Constraints yet remain with the linkage
Over twenty years ago, Quang Nam, Da Nang, and Thua Thien Hue proactively signed a cooperation agreement for tourism development with the theme “Three localities - one destination.” Since then, this association activity has yielded positive results in coordinating promotion, marketing, and hosting tourism events.
Towards the end of 2021, five provinces, including Quang Nam, Da Nang, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Tri, and Quang Binh, also had a meeting to launch a tourism development program for 2022. However, within the scope of regional linkage, the story of tourism development linkage still has many concerns.
With 14 provinces and cities, stretching across 1,900 kilometers of coastline with diverse topographies, including hills, mountains, plains, and coastal areas, Central Vietnam boasts immense potential and advantages in tourism development. It is the only region in Vietnam that concentrates most of the nation's cultural and natural heritage sites, such as the My Son temple complex, Hoi An Ancient Town, the Hue Imperial City complex, Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, Royal court music, and the Bai Choi art form.
Additionally, numerous beaches, coastal islands, natural landscapes, and natural cave systems offer outstanding advantages in attracting tourists and contributing to the growth of the service tourism industry. However, regional linkage still faces several limitations.
Recently, at the "Sustainable tourism development in Central regions in the new context" seminar on August 28th, organized by the Thua Thien Hue Institute for Development Studies in collaboration with the Institute of Social Sciences of the Central Region, many experts evaluated that cooperative and collaborative tourism activities in this region have primarily been limited to enhancing policy discussions, providing directions, and proposing general solutions for regional tourism development. The scope of linkages remains narrow, and sustainable linkages are lacking in the current landscape.
Tourism linkage yields substantial values
According to Dr. Hoang Hong Hiep, Acting Director of the Institute of Social Sciences of the Central Region, Central Vietnam holds immense potential for international tourism development. However, the practical contributions of the tourism sector to the economic growth of Central Vietnam are still quite limited.
Tourism mainly develops in breadth based on the raw exploitation of tourism resources and focuses on attracting investment capital in developing the system of accommodation facilities.
Transitioning from “tourist spots” to “tourist region”
Many provinces in the Central region, including Thua Thien Hue, have identified tourism as a key economic sector. In the midst of recent changes and uncertainties, linkage has become an inevitable principle for the development and promotion of tourism.
Mr. Nguyen Van Phuc, Director of the Department of Tourism, emphasized that in order to develop sustainable tourism, provinces need to research and grasp new tourism trends, implement timely and suitable policies to develop new products, foster collaborative development across the regions, and focus on effective tourism promotion and marketing.
Furthermore, provinces must invest in infrastructure, technical facilities, and human resource development to support the tourism sector.
Provinces should create and unify tourism development plans, collaborate on the development of shared tourism products, and invest in transportation infrastructure to connect provinces and create tourist destinations.
In addition, the adoption of a unified regional tourism development strategy is essential. This strategy should allow each province to build its own unique tourism products based on their cultural, historical, and natural values, complementing each other rather than overlapping. This approach aims to create a chain of attractive tourism products that extend the duration of tourists' visits. Furthermore, a three-way coordination among accommodation facilities, tour operators, and transportation systems is crucial for the success of the tourism industry.