A UNESCO representative recommended the Mekong Delta city of Can
Tho apply the national strategy for community-based tourism development during a
working session with the municipal People’s Committee on December 14.
Vice Chairwoman of the committee Vo Thi Hong Anh said as a driving force for the
Mekong Delta, Can Tho has witnessed rapid urbanisation over the last decade,
which has affected its cultural identity and natural landscapes – major tourist
attractions in this city.
Can Tho has worked to establish itself as an ecological – cultural – tourism
city. It wants to combine urbanisation with eco-tourism to ensure sustainable
tourism, she said, adding that it also preserves architectural and artistic
relics and intangible cultural heritage.
However, Can Tho faces many difficulties in tourism due to modest funds,
manpower quality and experience. It is looking to balance economic development
and environmental protection with an aim to become the first eco-city in the
Mekong Delta, Anh noted.
Pham Thi Thanh Huong from UNESCO Viet Nam’s cultural research division said a
UNESCO survey shows that most visitors to the country do not look for modern
tourism services, but want to explore Viet Nam’s unique cultural identities and
Can Tho is on the right path by focusing on eco-tourism and helping tourists
experience local culture. But lax coordination among local authorities,
residents and travel agencies has limited tourism activities’ effectiveness, she
She advised the city to apply the national strategy for community-based tourism
development, which is designed by UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and
The model focuses on training and assisting local residents and businesses to
improve service quality. Families strong at making handicrafts, farming special
plant varieties and animal breeds, or cooking traditional dishes will also be
supported with communication and financial management skills and knowledge about
optimising tourism products, she added.
UNESCO Viet Nam will work with the Can Tho administration to orient the city’s
development towards green industry, clean agriculture and eco-tourism, Huong
said, hoping that Can Tho will soon become the first eco-city in the Mekong