Tourism accounts for 8.26 percent of the province’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) at present.
Binh Thuan welcomed over 4.52 million tourists in 2016, earning VND 9.04 trillion (USD 397.48 million). In the first quarter of 2017, the tourist number rose 8.9 percent year on year, generating nearly VND 2.77 trillion VND (USD 121.7 million) in tourism revenue – up 17.4 percent from a year earlier.
At the working session in the province, PM Phuc said Binh Thuan has yet to fully capitalise on its tourism potential. This sector hasn’t received appropriate investment while the number of foreign visitors is still low.
Representatives of some ministries and central agencies also underscored the local sea-based economic potential, especially tourism.
They said if transport infrastructure is developed in a modern and synchronous manner, there are many opportunities to turn tourism into a spearhead industry in Binh Thuan in the near future.
They asked the province to pay attention to human resources training and better mechanisms and policies to attract investment, thereby improving infrastructure and creating more interesting and quality tourism products. By doing so, it could soon become a strong tourism brand name of Vietnam.
In 2016, the province posted a GRDP growth rate of 7.42 percent and per capita GRDP of VND 40.3 million (over USD 1,770). Among key projects in Binh Thuan, the Phu Lac wind power plant with a total capacity of 24MW has been operational.
PM Phuc applauded the province’s achievements while pointing out certain problems, including a shortage of economic driving forces, high household poverty rate, modest application of high technology in agriculture, high rate of agricultural labourers, and low provincial competitiveness.
In the mid-term, Binh Thuan should focus on tourism, processing industry and agriculture, especially hi-tech agriculture, he stressed.
He asked local officials to improve development plans, particularly those for coastal areas, and diversify investment sources. It needs to facilitate entrepreneurship so as to have more than 7,000 businesses by 2020.
The Government leader also requested renewable and non-renewable energy to be harmonised during economic development. He encouraged the province to strive to take the lead in the renewable energy industry in Vietnam.
Additionally, it is necessary to associate sea-based economic activities with sea and island sovereignty protection, he said, adding that fishermen need more support to modernise their fishing vehicles and develop fisheries logistics services, helping to safeguard the marine sovereignty.
During his working trip to Binh Thuan, PM Phuc attended a ceremony to start the construction of a hi-tech agricultural complex in Song Binh commune of Bac Binh district. The 3.9 trillion VND complex, covering 800ha, is set to plant short-term trees, farm dairy and beef cattle, and produce milk products.