08:02 | 03/03/2014 Entertainment
(VEN) - Despite being a mountainous province, Ha Giang has made the most of its advantages, especially tourism to boost the local economy.
The mountainous regions which were once were barriers for economic development as they were hard for crop cultivation have now brought better lives for the local ethnic groups. The province’s poverty rate which was among the highest in the country at 41.8 percent in 2010 also reduced to about 27 percent by the end of 2013.
Turning potentials into advantage
Located in the far north of Vietnam, Ha Giang has been known for long as a long-lasting historical cultural region and home to 19 ethnic groups including the Hmong, Dao, Pa Then, Co Lao, Lo Lo, Bo Y and Pu Peo. It also has major national cultural and historical sites such as Dong Van Town, Vuong architectural relics, Lung Cu Flagpole, Sung Khanh and Binh Lam pagodas, Nam Dan’s prehistoric rock formations (Xin Man District), Hoang Su Phi terraced fields and the famous Ma Pi Leng wall, creating unique attractive features for the Dong Van Stone Plateau and Ha Giang Province in general. This is a huge potential for the province to boost tourism.
Hoang Van Kien, Director of the Ha Giang’s Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism said “To turn this potential into an advantage, the province has drafted an overall plan for its tourism development in the 2002-2010 period and is drafting another similar plan until 2020, with a vision to 2030 as well as a tourism development plan for the Global Network of National Geoparks.”
Ha Giang has determined its resources as the premise for tourism development, including cultural resources as an important factor to constitute attractive tourism products which connect different types of tourism. They are expected to bring practical results to the community, contributing to local poverty reduction and economic development along with the sustainable preservation of the ethnic culture.
Kien also said the provincial tourism industry is coordinating with relevant sectors, departments and regions to step up activities including building a set of criteria when in communication with tourists, building typical cultural villages, investing in and restoring some traditional craft villages and improving tourism infrastructure, service quality to meet the tourist demands.
Therefore, the number of tourists coming to Ha Giang has gradually increased, especially after UNESCO recognition of Dong Van Stone Plateau as a member of the global network of national geoparks in 2010, from 302,000 in 2011 to over 520,000 in 2013, bringing the province a source of revenue worth nearly VND500 billion.
Chief of Lo Lo Chai Hamlet, Lung Cu Commune, Dong Van District Sinh Din Gai said “With financial and technical training support from the local authority and tourism industry, so far three households of his hamlet have joined tourism business in the form of home-stay tourism. In addition, other households sell local cultural products and specialties such as corn wine, traditional clothing of the Lo Lo people, embroidery products, Vietnamese traditional medicine, dried pork and perform folk songs and dances. Therefore, incomes of the local people have increased to an average of VND1.7 million per person per month.
Apart from Dong Van, Meo Vac District is famous for its peppermint honey products. As the provincial tourism started to grow, people in mountainous areas of the district have promoted beekeeping to serve tourists and improved their livelihoods.
Now people in mountainous regions in Ha Giang Province have benefited from tourism development and become an integral part in preservation and development process of the local cultural values and valuable historical sites./.
By Thu Huong