Development master plans are necessary for all industries, based on which the State calls for investment, allocate investment capital. However, the tourism development plan has been ignored by local authorities.
When reviewing the tourism development in the last few years, experts all say the development has not been following the development plan set up by the government. As all localities want to develop tourism, they have been doing all the things they can instead of referring to the common development plan.
Pham Trung Luong, Deputy Head of the Tourism Research and Development Institute has noted that the overall development plan has been broken, and “every man for himself.”
The Tuan Chau tourism complex in Ha Long City is a typical example. When projecting the tourism site, experts pointed out that it would be better to build a bridge which connects the land and the island. However, instead of a bridge, a road has been built. Though the building of the road allowed saving money, this has spoiled the beautiful landscape in the area, thus leading to unsustainable development. As a result, the tourism site has not developed well as previously expected.
When projecting the development of the coastal areas in the central region, especially in Binh Thuan province and Nha Trang City of Khanh Hoa province, experts said it was necessary to build the winding roads in the coastal areas and leave the area for local residents to go to the open sea.
However, in some localities, land has been divided into plots which have been allocated to investors for resort development for profit, leaving no way for farmers to go. As a result, fishermen have to take roundabout to go to the open sea, while experts have warned that the prolonged conflicts between local residents and investors may cause bad consequences.
Khanh Hoa provincial authorities have recently thought of a solution under which a resort that blocks the view to the sea in the sea city of Nha Trang would be relocated, so as to give place to the city’s residents’ amusement site.
Also according to Luong, local authorities tend to ignore the overall development plan when developing tourism products. A senior official of the Thanh Hoa provincial department of culture, sports and tourism said when projecting the development of Sam Son beach, the department suggested developing some tourism sites.
However, the local authorities later approved the development of many different accommodation bases, both small and big.
The arising of many accommodation bases at that time helped satisfy the rapidly increasing demand in 1990-2000. However, this has led to the unsustainable development of the local tourism, which is now considered the barrier that hinders the development of Sam Son Beach into a key tourism site in the north of the central region.
A conductor needed
In the past, a principle that every locality followed was “every man for himself.” However, local authorities have realized that tourism should be the inter-provincial products. Therefore, local officials have been sitting together to discuss how to cooperate to develop tourism
Nevertheless, it seems that it’s really difficult for them to find a common voice. As neighboring localities have similar geographical conditions, they sometimes have similar tourism products, which makes tourists feel boring when enjoying the same products.
It would be better if every locality has the specific tourism products to attract travelers and fit their different tastes.
Luong has suggested that every region should have an outstanding tourism center. For example, in the south of the central region, it would be very good to form up the complexes of big sea resorts. Meanwhile, in Hanoi and HCM City, it is necessary to establish big trade centers and amusement complexes, suitable for the development of MICE tourism (meeting, incentives, conference and exhibitions)