Further efforts needed to integrate community-based tourism with new-style rural area building

Wednesday, 2021-09-15 11:07:53
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A homestay in Che Can Village, Muong Phang Commune, Dien Bien Phu City, Dien Bien Province. (Photo: Minh Ha)
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NDO - A number of recent domestic and international surveys have indicated that community-based tourism will become more mainstream after the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, further efforts from different parties are needed to grasp opportunities and sustainably develop community-based tourism, making it a driving force in the building of new-style rural areas.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, there are currently more than 1,300 tourist sites and tourist attractions across the country, about 70% of which are located in rural areas.

Sin Suoi Ho, a village of H'Mong ethnic people in Sin Suoi Ho Commune, Phong Tho District, Lai Chau Province, is one of the typical community-based tourism villages of the country. The village currently has for 150 accommodation establishments, and received nearly 20,000 visitors in 2019.

The villagers have been active in developing community-based tourism and sought ways to make Sin Suoi Ho more attractive to visitors through the design and decoration of homestays, the selection of menus for tourists, and the planning of activities for them to experience during their stays. They have also payed attention to preserving and promoting the indigenous culture of their ethnic group.

Many districts and communes of Dong Thap Province have also shown positive results in developing community-based tourism. According to a survey by the Provincial People's Committee in 2019, community-based tourism brought an increase of 30%-40% in income compared to gardening and fish farming.

Phan Dinh Hue, Director of Viet Circle Travel Service Company, who is also a consultant on tourism development in the Mekong Delta, said that the most fundamental change since villages and communes become engaged in tourism activities has been the improvement of locals’ incomes and the increase of local budgets, which will certainly be reinvested in enhancing infrastructure.

Sin Suoi Ho villagers offer welcome drinks for visitors to the village. (Photo: laichau.gov.vn)

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam, in the coming time, tourism development in rural areas will be integrated with the building of new-style rural areas. This requires an appropriate and long-term scheme on tourism marketing and human resources in order to fully unlock the potential of community-based tourism in rural areas.

The Government spent VND 10.2 trillion on tourism infrastructure to promote sustainable development of community-based tourism in the 2011-2020 period. Cities and provinces also contributed an additional VND300-350 billion from local budgets to improve tourism infrastructure.

29 localities across the country have issued their own policies to develop tourism, 11 of which have designed specific plans on mobilising all available resources to the promotion of tourism in rural areas, such as: Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Quang Ninh, Ha Tinh, Dak Lak, and Ba Ria - Vung Tau.

A project on integrating community-based tourism development with new-style rural area building for the 2021-2025 period has been submitted for the Prime Minister’s approval by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Once approved, the project will create the foundation for the design of preferential policies to facilitate rural tourism and the building of new-style rural areas.