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|Can Tho wants to partner with the Japan National Tourism Organisation to promote its tourism potential and attract more international tourists. - Photo vietnamcharmtravel.com|
At a meeting with officials from JNTO’s Viet Nam office on Tuesday, Truong Quang Hoai Nam, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee, said the city still faces some challenges in promoting tourism, which it considers a key sector.
As a result, though Can Tho is a socio-economic hub of the delta and known for its diverse tourism products, its tourism sector has not yet fulfilled its potential.
Last year Can Tho received more than 5.3 million foreign tourists but only a third chose to stay overnight.
This year more than 5.4 million have visited Can Tho with only 1.35 million staying on.
Nam blamed this on a “shortage of international flight routes, international-standard attractions and big investors who are capable of investing in high-quality tourism projects.”
To give a boost to the tourism sector, the city needs to form partnerships with cultural-tourism organisations in the region, he said.
Nam said the city is soliciting investment in the many hillocks along the Hau River, including Son Hillock in Cai Rang District where some investors are building resorts and a golf course.
Son Hillock in Binh Thuy District has seen community-based tourism grow rather slowly, and the city has encouraged investment in diversifying tourism products and building resorts.
Takahashi Ayumi, JNTO’s chief representative in Viet Nam, said Japan is deeply interested in tourism activities in Can Tho since the city possesses beautiful landscapes created by rivers and orchards, something that can hardly be seen in Japan.
Admitting his organisation does not know much about Can Tho tourism, he said city authorities should provide more information so that it could disseminate it among Japanese tourist agencies.
“Last year more than 740,000 Japanese tourists visited Viet Nam. And the main destinations were Ha Noi, HCM City and Da Nang. This year we have started promoting tourism to a new destination, which is Can Tho. Hopefully, the number of Japanese tourists to Can Tho and vice versa will increase.”
Takahashi pledged to lobby the Japanese embassy for easing visa policies for Vietnamese tourists and hold more exchange events to boost tourism co-operation between the two countries.
He urged the Can Tho authorities to start more air services from the delta to major Japanese cities to facilitate travel.