Co To island, a special island district of northeast Vietnam’s Quang Ninh Province, has a very small area and population, however, it is situated at an important location in Vietnam’s northeast sea territory. All the right elements for tourism development are found here, with a clean environment, friendly people, and endless expanses of beach. The sand offers fine beachcombing opportunities, and an exceptional variety of seafood is readily available.
Mr. Nguyen Duc Thanh, secretary and chairman of the People’s Committee of Co To District of Quang Ninh Province, has underlined his determination to turn Co To Island into a flower island for visitors.
According to Mr. Thanh, plans are in place to develop Co To into a national eco-tourism area with luxury services on both sea and land. Co To, along with Cat Ba Island, will be key tourism destinations on routes covering Cat Ba, Ha Long, Van Don, Co To, Mong Cai and Tra Co. Services will include sports, beach relaxation, sightseeing and other activities on the islands.
To achieve this goal, from now till 2015, the authorities will concentrate on completing construction of the basic infrastructure, especially a high quality transport system connecting the island to the mainland, to serve both general economic development and tourism.
From 2012, sustainable and rapid development of tourism on Co To Island will be given priority, to provide high quality eco tours suitable with the island’s geographic characteristics.
In the near future, a group of quality, high speed boats will begin transport to the island, shortening the trip to one hour, and key tourist areas will be better organized. Concerned authorities are working to create various tours combined with community development, bringing more opportunities for clients to go fishing with villagers and experience the local lifestyle.
Local planners expect to attract about 12,000 tourists in 2012 and about 15,000 – 16,000 in 2015, including 4,000 – 5,000 foreigners.
Early this summer (2012), local authorities have arranged 2 high speed boats and 2 wooden boats for daytime customer transport, while three 15 to 24 seat vans provide improved transport to the local hotels.
Another new effort is the investment and operation of a system of electric vehicles taking tourists around the island. Travellers will be welcomed with a program named “Journey to the country’s islands and seas” involving 5,500 tourists and 50 journeys. A tour allowing travellers to experience one day as an island guardian has also been introduced, attracting much attendance.
Homestays are available on Co To Island, encouraging travellers to experience the lives of local people, while at the same time creating a solution for the problem of limited local accommodation and creating opportunities for locals to join in the tourism business.
Co To is gradually turning into an island of flowers, attracting more people to enjoy its natural scenery and linking it more closely to the mainland.