Torrential rain has turned major streets in Quang Ngai into rivers. (Photo: VOV)

Heavy downpours lasting from October 22 evening to October 23 afternoon drenched large areas of Binh Son, Son Tinh, Tu Nghia, and Nghia Hanh districts and Quang Ngai city.

In Quang Ngai city, heavy rain on October 23 evening flooded thousands of homes and roads, disrupting traffic on major arteries.

Rising floodwaters also caused traffic congestion on National Highway 1A passing Binh Nguyen commune, Binh Son district.

Rescue forces moved more than 2,000 local residents from low-lying areas to safer parts of the district, said Ung Dinh Hien, deputy head of the district’s administration.

Residents’ houses inundated (Photo: LDO)

In Nghia Hanh district, water levels in the Phuoc Giang river are rising rapidly, exceeding the third alert level. More than 750 households living along the river were inundated, with some places 1.5m deep in water. A local was reported missing due to rising floodwaters in Hanh Dung commune.

As heavy rain is forecast to lash Quang Ngai on October 24-25, the provincial administration has requested districts and cities to pool all resources to cope with severe flooding, with a primary focus on evacuation of local residents from flood- and landslide prone areas.

Project on marine aquaculture development till 2030 approved

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh has recently signed Decision No.1664/QD-TTg approving a project on marine aquaculture development till 2030 with a vision to 2045, reported the Voice of Vietnam.

Fish cage farming at sea. Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

The overall goal of the project is developing a synchronous, safe, effective, sustainable and eco-friendly marine aquaculture, producing branded products to meet domestic and foreign demand, generating jobs and improving income of residential community in coastal areas, contributing to protecting the security of the country’s seas and islands.

By 2025, the project targets having 280,000ha for aquaculture, achieving an output of 850,000 tonnes and export revenue of 800 million – 1 billion USD.

By 2045, sea farming will become an important part of the fishery sector with modern management, contributing to over 25 percent of the total output and earning more than 4 billion USD in export turnover.

To such end, a synchronous infrastructure will be developed to serve the industry. Specifically, a fleet of logistics vessels and offshore marine farming areas will be set up in key provinces.

As for inshore sea farming, priority will be given to competitive consumption markets and growing various species in combination with resources protection and management in coastal areas.

For cities and provinces from Quang Ninh to Ninh Binh, the Hai Phong – Quang Ninh area will be built into a sea aquaculture centre with concentrated mollusca breeding areas, thus meeting domestic and regional demand.

The cities and provinces from Thanh Hoa and Binh Thuan will develop sea aquaculture in tandem with seafood processing, logistics services, building and operating a mobile model for effective and sustainable exploitation and management of lobster breeding.

The cities and provinces from Ba Ria – Vung Tau to Kien Giang will harmoniously combine sea farming with services, marine ecological tourism, wind power and processing industry.

Under the draft project, offshore marine farming areas will be established in key cities and provinces such as Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Quang Ngai, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Ca Mau and Kien Giang and several others with favourable natural conditions.

Healthcare tourism: untapped potential in Vietnam

Medical tourism has emerged as a major trend around the world as the COVID-19 pandemic and environmental pollution have caused people to pay more attention to their health. Particularly, experts said the post-COVID-19 era would be a booming period for all types of healthcare services, reported the Voice of Vietnam.

Tourists practice yoga on the beach on Con Dao island. (Photo: VNA)

This new kind of tourism has not been effectively exploited in Vietnam, despite the big number of destinations with potential for wellness tourism.

Wellness tourism has become popular in some countries including the US, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, China, Thailand and Indonesia.

“It is forecasted that the global wellness tourism market will post a revenue of 919 billion USD in 2022,” tourism expert Nguyen Van Luu said.

Currently, this type of tourism is growing rapidly from North America to Europe and Asia-Pacific and will expand faster in the coming years, he added.

It is worth mentioning that over the past five years, Asia has led in both the number of visitors and revenue from healthcare tourism.

Deputy Director of the Tourism Market Department, Vu Nam cited Yufuin, a rural village in Oita Prefecture of Japan as an example in exploiting local resources for health tourism.

With a natural area of about 1,800 hectares and a population of about 10,000 people, the village welcomed nearly 4.5 million visitors in 2019.

It is estimated that more than 12,000 visitors arrived at Yufuin per day on average, more than the population of the village. The income from tourism in 2019 of local people reached more than 16 billion JPY, equivalent to nearly 15 million USD.

“Yufuin can be said to be one of the most typical tourist destinations in exploiting hot mineral resources for the development of healthcare tourism not only in Japan but also around the world," Nam said.

Commenting on this tourism trend, which has developed in the world but is still untapped in Vietnam, deputy head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong said there will be a shift in the tourism trend in the future, especially long-term trips will no longer be mere sightseeing trips. It will be a combination of relaxation and the use of services to strengthen physical and mental health.

Tourists enjoy Japanese-style hot spring bath. (Photo: Photo: VNA)

Huong said the main reason for wellness tourism to be ignored in Vietnam is a lack of comprehensive research on its potential as well as no specific orientations and policies for the development of this type of tourism.

Over recent years, many hot mineral springs have opened for tourists such as Quang Hanh (Quang Ninh province), My Lam (Tuyen Quang province) and Thanh Thuy (Phu Tho province) which offer Japanese-style healthcare tourism services with hot spring baths.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, about 350,000 foreigners came to Vietnam in 2018 for to have medical examinations and treatments, generating a turnover of 2 billion USD. Meanwhile, every year, about 40,000 Vietnamese people travel abroad for healthcare services in combination with tourism and spend billions of dollars. It showed that not only international visitors but also domestic travelers are potential customers of this type of tourism.

To meet the demand of tourists, some travel agencies have developed a wide range of tourist products associated with maintaining and promoting people’s health such as yoga on beach and massage therapy, offering a fresh experience for visitors.

Director of Thua Thien Hue Department of Tourism, Tran Huu Thuy Giang, said that this locality will study and soon issue policies and product orientations for tourism businesses to develop and put into operation healthcare tours.

“It is necessary to define this type of tourism a key type in the planning and development strategy of Vietnam's tourism. The government needs to have policies and plans for the development of this type of tourism in order to improve the health of the Vietnamese community and attract foreigners and increase revenue for the state budget,” said Professor Nguyen Van Dinh, a tourism expert./.

Compiled by BTA