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Wednesday, 17/04/2024 18:17

Bến Tre Province forum discusses tourism linkages between HCMC, Mekong Delta

The 2024 Tourism Linkage and Development Forum held by HCM City and 13 Mekong Delta localities was held in Bến Tre on April 17. - VNS Photo Việt Dũng

BẾN TRE - Mekong Delta localities agreed to enhance co-operation this year for promoting each other’s tourism strengths at the 2024 Tourism Linkage and Development Forum held in Bến Tre Province on April 17.

The forum was an opportunity for the 12 provinces, HCM City and Cần Thơ City to network, set targets for 2024 and strengthen tourism co-operation.

Nguyễn Thị Bé Mười, deputy chairwoman of the Bến Tre People’s Committee, said her province offers tourists rivers, diverse specialities, friendly people, and a variety of cultural and historical relics. 

It is capable of linking up with other delta provinces and HCM City to create attractive tours for domestic and foreign travellers, she said.

“In addition to Bến Tre’s own efforts, we hope to continue to get support and co-operation from other localities to … reap positive results.

“Bến Tre strives to soon become one of the tourist hubs of the Mekong Delta, making contributions to the region’s tourism value chain.”

Bùi Thị Ngọc Hiếu, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Tourism, said the five key areas of the programme are exchanging information for tourism management, co-operation to develop tourism products, tourism promotion and facilitation, workforce development, and investment facilitation.

The delta localities are working together this year on some key activities such as building a programme to develop tourism products that link them, organising events for competent tourist guides to share experiences and a competition for innovative tourism startups in Kiên Giang Province.

Assoc Prof Dr Phạm Trung Lương, a former deputy rector of the Vietnam Tourism Development Research Institute, said tourism is inter-regional, and regions would struggle if they do not link up and work with others.

Linking and developing tourism among provinces is crucial to utilising each other’s strengths, enhancing the delta’s competitiveness, and minimising overlapping, which is especially important since otherwise tourists would only visit one or two areas in the region, he said.

Representatives of other Mekong Delta provinces at the forum said they are committed to facilitating tourism linkages and creating favourable conditions for developing unique local tourism products, and called for stronger co-operation and assistance within the region.​

Stalls at the forum promote Bến Tre’s key agricultural products and tourism models. - VNS Photo Việt Dũng

​A poll on attractive destinations in HCM City and 13 Mekong Delta localities was also launched at the event.  

Tourism destinations can sign up for the voting, organised by their tourism departments and Tuổi Trẻ newspaper. 

The results, based on votes cast on the newspaper’s website and an assessment by the programme’s council of experts, will be announced at the end of the year.

At the forum, businesses and organisations promoted Bến Tre’s OCOP products and tourism models, including its iconic coconuts, and networked with visitors and potential partners.

On April 16 around 40 tourism businesses in HCM City surveyed noteworthy tourism destinations in Bến Tre.

This was the third time the forum was held after being held in 2019 in HCM City and 2022 in Đồng Tháp Province. 

The delta is identified as one of the seven main tourist regions of the country.

It is rich in resources, canals, eco-systems, and unique cultural values, giving the place great potential to become an important resort destination in the south. 

In 2023 Bến Tre received over 2.2 million tourists, a 72 per cent increase from the previous year.

Tourism revenues topped VNĐ2.7 trillion, a 77.3 per cent rise. VNS

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