The central province of Quang Nam has set a target of developing sustainable tourism associated with the preservation and promotion of cultural values so it can better contribute to local economic growth. Report by the Vietnam Economic News.

In the first three quarters of 2013, Quang Nam received 2.6 million tourists, a rise of 19.32 percent compared with the same period last year; revenue from tourism reached over 1.23 trillion VND (57.81 million USD), up 25.9 percent. Its initial efforts to promote sustainable tourism development have brought in satisfactory results.

In the period under review, the ancient city of Hoi An alone received 1.3 million tourists, an increase of 22.9 percent compared with the same period last year. It had intensified the dissemination of tourism information while at the same time concentrating on tourism promotion activities and diversifying the sources of investment in tourism in order to improve the quality of tourist services, especially those in the Cham islands.

Investment in the construction of tourism infrastructure and tourist sites as well as the restoration of world heritage sites has been promoted. With five tourism projects officially coming into operation in the first nine months of 2013, Quang Nam province currently has 123 accommodation facilities with 5,153 rooms. These include four five-star hotels, 11 four-star hotels and 11 three-star hotels.

Quang Nam has reopened some beaches, put Cua Dai port into stable operation and promoted tourism development in the Cham islands. As a result of these efforts, in the first nine months of 2013, Quang Nam welcomed more than 165,000 visitors to the islands, a rise of over 60,000 visitors compared with 2012 as a whole (the islands received an average of 2,500 visitors each day).

Many community and ecological tourism development projects have been developed here. The number of travel companies offering tours to Cua Dai-Cham islands has by now increased to 40 from seven in late 2012. Beside these, 15 companies provide dining services and 50 provide accommodation services in the form of homestay tourism.

According to Quang Nam Culture, Sports and Tourism Department Director Dinh Hai, the provincial tourism sector is drafting a tourism development plan to get ready to welcome a wave of investment in the field of community and ecological tourism; at the same time, the sector is intensifying communications to improve local people’s awareness about sustainable tourism development.

Classes have been opened to provide training for residents in areas around eco-tourist sites such as Cam Thanh, Cham islands and Tra Nhieu so that they can know how to properly receive and serve tourists; some workshops were organised to discuss the conservation of water coconut forests in Cam Thanh commune; Tran Phu street in Hoi An has been chosen to be built as a “Global Citizen Street” that meets some criteria in such terms as heritage protection, green space protection, waste classification according to 3R (reduce-reuse-recycle) principles, and boycotting plastic bags.

Quang Nam province is concentrating on developing community eco-tourism in Tra Nhieu village, Duy Xuyen district, tours to the Bay Mau coconut forest in Hoi An, the Loc Yen eco-village in Tien Phuoc district, adventure tourism and tours to Bhoong village in Dong Giang district.

To promote sustainable tourism development and become a tourist center for the central region, Quang Nam province has requested the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to provide it with assistance to develop tourism infrastructure through ODA-funded projects such as building the tourism infrastructure for Hoi An, the Cu Lao Cham Biosphere Reserve, My Son sanctuary, Tay Vien hot mineral stream, coastal areas in the city of Tam Ky, and a human resources training project.-VNA