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Exploring Langbiang – the first biosphere reserve in Central Highlands

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As the 9th biosphere reserve recognised by UNESCO in Vietnam, Langbiang is truly an attractive and special destination for nature lovers.

Exploring Langbiang - the first biosphere reserve in Central Highlands hinh anh 1

A view of the Langbiang Biosphere Reserve (Photo: baolamdong.vn)

Hanoi – Located in the north of the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, Langbiang Biosphere Reserve covers 275,439 hectares and boasts a large primeval forest whose core is the Bidoup – Nui Ba National Park.

As the 9th biosphere reserve recognised by UNESCO in Vietnam, Langbiang is truly an attractive and special destination for nature lovers.

Biological diversity

Langbiang was recognised as a world biosphere reserve at the 27th session of the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme on June 9, 2015, becoming the first of its kind in the Central Highlands.

Located in the north of Lam Dong province, it covers 275,439 hectares of land and boasts a large primeval forest whose core is the Bidoup – Nui Ba National Park. It is assessed as one of the four biodiversity centres in Vietnam.

Located at altitudes ranging from 650 metres to 2,300 metres, Langbiang is home to a great diversity of natural ecosystems, including terrestrial and aquatic ones. It also harbours all the natural forest biotopes which are the habitat for wild animals.

The diversity of natural biotopes, from woody and bamboo mixed forest, scrubland, to grassland, has contributed to the richness of reptile, amphibian, insect, and flora species.

Meanwhile, aquatic biotopes such as lakes, rivers, and streams in the middle of forest not only form beautiful landscapes, create transitions of ecosystems, and act as the habitat of fish and other aquatic species.

Thanks to its ecosystem diversity, the Langbiang Biosphere Reserve is home to 1,940 flora species, including particularly rare ones like “thong hai la det” (Pinus krempfii), which is endemic to the Bidoup – Nui Ba National Park; “po mu” (Fokienia hodginsii (Dunn) A. Henry et Thomas), “thong do” (Taxus Wallichiana Zucc), and “thong 5 la Da Lat” (Pinus dalatensis).

With 297 orchid species, Langbiang is dubbed the “orchid capital” of Vietnam. As many as 89 mammal species, 247 bird species, 46 reptile species, 30 fish species, and 335 insect species have also been reported here.

The biosphere reserve holds biodiversity values of global importance. Scientists recorded 153 fauna and flora species listed in the 2007 Vietnam Red Data Book and 154 in the 2010 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Among them, five face the risk of global extinction, namely Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti), black-shanked douc (Pygathrix nigripes), yellow-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus gabriellae), gaur (Bos gaurus), and Annamese langur (Trachypithecus margarita).

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) also identified this place as the No 1 priority area for conservation in a programme on conserving the main mountains of the South Truong Son Mountain Range in Vietnam.

In addition, the Langbiang Biosphere Reserve also harbours the space of gong culture in the Central Highlands, which was listed as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO.

The space of gong culture spreads across the five Central Highlands provinces of Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, and Lam Dong, with its owners being local ethnic groups such as Bana, Xedang, Mnong, K’ho, Romam, Ede, Giarai.

Efforts made for conservation, sustainable development

According to Lam Dong authorities, the UNESCO recognition of Langbiang as a world biosphere reserve has created both opportunities and challenges to the province in general and the Vietnamese Government in particular in maintaining functions of a world-class biosphere reserve.

Relevant agencies have the responsibility for seriously realising the international commitment to biodiversity conservation. To do that, they will have to seek more concerted, scientific, and thorough measures to adapt to climate change.

Besides, it is also necessary to have more scientific solutions to achieve sustainable development on the basis of the economic, social, and environmental pillars.

To manage and protect the first world biosphere reserve in the Central Highlands, Lam Dong province set up a management board for the site, increased communications, conducted scientific researches and biodiversity conservation, and enhanced cooperation with international partners.

The management board has given priority to ensuring the harmony between human and the nature, upholding traditional cultural identities of the ethnic groups residing in the reserve, and guaranteeing the concurrence of human and social development and biodiversity conservation./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/exploring-langbiang-the-first-biosphere-reserve-in-central-highlands/247300.vnp

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New products, services needed to reach tourism targets

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To realise the targets of attracting 110 million tourists and earning some 650 trillion VND (27.5 billion USD) in revenue this year, Vietnam is recommended to develop more products and services to offer new experiences to visitors.

New products, services needed to reach tourism targets hinh anh 1Visitors to Hanoi on a bus tour (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi – To realise the targets of attracting 110 million tourists and earning some 650 trillion
VND (27.5 billion USD) in revenue this year, Vietnam is recommended to develop
more products and services to offer new experiences to visitors.

The
VNDirect Securities JSC held that the aviation and tourism industries will
record breakthrough growth from 2023 thanks to the strong recovery of
international markets.

