Nearly 5,500 domestic and foreign holiday-makers made visits to Dong Van Karst Plateau Geo-Park in the northern province of Ha Giang during the nine-day lunar New Year (Tet) festival, generating over 5.5 billion VND (235,000 USD) for the tourism sector.

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. Four years after the recognition, big changes have been made to the appearance of four districts in the plateau in particular and Ha Giang province in general.

About 1,600 metres above sea level, the plateau covers a total area of 2,356 km2, 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 the 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.

Thanks to its unique features, the number of vacationers to Dong Van plateau more than doubled to 650,000 visitors in 2014 from 300,000 people in 2010.

In a bid to improve services for tourists, local authorities have organised numerous cultural activities while increasing the monitoring of hotels and other service providers, and ensuring security and safety in the locality.

Tourist enterprises also implemented many promotion activities to lure the attention of domestic and foreign visitors to the site.

In recent years, Ha Giang province has worked hard to attract investment to the plateau, contributing to popularise its image globally and build a brand name for the provincial tourism sector.-VNA