11:00 | 15/03/2016 Society
(VEN) - The southern provinces of An Giang and Kien Giang and the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho have signed a sustainable tourism development cooperation agreement based on their respective advantages as part of the implementation of the Discover the South 2016 National Tourism Year Program.
Agricultural and horticultural tourism makes the Mekong Delta a distinctive destination
According to leaders of the Interprovincial Steering Committee on Sustainable Tourism Development, all three areas have improved information exchanges on tourism and expect to further promote provincial tourism products, improve tourism human resource training and boost tourism promotion through this agreement.
The Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Program funded by the European Union or EU-ESRT Project was considered helpful in terms of tourism development during the 2013-2015 period through setting up and putting into operation the Multi-component Destination Management Organization, improving the role of the local tourism associations via strengthened public-private partnerships, developing environmentally and socially responsible tourism products, local tourism destination promotion and human resource training.
However, the three areas are facing difficulties in promoting provincial sustainable tourism development due to lacking a coordinating agency and a joint tourism development fund, plus underdeveloped tourism marketing and human resources.
The areas have just attracted domestic tourists and most who visit barely stay more than a few hours. The three areas are keen to encourage tourists to stay longer, with a target of at least three days to be recognized as a tourism destination, said Robert Travers, an EU-ESRT Project expert.
Joint efforts in need
The Mekong Delta which has been identified as one of the country’s key destinations is focusing on strengthening tourism development cooperation. An Giang, Can Tho and Kien Giang were advised to offer more attractive tourism products. The Mekong Delta should develop resorts, riverside accommodation facilities, and waterways, homestay and agricultural tours based on the obvious geographical advantages with a view to becoming a distinctive destination.
This year, the EU-ESRT Project is committed to continue support the Mekong Delta in the preparation of a regional marketing or a tourism promotion plan, Phu Quoc’s public-private partnership mechanism and destination management plan and a regional tourism human resource development plan for the 2016-2020 period. In addition, it will assist local departments of culture, sports and tourism and tourism associations in the establishment of an electronic tourist map combined with environmentally and socially responsible tourist guidance.