Mekong Delta develops new tourism products hinh anh 1Hon Thom island in Kien Giang province (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) – The Mekong Delta region enjoyed a boost in tourist arrivals in the first half of the year as a result of efforts to diversify tourism products and services, authorities have said.

The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho welcomed 4.9 million tourist arrivals in the first six months of the year, up 9.5 percent year-on-year, according to the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

During the period, the number of foreign tourists visiting the city rose by 13.6 percent to 199,500.

The city’s tourism revenue was estimated at 2.27 trillion VND (97.84 million USD) in the first half, a year-on-year increase of 17 percent.

Can Tho city has focused on upgrading tourist attractions and developing new tourism products, especially MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) tourism.

The city organised various cultural and tourism events to lure visitors such as the Southern Traditional Cake Festival from April 12-16 and Tan Loc Fruit Garden Festival from June 7-9.

Many provinces organised FAM (familiarisation) trips to Can Tho city to promote tourism product linkages and explore cooperation opportunities.

The tourism sector in Kien Giang province implemented various measures to attract investment and improve the quality of tourism products.

In the first half of the year, the province received nearly 4.3 million tourist arrivals, up 9 percent year-on-year.

The province’s tourism revenue was estimated at 4.26 trillion VND (183.6 million USD), up 42.6 percent year-on-year.

Phu Quoc island is the most popular destination in Kien Giang province, with more than 2.2 million visitor arrivals, a year-on-year increase of 36 percent.

Tran Chi Dung, Director of the provincial Department of Tourism, said the province effectively explored eco-tourism with exciting experiences at tourist attractions.

The An Thoi - Hon Thom cable car and the casino at Corona Resort and Casino are new destinations on Phu Quoc island.

Dong Thap province also saw a rise in the number of tourist arrivals in the first six months of this year, with a total of 1.95 million arrivals.

The province, which ranked third in the Mekong Delta region in tourist arrivals, saw strong growth in community-based tourism.

Ngo Quang Tuyen, deputy director of the province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said in recent years many households had begun homestay tourism and welcomed visitors to their orchid gardens, lotus fields and flower gardens.

The province has developed 78 community-based tourism sites that improve economic and environmental sustainability, Tuyen said.

The province has also focused on development of agro-tourism sites that offer tourists experiences on local farms.

Huynh Ngoc Hoang Anh of Saigontourist’s marketing and communication department said the company operates various tours from HCM City to Mekong Delta region by air, sea and river.

Tours designed for travelers by sea are from HCM City to Tien Giang and Vinh Long provinces, while river tours depart from HCM City to Tien Giang, Vinh Long, Dong Thap and An Giang provinces, Anh said.-VNS/VNA