According to the Institute for Tourism Development Research under the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), the Mekong Delta has a special and diversified ecosystem featuring different habitat types of the sea, islands, river gates, mangrove forest, islets, biosphere reserves, national parks, nature reserves, typical diversified natural resource, unique culture and history creating oriental multiple cultural identities of the region.
Globalization and international integration have created a driving force for tourism development, a connection between the Mekong Delta region and HCMC along with areas across the country and nations. The tourism growth of the Mekong Delta and HCMC will affect the socioeconomic development of localities in the region. Moreover, tourism also provides chances to introduce cultural values, landscapes and Vietnamese people to international friends and offers cooperation opportunities among provinces and cities, and countries.
Deputy Director-General of VNAT Ha Van Sieu said that the conference is one of the main missions of the tourism development plan in 2022. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has cooperated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to build an agricultural tourism development program. The Mekong Delta provinces and cities need to exploit their strong points of rice, fruit, and fishery; closely connect with HCMC in order to promote the city’s leading role in supporting the development of the tourism industry, especially agricultural tourism of the region.
Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of HCMC Duong Anh Duc stressed that the Covid-19 pandemics caused trends in tourism to change. Small group tours with family or friends, leisure tourism, medical tourism, nature-based tourism, agricultural tourism, and community-based tourism are popular travel trends of the post-Covid-19 period. It is an opportunity for HCMC and provinces and cities in the Mekong Delta region to strengthen the agritourism development corporation.
The city’s leader suggested that the Southern localities should focus on upgrading and developing road and waterway transport infrastructures to shorten the distance and traveling time, building standard rest stops, developing trans-provincial tourist products, advertising and promoting local products and specialties, issuing policies supporting investment and ecotourism development, developing and ensuring supply chains of high-quality OCOP (One Commune One Product) products, and building a special and diversified agricultural tourism development program, he added.
Agricultural tourism development needs to be tied to the preservation and promotion of cultural identities, ecological environmental protection, and building tourism brands for localities and the region.
Speaking at the conference, the Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee hoped that agricultural tourism development must be developed sustainably and effectively. The linkage in tourism between HCMC and the Mekong Delta will be drastically carried out. The city will boost trade promotion programs and consumption of key agricultural commodities and OCOP products in the city in 2021-2025, and support localities to develop and consume goods, and diversify supply sources for the city’s distribution system.