Binh Duong (VNA) – A workshop took place in the southern province of Binh Duong on May 11 to promote tourism as a path to connect cultures between cities, provinces and communities in Vietnam and Malaysia.

It was co-hosted by Thu Dau Mot University (TDMU) in Binh Duong and the University of Science, Malaysia (USM) in Penang.

Addressing the event, TDMU rector Nguyen Van Hiep briefed participants on an overview of Binh Duong, which is located in the southern key economic area and becoming the fastest-growing locality in Southeastern region.

Binh Duong is among the country’s key FDI magnets. However, the development of tourism has yet to reach the local potential as the province welcomed over 200,000 foreign visitors last year, Hiep said.

At the workshop, participants from both sides introduced tourism potential in Binh Duong and Penang, where the two universities base. Penang was honoured as a World Heritage City by UNESCO, which is home to a series of cultural, architectural heritage, craft villages, and recreation centres.

The participants got updates on foreign tourist arrivals from Muslim-majority countries. In 2017, Vietnam welcomed over 400,000 travellers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Middle East who mostly stayed in Ho Chi Minh City and Mekong Delta provinces. Only a few of them travelled to Binh Duong though the province is just 30 km away from Ho Chi Minh City.

Via international tourism, mutual understanding in culture and tourism between the two countries will be enhanced, said Prof. Badaruddin Mohamed, Principal Researcher of Sustainable Tourism Research Cluster, School of Housing, Building and Planning, the USM.

At the end of the event, a cooperation programme was signed between the Tourism Development Study Institute at the TDMU and the Sustainable Tourism Research Cluster at the USM.-VNA