Turn values of island, cultural heritage into spearhead to boost Quang Ngai tourism

With a coastline of more than 130 km, Quang Ngai province in the central region is a land of unique island and cultural heritage values, which is great potential and advantage for the locality to promote tourism and gradually turn it into a spearhead economic sector.
Ly Son island in Quang Ngai province. (Photo: VNA)
Ly Son island in Quang Ngai province. (Photo: VNA)

When talking about Quang Ngai, people immediately think of Ly Son. The sacred island located in the middle of the East Sea is not only known as the "garlic kingdom" but also home to a diverse and unique system of tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

The about-10-sq.km island is said to be a place where the quintessence of major cultures such as Cham, Sa Huynh and Dai Viet converge and intersect with a system of six national relic sites, two national intangible cultural heritage sites, and 19 provincial-level sites and many archaeological and religious architectural sites imbued with marine cultural nuances.

According to Dr. Nguyen Dang Vu, former Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the diversity and uniqueness of tangible and intangible cultural systems have created a historical-cultural flow on the island, which seems to be kept intact. In particular, the “Le khao le the linh Hoang Sa” (Feast and Commemoration Festival for Hoang Sa Soldiers) – a national intangible cultural heritage - is a unique festival of Ly Son island that cannot be found anywhere else in the country.

This is the only festival associated with the birth and activities of the Hoang Sa Flotilla, and the history of Vietnam's territorial sovereignty in the East Sea. The event is to pay tribute to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives over the centuries guarding the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly).

With its potential and advantages, Ly Son has become a favourite destination of many domestic and foreign tourists.

The province has determined that island resources and Sa Huynh Culture are the core values of the Quang Ngai tourism brand.

According to Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Dang Van Minh, in recent years, island tourism has become the main type of tourism in Quang Ngai's tourism development strategy, contributing to promoting marine economic resources, and unique maritime culture of coastal communities.

The province has signed cooperation agreements with other localities in the region, inked a tourism development cooperation agreement for the 2020-2025 period between Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and the central key economic region, thereby creating opportunities for businesses to connect, survey, and build products to stimulate tourism.

Quang Ngai has also identified tourism development as one of the key tasks of the 2021-2025 term. The provincial Party Committee has issued Resolution No. 05 on promoting tourism development to make it gradually become a spearhead economic sector while the provincial People's Committee has promulgated plans to restructure and develop tourism that features professionalism, modernity, quality and sustainability, so as to become one of the attractive destinations in the south central coastal region, and create a brand on the tourism map of the country.

It addition, the province is focused on attracting investment to develop the Dung Quat-Ly Son area into a national island tourism centre. They also want to develop the My Khe beach into a national tourist area, and preserve the unique cultural values of Sa Huynh Culture, dating back 2,500-3,000 years ago, to build a dossier to submit to UNESCO for recognition of it as World Cultural Heritage.

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