A corner at Cai Rang Floating Market in the Mekong Delta City of Can Tho. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Mekong Delta provinces are on the right track to lure more holidaymakers and turn tourism into a spearhead industry after Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved a master plan to develop tourism in the region by 2020 with a vision to 2030.

Kien Giang is among Vietnam’s top tourist destinations, blessed with many must-see attractions, particularly Phu Quoc Island.

The province welcomed more than 3 million visitors in the first half of 2017, bringing in some 2.24 trillion VND (98.6 million USD) in revenue, up 20 percent from the same period last year. The number of visitors included about 201,000 foreigners and 1.5 million accommodated travellers, up 22 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

According to Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Pham Vu Hong, the increased tourist arrivals were due to the province’s efforts to improve local infrastructure and facilities at tourist spots and beaches and stimulate investment in high-class leisure centres and hotels.

Kien Giang has also connected tours with destinations in neighbouring localities and in other countries like Thailand and Cambodia and ramped up tourism promotion activities, he said.

Can Tho received more than 4.5 million holidaymakers in the first seven months of this year, a year-on-year surge of 36 percent, helping the city earn about 1.3 trillion VND (57.73 million USD), up 15 percent. Most of the visitors took tours to Cai Rang Floating Market, eco-tours and sightseeing tours on rivers or to local orchards.

The city has made efforts to boost tourism by enhancing the effectiveness of travel operators and community-based tours, according to the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The city hopes to attract about 5.5 million tourists and earn more than 2 trillion VND in revenue this year.

Meanwhile, Dong Thap has strived to create its own identity with new signature travel-related products. The province has lured visitors to well-known Tram Chim National Park and to see lotuses in full bloom in Thap Muoi and Hong Ngu districts. They are also offered tours to experience cooking of traditional meals at Gao Giong Eco-tourism Park and fruit farming in Sa Dec city and Lai Vung and Cao Lanh districts.

The province’s revenue from tourism rose by 40 percent year on year in the first half of this year to exceed 300 billion VND (13.2 million USD) thanks to about 1.65 million tourist arrivals.

Local tourism is on the right track, Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thuong said, adding that the province hopes to develop sustainable tourism with diverse and high-quality products and targets leading the Southwest region in tourism in the next ten years.-VNA