Mekong Delta awaits major tourism investors

15:07 | 04/12/2017 Society

(VEN) - The Mekong Delta Tourism Association said tourism development in the region remains incommensurate with its potential, and major investors are needed to develop its tourism infrastructure.

mekong delta awaits major tourism investors
The Mekong Delta needs to attract large investors for tourism infrastructure development

Lack of accommodations

In terms of tourism revenue, although it has grown more than 10 percent annually, the Mekong Delta is still at the bottom of the list of localities nationwide due to its poor range of tourist offerings and tourism infrastructure. In 2016, the Mekong Delta welcomed 28 million visitors (including 2.5 million foreign visitors), earning revenues of VND15 trillion. In the first half of 2017, the region attracted almost 21 million visitors, earning revenues of VND6.5 trillion plus, up 17 and 22 percent from the same time in 2016.

Under the Mekong Delta tourism development plan, approved by the government in November 2016, the region will attract 34 million and 52 million visitors, including 3.5 million and 6.5 million foreign visitors, earning revenue of VND25 trillion and VND111 trillion by 2020 and 2030, respectively. The region should have 53,000 and 100,000 hotel rooms, 30 percent of which are three to five-star ones, by 2020 and 2030.

The Mekong Delta currently has only 60 three to five-star hotels with more than 8,000 rooms, mainly in Kien Giang Province’s Phu Quoc Island and Can Tho City. There are only two major entertainment centers – Vinpearl Phu Quoc and Nha Mat-Bac Lieu – in the region. No big culinary, entertainment and shopping centers are found in the region.

Big investors needed

Vo Hung Dung, Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in Can Tho, said the region is waiting for investors to make use of the region’s potential, including favorable natural conditions, for tourism development.

According to tourism companies, the absence of direct flights from Can Tho to countries in the region is a drawback, and a road linking Can Tho and Cambodia’s capital - Phnom Penh - needs to be built, while the Ca Mau-Rach Gia-Ha Tien route remains poor in terms of quality. There are no river ports for yachts and docking areas for cruises, either. Overland and waterway transport infrastructure needs to be developed to connect the Mekong Delta with other countries in the region, build a Can Tho-Phnom Penh-Saigon Tourism Triangle, and develop cruise-based tours.

The government has been promoting infrastructure development and preparing policies for the Mekong Delta. Authorities of delta provinces and cities should improve their performance to create a favorable, open business environment to attract investors.

The 13 Mekong Delta provinces recently announced 78 projects needing total investment capital of VND157.8 trillion, including 33 real estate and tourism projects worth VND7.8 trillion and 45 projects in the fields of agriculture, industry, processing, manufacturing, logistics infrastructure, worth an estimated VND150 trillion.

Thanh Thanh