Vietnam Central Highlands’ tourism map added with new destinations
A week ago, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism carried out the second survey on new destinations in the Central Highlands to organise “The Central Highlands Green Road” programme, linking well-known eco-tourism sites with many recently-discovered sites. Vu The Binh, Director of the Travel Department, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism talked about the survey.
The Central Highlands provinces of Vietnam have rich potential for tourism development. Not only the Central Highlands’ gongs are famous, but also landscapes and eco-tourism sites in the Central Highlands are also very beautiful. Therefore, the National Administration views the Central Highlands as a key region to develop tourism.
The thing is how to exploit available potential of the Central Highlands to serve tourists. One of our important programmes for tourism development is to build “The Central Highlands Green Road” programme. Last week’s survey was made at villages of ethnic minority groups along Ho Chi Minh Trail in Da Nang City and Quang Nam province.
Through the two surveys (the first one made last year), travel businesses came to the places where they could organise tours for tourists in a series of the central and Central Highlands provinces. The National Administration of Tourism has also acknowledged rich tourism potential of the Central Highlands. Various tours can be organised for both international and domestic tourists.
There, Vietnam tourists are able to discover diverse and attractive life of the Central Highlands’ ethnic community, wild forests and mountains and imposing waterfalls, particularly in rainy seasons. A large number of destinations can be listed, which include both already-visited and newly-discovered places. After the surveys, the tourism map of the Central Highlands has been added with new destinations and groups of tourists start to travel to the Vietnam Central Highlands.
Through the surveys, travel businesses highly valued and considered it a treasure to enrich tourist activities of Vietnam. For years, when tourists travel to Vietnam, they often come to familiar places. One of the reasons why a few foreign tourists come back to Vietnam is that tourism products are monotonous. If we want to change such monotony, we should introduce new products to tourists like new destinations discovered in the Central Highlands through the surveys.
Why is the programme called “The Central Highlands Green Road?”
Mr Vu The Binh: It is only a name to call all the tours related to the Central Highlands belonging to the programme. The word “Green Road” confirms important ecological factor: it is the forest. So far, despite being badly exploited, forests in the Central Highlands are still very beautiful.
Apart from the forests, the Central Highlands has also owned many attractive and imposing waterfalls. It can be said that the most beautiful waterfalls of Vietnam are located in the Central Highlands. Vegetational cover in the Central Highlands is still quite rich.
How does the National Administration of Tourism support localities to develop this programme?
The National Administration of Tourism will fund cultural establishments of the Central Highlands community in order to turn these traditional cultural activities into tourism products. This year, the administration is to give funds to two villages – De K’tu in Gia Lai province and Don Village in Dak Lak province.
The administration will give direct assistance to the locals to found traditional cultural troupes by equipping them with necessary musical instruments such as gongs, string instruments and flutes and costumes. The locals like singing and dancing but they cannot afford these things. Therefore, the tourism sector will fund them to join training courses so that they can collect, compile and re-train folk songs and dances.
Each village will receive VND 50 million. Each year, the National Administration of Tourism will fund from two to three villages. It is hoped that, in five years’ time, the Central Highlands will have such 10 cultural establishments to serve tourists.
After the surveys, the number of tours on “The Central Highlands Green Road” has increased and the number of tourists travelling to the Central Highlands has also increased by 20% in 2005 in comparison with the year 2004. The number of domestic and international tourists to the Central Highlands will certainly rise this year, an estimated increase of 20%.
What are dominant destinations of the “Green Road?”
They are destinations from Da Nang City to Lam Dong province. Before, tourists knew the Central Highlands through such popular places as Lac Lake, Don Village or D’ray Nur, Gia Long and Trinh Nu waterfalls. Now, in the Central Highlands, each province has set up cultural and eco-tourism establishments to serve tourists.
For example in Kon Tum province, apart from such well-known destinations as Kon Tum prison, Wooden Church or Bishop’s Office, Kon Tum province has developed new eco-tourism sites, turning the whole forest into a tourist centre. Villages surrounding Kon Tum town are also being selected to serve tourists.
(Source: Nhan Dan)
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