Binh Thuan to boost tourism via the allure of its culinary

22/04/2024, 09:37

BTO - Along with beautiful natural landscapes and unique cultural identity, the essence of cuisine is becoming a “specialty” attracting tourists. This is considered one of the main reasons for travelers to choose a destination and act as a “bridge” to keep tourists coming back.

Distinctive and enticing cuisine

Recently, Thuy Vi (a traveler from Dong Nai) shared on social media: “This is my first time visiting Phu Quy. Besides being impressed by the beautiful scenery, I was also drawn to the delicious food. Especially the dish “hot beef Phu Quy”. Although I have tasted beef in many places, for some reason the beef here is so delicious. I will return to this small island to continue enjoying the delicious dishes here.”

Phan Thiet hot pot.

Not only Thuy Vi but many tourists are amazed and enchanted by the “hot beef Phu Quy” dish. Many restaurant owners on the island explained that the “hot” in “hot beef Phu Quy” does not only refer to the heat of the dish but also to the freshness of the beef on the island. “The beef on the island is firm, tender, sweet, and fresh. Because the cattle on Phu Quy are raised by grazing on grass, raised in the most natural way. Therefore, many tourists who come to Phu Quy cannot resist this delicious dish,” one restaurant owner said.

It can be said that cuisine is one of the factors that create the allure for tourists when choosing a destination. Mr. Phan Hoang Binh Son (a traveler from Tay Ninh) believes: Anyone traveling is always interested in researching information about the destination such as hotels, tourist attractions, entertainment spots, shopping areas… and among them, the priority is to choose a destination with good food, even desiring to fully enjoy it.

Visiting Binh Thuan this time, Mr. Son was impressed by exploring, shopping, and enjoying cuisine at Phan Thiet market. He said: “That day was on a weekend, so the atmosphere of buying and selling was bustling at the food stalls. We visited the market and counted over 50 stalls with a variety of dishes, such as: Quang noodles, crab noodle soup, grilled meat vermicelli, sizzling pancakes, mini pancakes… Then there were snacks like dried squid, squid sausage, grilled rice paper, sweet soup… Each dish was prepared in different ways, carrying the distinctive flavors of Phan Thiet. Although I couldn’t taste all the dishes, I felt very delighted,” Mr. Son said.

The dish “Rolled minced fish cake” of Binh Thuan also evokes nostalgia for many tourists. “When you eat the minced fish cake, it has a very distinctive fragrant and fatty taste, crispy and served with raw vegetables, cucumber, green mango… along with a dipping sauce that is the ‘soul’ of the whole dish, made from peanut fish sauce. It’s delicious, so whenever we have the chance, my family comes back to Binh Thuan to enjoy this dish,” Ms. Linh Lan (a tourist from Ho Chi Minh City) said.

Culinary tourism - a new direction

It can be said that cuisine is a particularly important “link” for tourism, aiming to enhance a tourism product. This “link” when weak can be a serious negative point or create an unsightly “blemish” for the tourism brand.

Currently, Binh Thuan has 600 tourism accommodation establishments with a total of 17,658 rooms. At the same time, there are many restaurants, eateries ranging from budget to upscale in tourist areas, serving all types of tourists. This is one of the foundations for the development of culinary tourism products. Additionally, with the advantage of a vast fishing ground of about 52,000 km2, Binh Thuan is a region with a large fishing and aquaculture industry in the country. Therefore, Binh Thuan possesses a diverse range of coastal dishes from various types of fish and seafood, each with its own distinctive characteristics that cannot be confused with any other place.

The excellence of Binh Thuan cuisine has been recognized by the Vietnam Record Organization (VietKings) and the Top Vietnam Center (VietTop) in the Top 100 specialty dishes and Top 100 specialty gifts (2020-2021) for delicious dishes and unique products nationwide such as hotpot, sun-dried squid in Phan Thiet, fish sauce, dragon fruit wine, dried dragon fruit… Recently, Binh Thuan dragon fruit and Phan Thiet golden anchovy fish sauce have also been announced by VietKings to be included in the list of 9 Vietnamese dishes, food groups, and specialties of Vietnam that have set Asian records.

Capitalizing on these advantages, the tourism industry in Binh Thuan is further enhancing the cultural and culinary advantages to develop sustainable tourism. Accordingly, Binh Thuan has increased promotion, connectivity to promote culinary tourism, creating and maintaining destinations with unique culinary experiences that are attracting both domestic and international tourists.

In reality, no travelers choose to repeatedly eat a dish that is not good or does not suit their taste. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to the tastes, needs, and perceptions of customers as a prerequisite when developing culinary tourism products. Especially, ensuring food safety and hygiene is crucial to prevent food poisoning incidents, protect the health of tourists, avoid negative public opinion, and have a detrimental impact on the tourism image and brand.

However, to achieve this in a professional and comprehensive manner, there needs to be coordinated efforts between local authorities, the tourism industry, businesses, restaurants, hotels, and the community. This is a new but effective direction that helps Binh Thuan preserve and promote its indigenous culinary values, contributing to realizing the goal of developing tourism into a key economic sector.

TRANSLATED BY MY THIEN

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Binh Thuan to boost tourism via the allure of its culinary