Members of the Thai delegation experience a boat tour of a mangrove forest in Ba Tri district, Ben Tre province.

The delegation included representatives of the Thai Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, the International Cooperation Agency at the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, international colleges of Thailand, the Burapha University, and the Thailand Community-based Tourism Institute.

They visited the districts of Binh Dai, Ba Tri, Thanh Phu, and Cho Lach to experience tourism activities linked with the mangrove forest ecosystem, those typical for the water-connected culture in the Mekong Delta, and the ornamental flower village of Cho Lach. Through the trip, they assessed the capacity and learned the wishes of local households to help with sustainable development of community-based tourism.

A representative of the Thai Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City said the project in Ben Tre will help improve the capacity of both local tourism manpower and people engaging in community-based tourism. It will also assist them to improve skills in developing a community-based tourism ecosystem, managing community-based tourism supply and demand, and increasing the value of the products and services imbued with local communities’ identities.

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Dung, Deputy Director of the Ben Tre Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the province boasts considerable potential and advantages for community-based tourism development. This type of tourism has been promoted to meet tourists’ demand, boost economic restructuring, provide jobs for locals, improve people’s life quality, and popularize the province’s images to Vietnamese and foreign visitors.

Ben Tre targets that by 2025, tourism will have become an important economic sector while the province will have established itself as one of the leading ecological and cultural tourism destinations in the Mekong Delta for international visitors, and also a leading destination in this region for short-term holidays of domestic tourists.

By 2025, tourism revenue is expected to reach 2.3 - 3.2 trillion VND (94.6 - 131.6 million USD) while the sector’s annual growth rate is projected at 22% - 25% and its direct contribution to the province’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) at at least 6%.

Meanwhile, tourism is hoped to become a truly spearhead sector securing sustainable development and boosting the development of others by 2030. Tourism revenue is targeted at 3.8 - 6 trillion VND, the sector’s annual growth rate at 24% - 25%, and direct contribution to the GRDP 10% by that time.

Source: VNA