The
number of foreign arrivals in Vietnam is predicted to completely return to pre-pandemic
levels by next year 2024 and be equivalent to 118.9% of the 2019 figure, before the COVID-19
broke out, a year later, the Lao dong (Labour) daily reported.

The
UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) recently also forecast the international
tourist number may reach 80 – 95% of pre-pandemic levels in 2023.

The
Vietfoot Travel company said the country’s tourism sector, including travel and
event planning firms, will have opportunities to bounce back and soon regain
its 2019 growth trend.

Vietnam
welcomed 871,200 international arrivals in January. It targets 8 million foreigners for this year.

New products, services needed to reach tourism targets hinh anh 2Foreign tourists visit the Old Quarter of Hanoi by pedicab. (Photo: VNA)

Despite
a surge in the tourist number since the year’s beginning, the sector is still
facing difficulties and challenges.

Lao
dong quoted General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism
Nguyen Trung Khanh as saying that due to impacts of the global economic recession
and domestic socio-economic changes, travellers’ purchasing power has decreased
and they tend to curb spending on middle- and high-end services.

To
achieve the set targets, many experts recommended the sector develop new products
and services, diversify and improve the quality of services, and increase
experiences to meet tourists’ demand.

They
added travel businesses should also increase communications and promotion
activities, stay updated with market trends, and ensure security and safety of
destinations. It is also necessary to enhance tourism connectivity among
localities to attract more domestic and international visitors./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/new-products-services-needed-to-reach-tourism-targets/248002.vnp

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Unique products needed to boost HCM City’s tourism

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Ho Chi Minh City’s tourism sector is continuing to recover strongly and posting many impressive results. The city’s efforts in improving product quality and creating new offerings have given the sector a boost, but limitations remain that need to be addressed for the city to become an appealing destination, especially for international visitors.

In the heart of modern, bustling Ho Chi Minh City, the Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine boasts an older appearance. For more than ten years, the museum has offered an interesting experience to visitors, showcasing a collection of more than 3,000 precious artifacts relating to traditional Vietnamese medicine from the Stone Age to the present.

However, there are few opportunities for visitors to engage in activities to learn about traditional medicine or receive health advice. The museum is therefore not widely known among visitors to the city.

“One district, one tourism product” is the new mantra from Ho Chi Minh City to expand tours and offerings. 20 districts have announced typical tourism products so far.

However, while there are unique and well-known destinations such as Cu Chi Tunnels and various monuments and attractions in the city centre, newly-launched products are only prominent in certain areas. 

Insiders liken travel resources to baking ingredients. Ho Chi Minh City has many ingredients, but there is a shortage of bakers and few ways to make delicious cakes, or unique tourism products. 

Analysts have suggested that the city adopt a clear development strategy and goals and position itself as a must-see destination based on unique offerings and key brand values, so that it is not simply a transit point./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/unique-products-needed-to-boost-hcm-citys-tourism/247973.vnp

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HCM City’s tourism products among top unique tours in Vietnam

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As a result of Ho Chi Minh City’s unceasing efforts to diversify tourism products, several has been listed among the top 20 unique tours promising interesting experiences for travellers in Vietnam.

HCM City’s tourism products among top unique tours in Vietnam hinh anh 1Travellers in a Vespa tour in HCM City (Photo: VNA)

HCM City – As a
result of Ho Chi Minh City’s unceasing efforts to diversify tourism products, several
has been listed among the top 20 unique tours promising interesting experiences
for travellers in Vietnam.

The list was announced by the
Vietnam Record Organisation (VietKings) last month.

Among them, a tour gives travellers
a chance to try working as a physician and learn about traditional medicine at
the Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine in District 10.

The private museum, opened by the FITO
Pharma Co.Ltd, features more than 3,000 precious objects related to traditional
medicine of Vietnam, including herb slicers and grinders dating back some 2,500
years, a collection of books with over 100,000 pages in total written in Han (Chinese)
and Nom (old Chinese-like script of Vietnam), and hundreds of valuable
remedies.

Another tour in the list is a dining-in-the-dark journey at Noir Restaurant,
where tourists can enjoy delicate tastes and structures of dishes completely in
the dark with services provided by well-trained visually-impaired waiters and
waitresses.

It brings about not only dining
experiences but also a chance for exchange between the abled and the disabled.

Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, Director of the HCM City Tourism Department, said that
since 2022, the southern metropolis has reaped success in the programme
developing one typical tourism product for each district. The department has also
been striving to reform products so that the city can become a must-visit
destination.

Efforts have proved fruitful, she
noted, adding that HCM City now boasts more than 60 tourism products, including
30 new ones of local districts and Thu Duc city./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/hcm-citys-tourism-products-among-top-unique-tours-in-vietnam/247958.vnp

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