U Minh Thuong National Park became the eighth Ramsar site in Vietnam and the 2,228th in the world in 2016 (Photo: VNA)

Kien Giang (VNA) – The southern province of Kien Giang is carrying out a project to develop eco-tourism in U Minh Thuong National Park for 2019-2020 with a vision to 2030, with a total investment of over 150 billion VND (6.46 million USD).

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Mai Anh Nhin said that the project aims to preserve natural resources and bio-diversity, while making the most appropriate use of the forest’s potential so as to develop eco-tourism and environmental education in U Minh Thuong National Park.

Through the project, the province will gradually complete the infrastructure system in the park and establish attractive tours to make U Minh Thuong one of the outstanding national parks in the Mekong Delta region and the world.

Located in An Minh Bac and Minh Thuan communes of U Minh Thuong district, the park has a total area of 21,107 ha, including a 8,038-ha core zone; a 13,069-ha buffer zone; 365 ha of preventative forest and 2,728 ha of production forest; and 9,976 ha of farming land, aquaculture area, and land for other purposes.

The park, home to various rare flora and fauna species, is considered a large natural museum on the submerged ecosystem.

In 1994, the U Minh Thuong cajuput forest became the U Minh Thuong Nature Reserve. Three years later, it was officially recognised as a national relic site. The U Minh Thuong National Park was established in 2002. It was recognised as the fifth ASEAN Heritage Park in Vietnam and the first ASEAN Heritage Park located on peatland in the region in 2012, as well as the eighth Ramsar site in Vietnam and the 2,228th in the world in 2016.

In recent years, the national park has come to be known as an attractive eco-tourist destination in the Mekong Delta region.

According to the national park’s Deputy Director Nguyen Van Cuong, it welcomed 63,180 visitors in 2018, up 5 percent year-on-year. In the first few months of 2019, over 15,000 tourists visited the park.

The park has paid attention to diversifying and increasing the quality of its tourism products, with the aim of serving over 70,000 visitors this year. –VNA