The Central Highlands region, home to distinct cultures and heritages of 47 ethnic minorities, is looking to leverage its tourism strength to the fullest.

Lying on a series of contiguous plateaus up to the height of 500-800m, the region consists of Dak Lak, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Dak Nong and Lam Dong provinces, which are rich in biodiversity with primeval forests, valleys and fantastic scenery in mild climate all year-round.

The Central Highlands cultural space boasts hundreds of cultural, art and architecture identities, enabling the development of a range of ecological, resort, religious, cultural and adventure tours.

During the National Tourism Year 2014, the region welcomed nearly 6 million visitors, including 400,000 foreigners, generating a revenue of over 10 trillion VND, up 12 percent. Over 4.8 million of them, including about 250,000 foreign tourists, came to Da Lat city, Lam Dong province.

However, there is still a long way to go to professionalise marketing activities, head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT)’s Market Department Le Tuan Anh told an international workshop “Da Lat – Central Highlands tourism: integration and development” in Da Lat city on December 26.

VNAT called for designing a tourism trademark identification system exclusively for the Central Highlands, which includes a slogan and symbol, among others.

In the meantime, localities were urged to raise public awareness of environment protection practices needed to make tourists come back again.

Anh suggested prioritising marketing campaigns in the ASEAN member countries, China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea while keeping to local destinations, such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, the central cities of Nha Trang and Da Nang.

Chutathin Chareonlard, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, called on infrastructure to be upgraded and more Thai-speaking tour guides trained since the number of Thais visiting Da Lat city reached 14,000 in the first 11 months of 2014.

Experts expected more tours designed for young and elderly tourists from Japan, which has recently shown interests in sightseeing in Vietnam.

Japanese and Thai experts proposed that there should be trips for their media and travel agencies to the Central Highlands to learn more about its attractions and services.-VNA