Sunday, 15/10/2023 08:21

Green tourism crucial for Bình Thuận Province to reach international level

Văn Châu

Beaches in Bình Thuận are still pristine, pollution-free and off the beaten path. VNS Photo Văn Châu

With a special geographical location on the south central coast, bordering Southeast and Central Highlands provinces, Bình Thuận Province is a land of many natural and cultural resources well placed to develop green tourism.

The province has chosen a green tourism development direction, as it is considered the "key" to open the door for tourism to break through. Bình Thuận has been implementing many solutions, while clearly recognising difficulties and limitations in finding ways to affirm a strong foothold on the domestic and international tourism map.

Located in the southernmost part of the coastal central region, Bình Thuận is gradually developing tourism, promising regional and global attractions.

The charming province has a 192km coast with various beautiful beaches, poetic landscapes, fresh air, and a warm climate.

Many prestigious travel magazines have selected the locality as one of the ideal destinations in the world.

The locality gathers enough factors to develop a variety of products, such as resort tourism, excursions, recreational sports on the sea, dunes, adventure tourism, exploration of flora and fauna under the sea, cultural tourism, tours of belief and religious establishments, historical and cultural heritage and folk festivals.

Bình Thuận Province is a paradise for seafood lovers. VNS Photo Văn Châu

Positioning a tourism identity

According to experts, green tourism can be understood as tourism development based on nature and culture. It aims to be environmentally friendly, contributing to preserving and promoting the values of natural resources and cultural identity, thereby improving community life and encouraging tourists to participate with responsibility for environmental protection.

Nguyễn Văn Đính, from the Việt Nam Tourism Association, affirms that green tourism products are ones with a high content of environmentally friendly elements, developed in accordance with the principles of environmental protection, responsibility to the community and sustainable development.

Amid the current trend of increasing interest in natural environment among tourists, the development of high-quality, green tourism products makes an important contribution to boosting the competitiveness and attractiveness of a tourism destination, in addition to a number of other factors, such as convenience in accessing the destination, image, and information about the destination.

From this perspective, it can be seen that Bình Thuận possesses extremely diverse and valuable resources to strongly develop tourism, firmly positioning the destination with many environmentally friendly products and the preservation of resources in the direction of sustainable development.

Bùi Thế Nhân, director of the Bình Thuận Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said that when talking about Bình Thuận tourism, it is impossible not to mention beautiful beaches and many famous nature reserves such as Ông Mountain, Tà Cú Mountain, Phú Quý Marine Protected Area, the wild beauty of Cù Lao Câu Island and well-known destinations with typical landscapes such as Mũi Né sand dunes, Bàu Trắng, Kê Gà Lighthouse, which is one of the seven tallest lighthouses in Việt Nam, Fairy Stream and Bà Waterfalls.

Not only that, Bình Thuận is also a convergence of many cultural heritages associated with the history and development of the province, and multiple ethnic communities. Cultural tourism resources and craft villages in the province are very diverse, including Pô Sah Inư Chăm Tower, Thầy Thím Palace, and national cultural festivals such as the Kate Festival, Nghinh Ông Festival, Whale-Worshipping Festival along with the pottery villages of the Chăm ethnic people.

According to Chairman of the province's Tourism Association Nguyễn Văn Khoa, the province is located in a tropical climate area, with lots of wind, sunshine and sunny days, so tourism activities can take place all year round, including swimming and relaxation activities.

This is an attractive destination for tourists who love a warm vacation in a tropical country with fresh air, beautiful nature, blue seas, white sand, golden sunshine, and the unique cultural features of many ethnic groups living together on the south central coast.

Tourists experience services at Mian Farm eco-tourism area in Bình Thuận Province's Bắc Bình District. VNA/VNS Photo

Currently, along with high-end tourism products such as golf, beach resorts, marine sports tourism, and off-road sports tourism, Bình Thuận is also developing tourism product lines called "tourism green” that link tourism activities with preserving and promoting resource values and environmental protection.

The province has been developing cultural tourism products associated with festivals, sightseeing and learning about community life and traditional craft villages. Bình Thuận promotes the development of forest-waterfall-lake-sea-island eco-tourism products, nature conquest tourism, adventure tourism, agricultural eco-tourism, community tourism combined with homestays, tourism combined with health care, resort tourism, and tourism combined with events and conferences.

