09:57 | 25/04/2017 Travel
(VEN) - Three community-based tourism models and five homestay accommodations have been chosen as winners of the ASEAN Tourism Awards in a bid to preserve traditional forms of tourism in Vietnam and develop new ones.
The Homestay ASEAN Award went to Homestay Thanh Nam of Cam Chau Ward, Hoi An City of Quang Nam Province; Homestay Ta Van Giay 1 of Ta Van Giay Hamlet, Sa Pa District, Lao Cai Province; Homestay Mai Hich in Mai Hich Commune of Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province; Homestay Hoa Ninh of Hoa Quy Hamlet in Hoa Ninh Commune, Long Ho District, Vinh Long Province, along with Homestay Dao in Nam Dam Hamlet of Quan Ba Commune, Ha Giang Province.
The Community-based ASEAN Tourism Award was presented to the Pom Coong Hamlet community tourism point in Mai Chau Town of Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province; Thanh Toan community tourism point in Thanh Thuy Commune of Huong Thuy District in Thua Thien Hue Province, and Triem Tay Village community tourism point in Triem Tay Commune of Dien Ban District, Quang Nam Province.
Homestay is an ecotourism product offering local family accommodations for visitors interested in authentic family traditions and culture. Living with locals offers an opportunity to experience the realities of daily life as a family member, in addition to making a positive impact on tourism and societal attitudes, such as raising awareness of environmental protection, the importance of preserving cultural and historical heritage, creating cultural exchange among ethnic groups, regional authorities and visitors; educating local residents in far-flung areas about proper behavior within the community.
Homestay tourism was first provided in Vietnam in the 1980s and has been booming in the past five years among budget-conscious tourists and others seeking authentic experiences. The successful models pioneered in and around Sa Pa Town (Lao Cai Province) and Cua Van fishing village (Quang Ninh Province) helped improve people’s lives.
All 10 ASEAN (Associations of Southeast Asian Nations) countries set tourism standards with fundamental requirements and principles. The “Quality Single Destination” category is designed to ensure service quality and mutual benefit for hosts and guests.
The community-based tourism (CBT) standard was published in 2016 with 171 criteria, and awarded for the first time at the 2017 ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF). Vietnamese CBT was honored with a total of eight awards at the recent ATF.
Deputy Director General of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), Ha Van Sieu, said homestays and community-based tourism have become increasingly popular to both foreigners and local citizens. “This award is a recognition and appreciation of the uniqueness and quality provided by accommodation owners, authorities and tourism companies,” he said.
By the end of 2016, Vietnam had more than 5,000 homestay facilities with a capacity of 100,000 guests, 1,242 facilities of
which have been qualified and recognized as national-standard establishments by agencies of culture, sports and tourism.