A corner of Ba Ria-Vung Tau (Source bestplus.vn)

Hanoi (VNA)
– With a view to turning tourism into a spearhead sector, the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau has helped travel agencies renew their tours while diversifying and improving tourism product quality.

In late December 2017, a group of nearly 20 cruise tourists toured markets in Ba Ria-Vung Tau after landing at Cai Mep Port. They showed their interest in the southern identities of Long Dien Market while expressing excitement when making and trying Vietnam’s traditional “banh trang” (rice paper) during a trip to a village in Long Phuoc commune of Ba Ria city.

Tran Ngoc Cuong, Director of the Phuoc Lap Cooperative – an investor of the Bung Bac eco-tourism site in Phuoc Huu hamlet of Long Phuoc commune, Ba Ria city, said the tourism site, covering more than 1.7ha of land, was used for fish, fruit and vegetable farming in the past. Realising the area’s eco-tourism potential, his cooperative built and upgraded facilities to serve visitors. The site’s pristine and tranquil landscape is now a magnet for domestic and foreign tourists.

Director of Alpha Travel Company Nguyen Ngoc Hung said most of foreign cruise tourists come from developed countries. They have high spending level and strict requirements of service quality. Travel agencies have actively renewed tours and improved service quality, resulting in a considerable increase in the number of cruise visitors to Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

The province has also enhanced attracting investment into major and high-end tourism projects while encouraging businesses to tap potential markets. Many tourism complexes were born and gained prestige such as Ho Tram Strip and Six Senses Con Dao. The province also has high hope on Paradise Vung Tau, another complex that is taking shape.

Considering tourism as a driver of local development, Ba Ria-Vung Tau re-established the provincial Department of Tourism in early 2017. Later the same year, the provincial Party Committee issued a resolution on developing high-quality tourism with a view to upgrading tourism infrastructure, improving product and service quality, and ensuring a safe, civilised and friendly tourism environment.

Nguyen Thu Trang, a tourist from Ho Chi Minh City, said after Vung Tau launched a clean-up campaign, her family chose the city as their holiday destination. They are impressed with the determination of the municipal administration.

Aside from Vung Tau, a number of localities boasting tourism strength like Dat Do, Long Dien, Xuyen Moc and Con Dao have carried out drastic solutions to better local tourism.

Trinh Hang, Director of the Tourism Department of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, said the province will ask the Government to soon upgrade Con Son Airport in Con Dao Island so that this airport can handle Airbus A320s and similar airplanes. 

It will also work to speed up projects providing speedboat services linking Con Dao with the mainland. Boat routes will also be opened to connect islets of Con Dao district. Meanwhile, 13 freshwater lakes and wastewater and waste treatment systems will be built in the district, he added.

Secretary of the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Party Committee Nguyen Hong Linh said the province welcomed nearly 3 million tourist arrivals in 2017, up 11.3 percent from the previous year, which is a joyful sign. However, it still needs to remove barriers to local tourism development.

He noted Ba Ria-Vung Tau will work to attract more visitors and hopes for an inflow of foreign tourists from tough markets.-VNA