Bien Ho, also called To Nung, was previously a giant volcano mouth in the north of Pleiku city (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Enhancing regional connectivity is key to fulfilling the tourism potential of the Central Highlands, according to the Government’s master plan on tourism development for the period through 2020.

Though the plan envisions connecting localities in the region and creating unique tourism products, the tourism sector has not achieved any significant breakthroughs so far.

Tran Hung Viet, General Director of Saigontourist, said it was necessary to have a thorough master planning and plans on regional connectivity, thus creating synergies to fulfil the tourism potential and boost investment.

Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc, Deputy Director of the Lam Dong provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said provinces in the Central Highlands found it difficult to create distinctive products since they had so much in common.

The Central Highlands should create a clear tourism brand before its provinces create their own brands and determine their products, she said

After making comprehensive plans for the Central Highlands and its localities, relevant authorities should collaborate with travel agencies to take the products to potential tourists, she added.

Travel agencies have been reluctant to make use of existing products, she said.

The Central Highlands has great potential for tourism, with its spectacular waterfalls, forests, mountains, ethnic groups with rich culture, and others.

Some popular destinations include Lung Leng Archaeological Site, Ngoc Linh Mountain, Yali Waterfalls, Mang Den Ecotourism Site, Chu Mom Ray National Park in Kon Tum province; Chu Dang Ya Volcanic Mountain, Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve in Gia Lai province; and Lac Pond, Draynur Waterfalls, Yok Don National Park in Dak Lak province.

The Central Highlands is also known for its gong culture, which was recognised by UNESCO in 2005 as a Masterpiece of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

In fact, each province in the area has some distinctive attractions that can be used to boost tourism.

While Lam Dong province is blessed with cool weather, green nature and some intangible values, Gia Lai province has many interesting cultural stories and literary gems related to Stor village, Nup Hero, and others during the wartime.

Dak Nong province has immense cultural variety in the form of some 40 minor ethnic groups.-VNA