Tourism experts focus on Mekong Delta

HANOI, 29 March 2019:  A top tourism official representing the Mekong Delta Tourism Association says promoting the delta’s floating markets and improving airline connectivity with urban cities and towns in the north and regions is now a priority.

Southeast Asia and East Asia are top potential markets to boost international travel to the Mekong Delta, but airline links from the Vietnam’s gateway airports of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang need improving.

The Mekong Delta Tourism Association chairman, Tran Viet Cuong, made the comments to the Vietnam News Agency during a tourism conference hosted in Hanoi 27 March.

Held on the sidelines of the Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) 2019, the conference introduced the region’s natural resources, tourism products and activities.

It also called for partnerships in human resources training and investment in tourism development.

Spanning 40,548 sq km, the Mekong Delta comprises of Can Tho city and the provinces of An Giang, Bac Lieu, Ben Tre, Ca Mau, Dong Thap, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Long An, Soc Trang, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh and Vinh Long.

Top attractions include tours to the Cai Rang floating market, the Temple of Ba Chua Xu Nui Sam, and Ca Mau Cape, and Ngo boat racing.

Can Tho is the top destination and one of the largest agricultural producers in the country, but for tourists the early morning visit to the Cai Rang floating wholesale market on a section of the Can Tho river is a must see attraction.

The best way to explore the market is to charter a sampan and sail between boats piled high with fruits and vegetables.

The province’s floating markets are in decline as new bridges and roads replace river transport and fewer customers visit the markets.

Travel agents recommend travellers visit Can Tho and its floating markets like Cai Rang, Phong Dien or Phung Hiep before they disappear.

Tourism officials face the long-term challenge of how to revive the commercial value of the floating markets, while maintaining the cultural attraction for visitors.  

The region is renowned for its eco-tourism products, both cultural and historical as well as community-based agricultural and river or sea-based tourism.

(Source VNA)