In addition, the province is creating new tourism products associated with the direct participation of the local people and promoting cultural, historical, and natural landscapes, meeting the criteria of tourism development according to a green and sustainable direction.

The provincial tourism authority is implementing a plan to build an agritourism model in the province with pilot models such as visiting dragon fruit gardens or waterfalls.

Creating long-term value

To create long-term value, Bình Thuận focuses on ensuring that the tourism environment develops in a 'green' direction, in harmony with local community life, creating a beautiful impression for tourists.

Bình Thuận tourism, with its orientation to develop into a key economic sector, is creating many elements of green tourism development. The province focuses on preserving and spreading awareness of environmental protection and tourism resources to tourists.

Deputy Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Nguyễn Minh says that Bình Thuận has been promoting green products, clean energy, creating a friendly and safe environment, and preserving cultural heritage and the good traditional values of the nation. The convergence of many cultures, a fresh environment, unique scenery, unique cultural festivals, and friendly people has helped Bình Thuận captivate many domestic and foreign tourists.

Many businesses in the province have focused on investing in facilities to ensure low energy consumption and minimal environmental emissions. In the process of serving tourists, establishments prioritise the use of environmentally friendly materials and limit plastic wastes.

Many resorts and tourist destinations in Bình Thuận have a construction density of less than 25 per cent, creating ventilation and an environment that ensures green spaces in harmony with nature.

Numerous resort facilities have created a "circular circle" in treating trash and wastewater, contributing to environmental protection. It is the conscious cooperation of the tourism and service business community that contributes to the province's tourism development.

In the first seven months of this year, Bình Thuận welcomed over 5.3 million visitors, an increase of more than 82 per cent over the same period last year. Revenue from tourism activities reached VNĐ13.5 trillion, an increase of 2.1 times.

To create a safe and friendly tourism environment, the province promotes information to raise awareness of good tourism practices, and requires small traders to sign a commitment not to engage in fraudulent trading, especially seafood trading. The authorities also guard against the practice of not posting prices, selling at higher prices or cheating tourists, Minh says.

The authorities also regularly inspect the management of tourist attractions, and business establishments to implement regulations that ensure hygiene and food safety, and strictly punish violations to create a safe setting for tourists.

One of the tourist magnets is Mũi Né Fishing Village. However, currently, many parts of this area have degraded.

Therefore, the administration of Phan Thiết City has been conducting a project to renovate and embellish the village by expanding roads, improving drainage systems, and renewing railings to create a bay to view the sea, as well as a parking lot for tourists to visit and take photos.

It is expected that these projects will be completed this year.

Marine sports in Bình Thuận such as windsurfing are of great interest to international tourists. VNS Photo Văn Châu

Promoting marine sports

Bình Thuận is also diversifying products, and turning the locality into an international marine sports and tourism centre

Since 2020, the Mũi Né Tourist Area has been recognised as a National Tourist Area by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. This is one of the important levers and driving forces for Bình Thuận tourism to develop with the Mũi Né National Tourist Area as the focus to promote the tourism industry to other areas in the province.

Therefore, for marine sports and entertainment tourism, Bình Thuận focuses on attracting investment in tourism projects and high-class, green-clean-beautiful resorts associated with services, entertainment, commerce, services, sports and casinos. The province has hosted national and international sports competitions such as the Windsurfing World Cup tournament of the Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA).

International tourists walk on the Hàm Tiến-Mũi Né tourist route in Bình Thuận Province's Phan Thiết City. VNS Photo Văn Châu

Bình Thuận is home to nearly 900 accommodation establishments, 13 travel agencies, and 25,000 tourism workers. The tourism industry contributes 12-13 per cent to the province's GRDP.

The province aims to welcome 8.9 million visitors by 2025 and 16 million visitors by 2030, of which international visitors will account for 15-20 per cent.

Last year, the province welcomed 5.6 million tourists, earning an estimated revenue of VNĐ12.8 trillion (over US$546 million). It strives to attract over 6.7 million tourists this year and turn tourism into one of the three pillars of its economy.

The province also plans to build the Mũi Né National Tourist Area into one of the leading destinations in the Asia-Pacific region. VNS

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