Geopark - A leverage for tourism development in Quang Ngai

Sunday - 05/08/2018 12:02
Geotourism aims at the sustainability, for educational purpose and benefits the local communities. Geopark has recently risen as a new entity in geotourism, which promotes responsible and environmental friendly tourism. Geoparks across the globe are encouraged by Global Geoparks Network and UNESCO. Quang Ngai has started the process to develop a dossier to request UNESCO to recognize the Ly Son Geopark as a global geopark.

Vietnam is blessed with rich and diversified natural resources, which is favorable for the development of geotourism. Experiences from other countries advanced in geoparks advise that geotourism would significantly boost the economic growth, scientific awareness and conservation perception by tourists and local communities.

Geoparks promote a protection model integrated with the preservation of outstanding geological heritage and the encouragement of educational opportunities and socio-economic development. In Vietnam, Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark in Ha Giang Province and Cao Bang Scenic Geopark have demonstrated this economic development model, engaging local communities in the geotourism activities, local products and providing tourism services. Geoparks also bring about opportunities for educational, cultural exchange and scientific research with local communities, which would provide a basis for designing adequate development measures for vulnerable communities in mountainous, coastal and island areas.

In regard to Ly Son Geopark, in addition to diversified geoheritage values in the west of the province under the earth crust activities, volcanic activities around Ly Son island and along the coastal areas formed basaltic layers with special morphologic features. These specific and interesting geomorphologic patterns would definitely differentiate the territory from other regions in the country.

Also in the territory of Ly Son Geopark, Sa Huynh Culture is one of the three ancient civilizations in Vietnam, together with Dong Son in the North and Oc Eo in the South. This is a critical factor, especially when combining with food varieties and specific intangible heritages, to provide diversified tourism products for Quang Ngai.

International communities have increasingly been aware of the necessity of preserving geoheritage and those areas with educational, cultural and scientific values. Vietnam has seen fast growth of tourism in recent years and will see it on the rise as diversified cultural and geoheritages are disclosed to tourists.

It is however noticed that too hot development may bring challenges in the heritage conservation. To minimize potential risks, the tourism sector should be managed on the principle of sustainable development, meaning economic growth is coupled with preserving the environment health. With initial concepts, the tourism sector, especially geotourism may bring about opportunities for sustainable economic development for sub-provincial governments and local communities in the Ly Son Geopark territory.
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