Dong Van Karst Plateau welcomes first foreign tourists in 2016 hinh anh 1Buckwheat flower field in Ha Giang province. (Photo: VNA)

Ha Giang (VNA) - The northern mountainous province of Ha Giang on January 1 held a ceremony to welcome the first foreign visitors to its Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark.

Trieu Thi Tinh, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that greeting the first callers from the US and UK, Ha Giang will have more momentums to realise its goal of becoming a key tourism centre in the country.

Dong Van plateau was recognised as a member of the Global Network of National Geoparks in 2010, becoming Vietnam’s first geological park and the second in Southeast Asia.

About 1,600 metres above the sea level, the plateau covers a total area of 2,356 square kilometres, stretching across Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van and Meo Vac districts. It is 80 percent limestone and contains the fossils of thousands of species of prehistoric creatures from 400-600 million years ago.

Visitors to the plateau are not only impressed by its stunning view but also have a chance to enrich their knowledge about traditional customs and culture of 17 different ethnic groups living in the area

According to Tran Duc Quy, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, the local tourism sector recorded a stellar performance in 2015, with 17.3 percent surge in the number of holidaymakers and 708 billion VND (31.5 million USD) in revenue.

He said that the province has paid much attention to renovating tourism popularisation and promotion, helping vacationers have an opportunity to experience and discover the outstanding features of the locality, especially during the buckwheat flower festival.

In 2016, Ha Giang expects to welcome 900,000 domestic and foreign visitors and earn 1 trillion VND (44.5 million USD) form tourism activities.-VNA