The loan will help Vietnam spread the extremely high growth in visitor numbers it is seeing to other towns and beaches.
The Asian Development Bank has approved a US$45 million loan to help Vietnam, a very rapidly growing destination, turn its secondary towns into more economically inclusive, competitive tourism destinations, TTG Asia reports.
“Climate-resilient transport” and urban infrastructure for tourism development in the lesser-known provinces of Hoa Binh, Nghe An, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue are part of what is called the Second Greater Mekong Subregion Tourism Infrastructure for Inclusive Growth Project.
It will also develop green spaces and public beaches in these provinces, and the project is expected to bring in more than eight million visitors a year.
“Tourism is growing rapidly in Vietnam, but most of the growth and corresponding socioeconomic benefits are concentrated in a few gateway destinations,” explains Steven Schipani, head of the Asian Development Bank’s project administration unit for Vietnam.
“To promote more inclusive and sustainable growth, it’s important for Vietnam to increase public and private investment in secondary towns.”
More specifically, the project will upgrade about 31 kilometres of urban and rural roads and 13 passenger piers to provide visitors and residents with more convenient access to cultural and historic sites in the participating provinces.
To help the town of Cua Lo attract more and higher-spending visitors year-round and adapt to climate change, the project will rehabilitate a 5.5km seawall and beachfront drainage, improve public recreation areas and expand market space for local vendors.
Cua Viet and Cua Tung beaches will benefit from similar investments.
Using training, certification and policy incentives, the project will also help ensure that tourism management in the project’s areas meets standards set by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).