New law encourages community-based tourism

09:05 | 05/10/2017 Travel

(VEN) - The 2017 Law on Tourism has incorporated community-based tourism into its provisions in order to offer opportunities for its development and to benefit related travel businesses, including residents of remote, rural areas throughout Vietnam.

new law encourages community based tourism
Community-based tourism development benefits people in remote, rural areas

New incentives

The 2017 Law on Tourism encourages individuals and households to provide accommodations, catering services and cultural and experience tours. Under the new law, provincial people’s committees are tasked with surveying offerings and choosing potential tourist sites for exploitation, as well as providing assistance for community-based tourism service providers. The law also stipulates that community-based tourism service providers must preserve indigenous cultures and share their benefits with the community.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, deputy director general of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), a member of the 2017 Law on Tourism drafting board, said community tourism development needs support by state management authorities and people’s committees at all levels.

Home stays

In recent years, community-based tourism has witnessed a relatively strong development based on various models. In Lac Hamlet (Mai Chau, Hoa Binh Province), for example, community tourism brings an average of 30,000-40,000 visitors a year.

With its stunning scenery, rich culture and diverse cuisine, the community tourism model in Den Hamlet, Sa Pa, Lao Cai Province also welcomes from 30,000-35,000 visitors per year, with annual revenue of VND3-4 billion. Local households running homestay services net an additional average income of VND1-3 million per month.

Community-based tourism development mainly focuses on exploiting each locality’s unique characteristics and mobilizing the involvement of local communities in creating tourism products through which visitors can experience the daily life of local communities and enjoy the special indigenous cultural values.

Local authorities and community tourism providers should improve service quality, make efficient use of unique local cultural values and run businesses on a sustainable basis, with a sense of responsibility.

Relevant management authorities need to improve their performance if they are to better the quality of community-based tourist offerings. They should assist localities to improve and promote products and services, and train workforces.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, deputy director general of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), says Vietnam is rich in cultural diversity, which is an important condition for the country to develop community-based tourism.

Bao Thoa