As a vast, rich and populous area with pleasant climate and diversified natural resources, the Mekong Delta is set to become a major tourist centre of Vietnam. However, to effectively exploit the tourism potential of this place is still a challenge for the tourism industry.

  05/12/2012 15:41
Its own attraction
Unlike any other region in Vietnam, the Mekong Delta region possesses unique tourism potential. Mekong River silt feeds the fertile Mekong Delta via two main tributaries, the Tien and Hau Rivers, interlaced with canals and forming diverse ecological zones; creating unique and majestic landscapes containing many interesting things. A rich ecology, healthy environment and plentiful natural resources in conjunction with the culture, history and community of 4 ethnic groups (Kinh, Hoa, Khmer and Cham), with many traditional festivals expressing the cultural identity and the unique generosity, gentleness and hospitality of Southern people, make the region ideal for tourism.
The process of development in the Mekong Delta have different features compared to other locations, so travel products also have its own unique characteristics, bearing the features of the river's delta, attracting many tourists. Visiting the Mekong Delta, visitors will admire different unique beauty of the delta as: Tam Nong bird park, Sa Dec flower village (Dong Thap); Ha Tien and Phu Quoc islands (Kien Giang ); majesticThat Son (An Giang); floating markets Nga Bay (Hau Giang), Cai Rang and Phong Dien (Can Tho), Tra (Vinh Long); relic of Bac Lieu baron; Nam Can mangrove forest, Ca Mau cape and many monuments, landscapes. Especially the fruit laden trees, golden paddy fields or, the endless canals swirled with water space which is charming and attractive.
To exploit the potential benefits from diverse and unique tourism, over time, the Mekong Delta has successfully organized many events tourism, the festival of Culture, Sports and Tourism of regional and national stature such as: Mekong Delta Tourism Festival; National Tourism Year of Mekong river; Nguyen Trung Truc Festival; Chua Xu Festival; the Okombok Festival and boat racing, Bay Nui cow racing; Mekong-Japan cultural days; seminars, trade fairs, exhibitions and trade promotion programs, as well as international tourism promotion abroad have left a good impression in the tourists.
Towards a regional tourism brand
Although potential advantages are abundant, after more than a decade of development, tourism in the Mekong Delta shows some limitations such as lack of overall investment planning, repetitive tourism products, and no links between local developments. Dr. Pham Trung Luong, Deputy Director of the Institute of Research and Development of Tourism, said that the cause of the sluggish development of tourism in the Mekong Delta is the similarity of tours lack of links between localities. The "do it yourself" approach and tendency to imitate have affected tourism promotion throughout the region. Mr Luong said that to develop tourism in the region better and to fully exploit the advantages of tourism, tourism businesses in the Mekong Delta should be in close cooperation with tourism centres of the country like Ho Chi Minh City.
In addition, as well as many areas across the country, the tourism promotion of the Mekong Delta has not yet received due attention, human resources for propaganda or tourism promotion are not enough. According to Mr Pham Phuoc Nhu, Chairman of Mekong Delta Tourism Association, it is important that the tourism industry develop a marketing plan for regional tourism. From the general plan, each locality will build its own marketing plan in accordance with the cultural identity, potential and advantages of tourism. Also, each locality must choose a unique type of tourism for building brand.
According to the Vietnam Tourism Development Strategy to 2020, Vision 2030, the Mekong Delta has many destinations to be developed into national tourism areas in Kien Giang, An Giang, Can Tho and Ca Mau ... Tourism development project in the Mekong Delta by 2020 has divided four regions to build clusters tourism products. The remaining problem is how to invest, implement and find solutions to realize the target link. Mr Nhu recommended synchronous links to local tourism development between the Mekong Delta not stop at the connection of events, but develop regional tourism brand and strong brand of each local
In addition to create motivation for Mekong Delta tourism to take off, according to the General Director, Department of Tourism Nguyen Van Tuan, a prerequisite is to focus on four urgent problems of the construction of tourism infrastructure (transportation, restaurants, hotels, etc.), renewing and diversifying tourism products, strengthening links to promote the promotion and development of high quality tourism human resources through the establishment of human resource training center for the region.
(Source: Thesaigontimes)

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