04/04/2017 00:04:00

Phu Yen - a blossoming destination

Phan Dinh Phung, deputy chairman of Phu Yen People’s Committee, talked to Thanh Van about the province’s hopes for the Miss ASEAN Friendship 2017 pageant to contribute to Phu Yen’s blossoming tourism industry.

Phu Yen - a blossoming destination - 1What does the contest mean to Vietnam and to Phu Yen province?

Miss ASEAN Friendship 2017, a beauty pageant for the Southeast Asian region, will be hosted throughout Phu Yen from March 1 to July 2, 2017. The pageant is of great political significance for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as the institution marks its 50th anniversary this year.

As an emblem of multiculturalism, the event is also expected to increase mutual understanding among the ASEAN member countries by facilitating cultural exchange within the Southeast Asian region. Phu Yen will play a key role in cultural exchange activities as the region broadcasts Vietnam to the world.

The Miss ASEAN Friendship 2017 pageant promises to attract thousands of tourists to the province and will be a chance to introduce the stunning scenery of Phu Yen to the world. We will take advantage of every opportunity to promote local tourist attractions while hosting the pageant, for example, Xuan Dai bay, Ghenh Da Dia rock palate, O Loan lagoon, Mui Dien lighthouse, and Da Bia mountain.

How is the province preparing for the pageant?

The pageant has focused the event’s theme on natural beauty, friendliness, and hospitality. To win the crown, contestants must represent their traditions, and cultural heritage in line with the event’s theme.

We have joined hands with the organising committee to arrange a host of activities to promote cultural exchange and cooperation. Contestants will engage in many cultural programmes such as meeting up with members of the community, introducing the cultural heritage of the various regions, and environmental protection awareness.

For the event, Phu Yen has also prepared an additional 3000 rooms to meet accommodation demands. The provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the local tourism association, and travel and stay agencies with a presence in the region have cooperated to create a positive image for Phu Yen, and to provide better services for visitors.

Miss ASEAN friendship 2017 combines human beauty and spectacular natural scenery. We are committed to accompanying the organising committee and relevant agencies to ensure a successful pageant.

Phu Yen - a blossoming destination - 2

What are the advantages and disadvantages of developing Phu Yen’s tourism sector?

Phu Yen has many advantages for developing eco and heritage tourism. With a mix of forests, mountains, cliffs, lagoons, and ocean, the region’s wild natural beauty makes it an especially intriguing place to visit. The province is also home to a rich and diverse cultural heritage accumulated over generations. Eco-heritage travel is a win-win path to protecting environmental and cultural assets while creating local jobs and investing in the community.

Despite being abundant in cultural heritages and beautiful scenery, Phu Yen’s tourism lacks modernity and convenience. Most tourists are enamoured by the region’s nature-endowed scenic spots, diverse culture, delicious cuisine and low-cost accommodation, however, by offering more entertainment and shopping options we can provide a better experience for visitors and encourage tourists to return to Phu Yen.

How has the local tourism sector developed in the past few years?

In 2016, the number of tourists travelling to Phu Yen increased by more than 30 per cent in the peak season and at least 17 per cent in the off-peak season. The increases can be attributed at least in part to the success of the film Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass, which was shot in Phu Yen Province and released in cinemas in 2015.

Phu Yen is emerging as a hot new destination for tourists in Vietnam but it has yet to fully exploit its potential. Most tourism products currently on offer focus on accommodation, sightseeing and local cuisine, with a dearth of shopping and entertainment options. There are also few tourism products showcasing traditional arts.

The province hopes to attract domestic and foreign investors who have strong financial capability to make firm commitments to developing the local tourism sector. We are offering many attractive incentives in an effort to woo more investors, especially those who can make a major breakthrough in Phu Yen’s tourism development.

By Thanh Van