Ha Giang depends on growth in tourism
HA GIANG (VNS)— Developing tourism is essential to improving the economy and living conditions of local people in Ha Giang, according to Nguyen Minh Tien, vice chairman of the provincial People's Committee.
Tien made the comments last week at a seminar in Quan Ba District on the subject of developing community tourism.
Also participating in the seminar were local people who provide homestay services for tourists and domestic travel agents.
"Ha Giang is known for Dong Van Plateau and the terrace fields in Hoang Su Phi District, both of which have been recognised by UNESCO," Tien said. "With its wonderful landscape, the province is an attractive destination for tourists who enjoy the homestay services and community tourism, helping them understand the unique local culture.
"Ha Giang has been the poorest province in the country for the past 20 years, so we must develop the provincial economy and people's living conditions using the platform of developing tourism."
"The hospitality of the people along with the wide range of culturally diverse and traditional activities on offer - a result of the 22 ethnic groups in the area - are advantages that can be used to develop community tourism."
Hoang Van Kien, vice director of the provincial Culture, Sports and Tourism Department, gave an overview of the current situation of community tourism development in the province. He confirmed that people wanted to join authorities to develop tourism and receive guests to live in their home. They have actively and voluntarily moved breeding farming facilities from the stilt houses where tourists stay in order to meet hygiene standards.
However, he suggested that the investment to develop community tourism should focus on really spectacular villages.
"The number of tourism villages has increased in recent years, but when I made a recent survey I realised that some of these villages only receive a few guests a year," he said. "We built up three Tay ethnic group villages with very similar features on the same route, and this was a wasted investment. In the future I think on one route to a district we should focus on only having a single village representing one ethnic group's culture."
Attending the seminar, local people from tourism villages in the whole province reported their condition of living and services they provided for visitors. They also stated difficulties they faced and expressed their expectations that they would receive support from the provincial government.
Hoang Van Trinh, an owner of homestay service in Na Rang Village, Xin Man District, said that he was proud of living in a village which attractedmany foreign guests.
"We have a cultural communal house to welcome tourists and organise festivals, but we still lack facilities and items such as musical instruments and decorative objects," he said. "We also want to be sponsored to set up a troupe of art performers as well as a team of tour guides."
Travel agents at the seminar confirmed their plans to conduct surveys in the villages and work with the local people to offer more tours in Ha Giang Province. — VNS