Ha Giang attracts visitors through community-based tourism

15:29 | 15/11/2013 Entertainment

(VEN) - Through efforts in developing community-based tourism, the number of tourists coming to the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang has increased on average of 20-40 percent per year, making the province the fastest-growing in tourism of the country. Localities such as Nam Dang, Tien Thang and Buc Ban have gradually become more attractive destinations for tourists.

Ha Giang is blessed with beautiful landscapes such as Tay Con Linh Mountain, Thi and Bay waterfalls, Quan Ba Heaven Gate, Ma Pi Leng Mountain and the cultural treasures of 23 ethnic minority groups. It also has famous specialities like thick-skinned oranges (Bac Quang), plums (Xin Man), peaches and pears (Dong Van) and San Tuyet Tea (Hoang Su Phi).

Ten years ago, Ha Giang’s huge potential remained untapped, and a large number of local people still lived in poverty. Some tourist companies began to organize trips for tourists to the province in 2006. They stayed with the local people in their villages and hamlets and found their trips interesting. After receiving good feedback from tourists and realizing large potential and benefits from Ha Giang’s community-based tourism, many tourist companies suggested the local authority to invest in this type of tourism.

On August 14, 2006, Ha Giang Province People's Committee issued Program 35/CTHD-UB on “Building community-based tourism model in cultural villages in many districts (from two-three villages in each district) to gradually improve social and material lives of the minority groups”.

After one year implementation of this program, in 2007 some hamlets and villages like Tha, Tien Thang and Buc Ban received thousands of domestic and foreign tourists on their sightseeing tours. Many districts developed traditional craft villages to provide tourists with specific souvenirs such as: textile products, bamboo and rattan products and ethnic people’s clothes. Craftspeople were quickly aware of their roles and actively participated in community-based tourism activities. For this reason, the local people’s livelihoods improved significantly and the traditional craft villages have also been restored. Cultural exchange activities and awareness to protect the environment have also seen bold changes.

From the initial success, many local hamlets boosted activities to develop community-based tourism such as upgrading their houses, buying basic accommodation to serve and welcome visitors. Ha Giang has built 25 community-based cultural villages which have benefited from improved socioeconomic developments. For example, in Nam Dam Hamlet, Quan Ba Commune, Quan Ba District, 20 out of 56 households have provided community-based tourism services. In the first half of 2013, about 300 tourists visited Nam Dam for different purposes. To attract more tourists, the hamlet has established a community-based tourism management board, responsible for general management of its tourism activities.

After seven years of developing tourism in the cultural village model, Ha Giang has become one of Vietnam’s attractive destinations. Especially after 2010 since Dong Van Stone Plateau was recognized as a World Geological Park, the number of tourists coming to Ha Giang has increased on average of 20-40 percent per year.

According to surveys conducted by the tourist companies, activities such as staying overnight at the local houses, going fishing, enjoying local dishes or joining folk art performances are most favored by tourists.

According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Vuong Mi Vang, tourism has been defined as the province’s key economic sector, of which the development of community-based tourism will be a breakthrough to efficiently exploit Ha Giang’s potentials and advantages./.

Thanh Tam

Theo ven.vn