Central Vietnam’s Con Co Island poised to become the next Maldives: tourism institute
Con Co Island in Quang Tri Province has the potential to replicate the extremely successful tourism model currently employed in the Maldives, according to Nguyen Anh Tuan, president of the Institute for Tourism Development Research under the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
Tuan’s statement was made at a recent conference on Quang Tri’s prospects for tourism organized by the Quang Tri People’s Committee to offer a platform for experts and domestic tourism heavyweights.
Quang Tri’s tourism sector is falling short of its potential due to its failure to create unique tourism products, Tuan said.
The province’s tourism sector is currently reliant on its repertoire of nostalgia-inducing historical sites, while its abundant natural spectacles are underutilized, Tuan said.
The institute's president mentioned Con Co Island as a glimmering light of hope for the province, capable of becoming an emblematic tourism draw for Quang Tri if developed properly.
“Con Co has not attracted any high-profile investors, but it has the potential for an upscale resort that can make a name for Quang Tri tourism,” Tuan explained, using the Maldives as a shining example of tourism done right.
Discrete tourism products are a do-or-die matter for the province, the development of which will require local authorities and the tourism sector to implement deep research into market demands and trends.
Limited inter-regional linkages were also an issue affecting tourism which was discussed at the conference.
As Nguyen Trung Khanh, chairman of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, sees it, tourism linkages between the central provinces of Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Binh, and Quang Tri would complete a distinct experience for visitors and potentially bring huge boosts to the tourism sector in each locale.
Quang Tri should prioritize attracting investment in new resorts and infrastructure for supplemental services and entertainment complexes in order to stimulate demand from visitors, Khanh added.
Such projects are already underway in the province, according to Vo Van Hung, chairman of the Quang Tri People’s Committee.
Local authorities are seeking in-principle approval from Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh for the construction of the province’s first civil airport, which is expected to commence in 2021.
The airdrome is meant to reduce travel time and bring new waves of visitors to Quang Tri.
More infrastructure projects in Quang Tri, including a coastal highway and linkage roads leading to Quang Binh and Thua Thien-Hue Provinces, as well as a route from Dong Ha City to Cua Viet Beach, among others, have also been devised and are seeking funding from investors.
“It is the way to go to link with other provinces, regions, and countries on the East-West Economic Corridor [including Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam]," Hung said.
"It is also the case for commitment to product and service development.”
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