A recently unveiled plan has established tourism as an important industry in the South Central Coast of Vietnam by 2020 and a spearhead sector of this region by 2030 which will help to assert the country’s sea and island sovereignty.

The region consists of Da Nang city and the seven provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan.

Under the plan, issued by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the South Central Coast will attract about 14 million visitors, including 4.5 million foreigners, by 2020. The figures are expected to reach 25 million and 7.5 million by 2030.

The Institute for Tourism Development Research said to fully tap into local advantages, the regional localities need to develop marine, cultural and ecological tourism simultaneously. It added that Da Nang, Nha Trang (of Khanh Hoa province) and Phan Thiet (of Binh Thuan) should be developed into modern tourism cities.

To realise the plan, the localities should accelerate traffic infrastructure upgrades, especially on inter-provincial roads and tourism ports in Da Nang, Nha Trang and Binh Dinh’s Quy Nhon city.

While international airports like Da Nang and Cam Ranh need to be expanded, more air routes should be opened to connect the region with other localities nationwide as well as global destinations, the institute said.

It also suggested the South Central Coast offer more tours to faraway islands, support traditional craft activities, and develop specific products for each village to make the region more appealing to holiday makers.

The South Central Coast boasts prominent advantages in marine tourism, biodiversity and culture. It was home to the ancient Champa civilization, and the world cultural heritage site of My Son Sanctuary highlights this rich history. In the past, the region was also an intersection of the Dong Son civilisation to the north and the Sa Huynh civilisation to the south of Vietnam.-VNA