tourism development cooperation with other provinces and cities and applies information technology to tourism service. In particular, it organizes cultural, sports and tourism events to celebrate the 190th anniversary of An Giang province, including An Giang Culture, Sports and Tourism Week.

Reportedly, An Giang province will hold an investment promotion conference by the end of this year. Would you be kind enough to "reveal" some information about tourism investment opportunities in the province?

To prepare for the An Giang Investment Promotion Conference 2022, the province is reviewing tourism, trade and service investment projects. It plans to recommend some tourism projects to investors like Bac Mieu Ba tourist attraction - Chau Doc City, Soai So Lake tourist area - Tri Ton district, Cam Mountain tourist site - Tinh Bien district, and Cam Mountain tourist site - Tinh Bien district and tourist attractions in Cu Lao Gieng (Cho Moi district), Bung Binh Thien tourist site - An Phu district, and Tan Trung Lake ecotourism site - Phu Tan district.

Thank you very much!

Source: Vietnam Business Forum