Phu Yen's Gold coast

January 22, 2013 | 17:20
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Like several other central coast localities, Phu Yen possesses much potential for tourism development.

The province is set to craft strategies to capitalise on this and turn tourism into a front-line economic sector. Here, Phu Yen province People’s Committee chairman, Pham Dinh Cu, shines light on the province’s next moves.

l What does Phu Yen have to offer tourists?

Phu Yen is home to a  200 kilometre stretch of coast - a terrain where sea, forest and plain areas converge, creating stunning landscapes, like Cu Mong and O Loan lagoons, the gulfs of Xuan Dai and Vung Ro and gorgeous beaches such as Bai Bang, Bai Rang, Bai Mon, Binh Hoa, Tu Nham, and Binh Sa.

The harmonious blending of these areas has charmed innumerable visitors. The province is also well-known for its unique rock fields, like Ganh Do, Ganh Dua, Ganh Yen, and the ever-popular Ganh Da Dia (Da Dia Cliff), which is an unmatched venue luring throngs of local and foreign visitors.

In addition, Phu Yen hosts 17 nationally recognised charms of nature and historical relic sites, including Vung Ro Bay with links to the legendary Doan Tau Khong So (No Number Fleet) and the sea-based Ho Chi Minh trail. The Dai Lanh cape meanwhile greets the first sunlight to hit the mainland, with its 100 year old beacon.  Da Bia mountain is closey linked to the founding history of our nation, with its altar and grave site of Luong Ma Chanh - a national hero born in Phu Yen.

We also have the An Tho citadel - the birthplace of Vietnam Communist Party’s first general secretary Tran Phu plus Chop Chai-Ma Ba Du Ky mountain, where provincial people and armed forces successfully rescued lawyer and late State President, Nguyen Huu Tho.

Besides, the province carries many distinctive cultural aspects due to its diverse resident groups, like the melodious folk-songs of coastal fishermen and the unique feasts of ethnic minority people.

Phu Yen is also proud of its delicious seafood varieties like Cu Mong lagoon crab and the O Loan lagoon oyster.

In brief, with great many scenic spots and its local specialties, Phu Yen and the south-central coastal provinces hold much promise as tourist venues.

l How has provincial potential been tapped thus far?

Despite its enormous potential, little investment has been channeled into promoting tourism industry development thus far. At this time, Phu Yen just has one five-star and two four-star hotels.

Hence, the province is largely regarded as a visitor stopover, rather than a place for a longer term stay. We have scaled up management efforts to bolster tourism development in the forthcoming time. Accordingly, Phu Yen will prioritise developing ocean tours and the tapping of cultural and historical relics and our local cultures. Efforts will be geared towards developing infrastructure around enchanting beaches parallel to enlarging entertainment venues and building unique tours within the province, targeting the special locations mentioned above.

l What are your development goals?

The overall development target is to gradually turn Phu Yen into a crucial link in the regional tourism development chain, connecting the Central Highlands and south-central coastal provinces, creating a catalyst to motivate economic structure transformation for industry, services and agriculture, with tourism services as the top priority.

The quality and efficiency of hotels, resorts, entertainment venues and associated tourism services in Tuy Hoa city, Song Cau town, Tuy An district, Dong Hoa district will be further enhanced parallel to boosting similar developments in other locations to meet visitors’ growing requirements.

Besides, efforts will be made to enhance tourism infrastructure at historical sites and natural beauty spots.  

By 2020 Phu Yen will have made strides to be home to at least one nationally recognised tourism site in Xuan Dai gulf-Cu Mong lagoon-Tu Nham beach-Ganh Da Dia area, setting up several resorts and gradually establishing top-notch services leading to breakthroughs in provincial tourism development.

Increasing the quality and public awareness of water transport, with more yachts, ports and routes and increasing diversity are necessities.

l What are the concrete targets?

With respect to visitors, the province targets a 20 per cent hike per year in tourist arrivals, and a 37 per cent per year surge in international visitors. By 2015, the province’s hotel accommodations will welcome around 800,000-900,000 visitors, including 90,000-100,000 foreign arrivals (10-12 per cent); the foreign visitors’ average stay target is 2.6-2.8 days and that of local visitors 1.8-2 days.

Tourism revenue is projected to rise 30 per cent per year and is expected to reach VND1.684 trillion ($81 million) by 2015 -  $63 per day for the average foreign visitor and $40 of a local. Also by 2015, we propose the tourism sector will account for $51 million, comprising over 5.7 per cent of the provincial GDP.

In regards to tourist infrastructure, by 2015 Phu Yen is set to accommodate around 140 hotel accommodations with 4,000-4,200 rooms, 12-13 resorts  with a room occupancy rate surpassing 60 per cent.

As for human resources, around 6,100 employees will work directly in the provincial tourism sector, with over 70 per cent of them expected to be trained in professional skills.

l What will be the priority markets and products?

In terms of outbound visitors, Phu Yen will target Northeast Asia (Taiwan, Japan and Korea), Southeast Asian markets (mainly Cambodia, southern Laos and Northeast Thailand), North America, Western Europe (Germany, the UK and France) and Australia.
As for inbound visitors, the province will give priority to visitors coming from Ho Chi Minh City, south-central coastal areas and Mekong Delta provinces via air and road. Visitors from the Central Highlands will also be a focus, alongside attracting travellers from Hanoi, northern localities and those in central region key economic zone.

Besides, Phu Yen will not ignore potential outbound visitor markets like ASEAN member countries, North Europe, Southeastern Europe, New Zealand and the Middle East, as well as visitors coming from the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden which promise long-term growth potential.

Phu Yen will tailor tour packages based on its copious potential, such as presenting sight-seeing refreshment tours to cultural and historical relic sites or to places of scenic beauty;   and creating eco tours to discover our distinctive cultures, unique lagoons and natural reserve sites.

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