10:44 | 12/07/2017 Society
(VEN) - The Prime Minister has approved a plan to develop the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark in the northernmost province of Ha Giang to 2030.
|Buckwheat flowers being grown in Dong Van to create new destinations for visitors|
The UNESCO global geopark covers 232,606 hectares in the districts of Dong Van, Meo Vac, Yen Minh and Quan Ba. It welcomed 600,000 tourists in 2014. The figure is expected to increase to 700,000-800,000 by 2020 and 1-1.1 million by 2030. Under the plan, areas in the geopark will be zoned for different purposes, including an area for geological heritage preservation, an area for nature and biodiversity conservation, one for developing sustainable natural resources and another for landscape protection.
Part of the geopark will be used to develop urban areas and tourism centers while another zone will specialize in agricultural and forestry production and high-tech processing. An area for rural communities and another for farming high-quality herbal plants are also planned.
The area for geological heritage preservation will include 30 heritage clusters in the four districts. The area for landscape protection will cover Ma Pi Leng Mountain Pass, Lung Cu Flag Tower, Can Ty Commune, and Thai Phin Tung Commune. Meanwhile, four urban areas are set to become tourism centers, namely Dong Van Town - center for cultural and historical tourism; Meo Vac Town - center for science and adventure tourism and border gate trade; Yen Minh Town - center for eco-tourism and green growth; and Tam Son Town - center for tourism and entertainment services.
Dong Van plateau was recognized as a member of the Global Network of National Geoparks in 2010, becoming Vietnam’s first geological park and the second in Southeast Asia.
Under the plan, the geopark will have three phases of development: Phase 1, from now to 2020, developing roads to the park and improving clean water supply; Phase 2, from 2020 to 2025, diversifying eco-tourist offerings and science-related and adventure tours; Phase 3, from 2025 to 2030, enhancing market approach and management, and developing complex tourist offerings.
According to the plan, in early 2018, a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) delegation will come to Ha Giang to assess the geopark for the second time.
Following recommendations of global geopark experts, Dong Van District has developed and implemented plans for improving the community’s awareness of conserving and bringing into play the geopark’s values through different activities. These include art performances on market days, movies, children’s tourist guide contests, replacement of old signboards, and improvement of pocket travel guides and brochures, among others.
Dong Van District is also raising funds for exhibitions at the geopark museum. The district will construct new sightseeing stops in Ma Le, Lung Thau, Dong En and Van Chai communes, kick off the Lung Cu Spiritual Culture Center’s projects, and a project for installing elevators at the Don Cao relic site. It will also urge local households to repair old streets, open English language training courses for interpreters and tour guides, and grow buckwheat flowers according to specific plans to create new destinations for visitors.