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Quang Tri seeks proper tourism models for Con Co Island

Con Co island district targets to welcome an expected 10,000 visitors and generate VND13.5 billion (US$567,000) in tourism and service revenue in 2023. More than 7,200 visitors came to the island between January 1 and July 30, making its tourism and service revenue both increased.

Quang Tri seeks proper tourism models for Con Co Island

Tourists posed for photos at the national flag pole in Con Co Island. Photo: Tu Linh

“Con Co Tourist” and “Chin Nghia Quang Tri” are the two ships currently providing daily service to tourists visiting the island.

On weekdays, each train usually departs from Cua Viet port at around 7 or 8 a.m. for the island. It takes 45 minutes to one hour to get to the island. Visitors spend one night on Con Co Island before departing for the mainland the following morning.

According to Nguyen Duc Tan, Director of the Provincial Center for Investment Promotion, Trade, and Tourism, Con Co is an island district with a 2.3 km2 area and a population of about 400 people that is located more than 18 nautical miles from the mainland. Con Co has a crucial strategic position at the southern entrance to the Gulf of Tonkin, despite the island’s small size.

Con Co Island has ideal environmental conditions for the growth of the tourism industry. Indeed, the island is untainted and has not been significantly impacted by humans. The island“s topography resembles a natural history museum. Visitors can walk or ride a bicycle through the island”s extensive forest to view the pristine forest with vibrant flowers and fresh green leaves throughout the year. Con Co Island Marine Reserve surrounds the island.

Being one of Vietnam's marine habitats with a high richness, it has fish, seaweed, and coral reefs that are typical of tropical waters. The marine life on the island is some of the most abundant and exquisite in all of Vietnam. According to the findings of their inquiry, Con Co Island boasts 109 kinds of coral, many of which are uncommon and valuable, particularly red coral and black coral. Additionally, there are more than 50 types of seaweed that are highly valuable.

Visitors to Con Co Island can enjoy everything from the forest to the sea while submerged in the crystal-clear water with vibrant coral reefs. More enticingly, Con Co is situated in the well-known tourist triangle system Con Co - Cua Viet - Cua Tung, giving visitors to Quang Tri the chance to explore not only Con Co but also coastal locations with lovely scenery, special national historical sites, and beautiful landscapes.

“If you come to Con Co to enjoy cultural-historical tourism, you still do not fully understand this unique island,” said Nguyen Van Dung, a visitor from Hanoi to the island. Con Co's cuisine has its own distinctive characteristics. Here, the sea snail has a distinctive scent, powerful flavor, and crispy meat. Oysters, seaweed, and island-raised pig are other delicacies. A successful trip to a tourist attraction doesn't require me to like and recall a mouthwatering meal, but Con Co has helped me remember and appreciate many things. The best tour for visitors to Con Co Island is a two-day, one-night trip, he added.

According to Vo Viet Cuong, Chairman of the People's Committee for the Con Co island district and Secretary of the District Party Committee, with these potentials and advantages, the district has enjoyed political stability and success since its inception in accordance with Decree 174/2004/ND-CP dated October 1, 2004. The government's unique policy for the Con Co island district, which was officially implemented on April 18, 2005, focuses on economic development while also consolidating and maintaining national defense and security, with a special emphasis on constructing Con Co to become a maritime tourism island.

Con Co Island continues to call for investment in the construction of approved works for socio-economic development, with a focus on tourism infrastructure, in accordance with the master plan for socio-economic development in the period of 2020-2025, with a vision to 2030.

Mr. Vo Viet Cuong acknowledged that Con Co needs to create specialized tourism products like scuba diving, fishing, and experience tourism associated with establishing the Con Co brand in order to better serve tourists.

In order to develop enticing sightseeing chains combining mainland tourism with Con Co Island tourism and to increase the effectiveness of tours and tourist routes, the coordination between localities in the province, particularly between tourist attractions, must be strengthened.

In search of a suitable development for Con Co Island, tourism economists contend that Quang Tri Province needs to create a resort tourism brand in addition to maintaining popular and high-end tourism products. It would build lodgings with top-notch amenities for few but high-class visitors. Since then, a variety of tourism-related products have been developed that can rival the nation’s principal tourist destinations.

Mr. Nguyen Duc Tan claims that the island conservation area and the unique cuisine are just two examples of the places that are included in the stimulus program to promote the cultural traditions and history of the heroic island in the resistance war against the US. To promote Con Co tourism and help it grow in line with its potential and advantages, the Provincial People's Committee is appealing to investors to construct standard lodging facilities in the island district.

Tu Linh – Linh Pham

Tu Linh – Linh Pham

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