A sleeping beauty

January 22, 2013 | 17:34
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Song Cau town in Phu Yen province has charmed many visitors, but lots still need to be done to bolster its hospitality industry

Song Cau is home to around 80 kilometres of coastline, with marvelous landscapes surrounding Xuan Dai bay and Cu Mong lagoon, ideal for refreshment tours. The area is also home to streams, caves and picturesque waterfalls – all offering fantastic opportunities for eco tourism.

The Song Cau authorities have outlined its tourism development plans with eight tourism sites, including Xuan Yen-Bai Tram, Bai Bau and Bai Rang. New tourism routes have been created, with the first linking Xuan Dai bay and Cu Mong lagoon, and the second connecting Tuy Hoa town with Binh Dinh province.

The town has thus far channeled huge investment into building and upgrading important infrastructure, serving social economic development as well as the development of services and tourism, capitalising on diverse capital sources. Several of its villages have been recognised as craft villages, while due attention is being paid to shielding the environment, plus social and cultural development.

Cultural-historical relics recognition is being sought for the Hanh Cung Long Binh and Dao Tri sites, while an application for nature recognition of Xuan Dai bay has been lodged. Xuan Dai is a little known gem which is expected to ramp up provincial tourism development in the coming years. The bay charms visitors with its bow-shaped sand bar surrounded by over five kilometers of poplar forest.

Visitors also have a chance to try local, authentic seafood and can boat along Xuan Dai bay to admire the western mountain ranges or the Tu Nham sand dune east of Xuan Thinh peninsula, which from afar looks like a white cloud ascending into the mountain peak.

Despite its unique beauty, Xuan Dai bay remains relatively unvisited. With renown charms of nature and historical sites, like O Loan and Cu Mong lagoons, the area promises to be part of a compelling tour package, helping to release Phu Yen’s eco tourism potential and put Song Cau on the map.

Development solutions

Song Cau sought support from provincial agencies to devise the town’s tourism development plan to 2020 with a vision towards 2030. Constant efforts will be made to ensure effective enforcement of the provincial investment incentive policies and scale up usage efficiency of diverse capital sources.

Long-term and annual plans will be mapped out to woo investors onboard, parallel to creating new tours on Xuan Dai bay and fostering links with other localities in the region to promote eco tours. Promoting local food, such as banh trang (special editable rice paper) and fried anchovies, is also important.

Infrastructure development will be one of the top investment priorities for successful implementation of social economic development goals, linking to tourism, particularly ocean tourism development.

Investment will also be ploughed into bettering technical tourism infrastructure, with priority given to upgrading and expanding main routes, particularly those leading to famous visitor sites.

Tapping local culture and history is also a must, while further efforts will be geared towards restoring and developing traditional food dishes, feasts and craft villages to create distinctive offerings for visitors.

Last but not least, Phu Yen needs to bolster state management efficiency and human resources training, actively support investors to speed up projects’ pace, build marine reserve sites and restore salt-marsh forests. The overall target is to turn Song Cau town into a safe and attractive venue for inbound and outbound visitors and investors.

Cooperation with neighbouring Binh Dinh province

The national highway 1D linking Binh Dinh and Phu Yen provinces is sealed and provides amazing views, with wide sand banks and the sea on one side and imposing mountain ranges on the other. Nice beaches spread along the route and attract huge numbers of Phu Yen and Binh Dinh visitors at weekends.

The route not only helps avoid the Cu Mong pass along national highway 1 and shorten the distance from Quy Nhon to Ho Chi Minh City by 15 kilometres, but also props up social economic development of the land linking Binh Dinh and Phu Yen.

The developer of the area’s largest resort is $4 million investor, Bai Dai-Quy  Nhon Tourism Joint Venture Company. The company  was founded by Binh Dinh Tourism Company and an Austrian partner with a view to establish a world-class resort in Quy Nhon city’s Ghenh Rang ward, the first of its kind in Binh Dinh province.

Construction of the resort kicked off in early August 2012. This was the first in a chain of activities that will create a turnaround in provincial tourism development.


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