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Southern tourism triangle in the offing

HCMC has reached agreement with two other provinces to develop what will become a southern tourism triangle through a variety of joint product development and marketing projects from now to 2012.

In the signing ceremony in the city’s coastal district of Can Gio late last week, the three parties – HCMC, Lam Dong and Binh Thuan – will initially link their key tourist destinations.

They will also organize conferences along the way to call for investors to diversify tourism products while issuing joint marketing brochures and implementing joint promotion programs.

They will jointly participate in tourism exhibitions at home and abroad, arrange local and foreign familiarization trips and connect their tourism and travel websites, among others, according to the pact between the three provincial tourism departments.

In addition to that, the tourism associations of the three localities clinched a similar cooperation deal to develop four tourism routes between HCMC, Dalat and Phan Thiet.

La Quoc Khanh, deputy director of the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said cooperation between the three provinces had been in place since 2007 and had produced some good results.

“HCMC-based travel companies now contribute around 45% of total tourist arrivals in Lam Dong and have many tours linking sites of interest in HCMC, Lam Dong and Binh Thuan,” he said.

In terms of investment, he noted, HCMC companies are also at the top in the other two provinces.

But officials and travel firms at the signing ceremony conceded the three provinces had yet to make full use of marketing activities and promotional events in and outside the country.

The relationship between tourism firms in HCMC, Lam Dong, and Binh Thuan has remained loose and this might make it hard to translate the tourism triangle goal into reality.

“We’re aware of the limitations and will try to resolve them. The three tourism associations on Tuesday signed the cooperation deal that will help us strengthen the link between travel firms,” Le Thi Thanh Lien, deputy director of Binh Thuan Province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said last Friday.

According to reports by the three tourism departments, Lam Dong has 242 tourism projects worth nearly VND47 trillion, with investors from HCMC accounting for 100 projects capitalized at VND29 trillion, and those from Binh Thuan having three projects valued at VND90 billion. Lam Dong is famous for its hilly resort town of Dalat.

Binh Thuan, which is known for the seaside resort town of Phan Thiet, has 253 tourism projects committed by investors in HCMC with total investment capital of VND37 trillion.

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