The Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk will host the 8th Buôn Ma Thuột Coffee Festival between March 10 and 14.
Việt Nam News' reporter Lê Hương talks to Thái Hồng Hà, Director of Đắk Lắk Culture, Sports and Tourism Department, about the event.
|Thái Hồng Hà, Director of Đắk Lắk Culture, Sports and Tourism Department. VNS Photo Lê Hương|
Could you please brief us on the highlights of this year’s festival?
The Coffee Festival will include 18 official events of six activity groups. The opening ceremony themed Buôn Ma Thuột – Destination of the World’s Coffee will take place at 8pm, March 10 and the closing ceremony will be at the same time on March 14 at March 10 Square in downtown Buôn Ma Thuột.
There will be a contest for farmers who are growing coffee by applying smart technology and adapting to climate change. The contestants are from eight provinces including Sơn La, Quảng Trị and Bình Phước.
A coffee exhibition will feature 400 stalls by 150 enterprises including 10 foreign ones during the five days.
A contest for mixing drinks from coffee will gather dozens of bartenders throughout the country.
Locals and visitors will have a chance to drink free coffee at local cafes on March 10.
Opera Khát Vọng Đam San (Đam San’s Desire) by musician Nguyễn Cường will be performed at 7.30pm, on March 11, followed by a light festival themed World Coffee – Lighten up Ban Mê with modern light technology and a live music show by dozens of Vietnamese and foreign bands and artists.
There will be an elephant race in Đôn Village and a boat race in Lắk District on March 12.
Why do you choose Đam San's Desire to feature as the main art show during the event?
- As you may know, Đắk Lắk Province authorities have always taken culture as a key for sustainable development. The opera was composed based on an epic titled Song Praising Đam San of the Ê Đê ethnic minority group. The opera project has been a long-term one by composer Nguyễn Cường, who has many popular songs featuring the central highlands.
The opera debuted on April 30, 2021 at Đắk Lắk Museum and has been highly appreciated. The opera praises the beauty of local nature and people. It has a significant historical meaning, which retains the same value in present society.
How many guests do you expect? How has the local tourism sector prepared?
We expect to receive some 46,000-50,000 guests during this five-day festival. In 2019, we received 50,000 people during the seven-day event. There are now 97 hotels from the one to five-star standard. The province can host 12,000 guests per nights. We confirm that the province has enough facilities to welcome guests during the festival. Many people from other localities in the country have settled down in Đắk Lắk. So their relatives visiting the province this occasion will also stay at private houses besides rented facilities.
The local tourism sector has been very active to adapt to the new situation after the government’s policy to open doors on March 15, 2022.
Visitors have flocked to the province in mass numbers. During the recent Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday, as many as 130,000 tourists visited Buôn Ma Thuột.
I think the biennial coffee festivals have created a positive effect to lure guests to the area.
Why are there no cuisine promoting activities at the event?
As you may know, there are people from 49 ethnic groups living in Đắk Lắk, each of whom have their distinctive cuisine.
So it’s difficult to choose the most typical dishes of the locality.
This year, we aim to turn Buôn Ma Thuột into a destination for the world’s coffee; so all the highlighted activities at the event will involve coffee. There is a contest for mixing drinks from coffee, which also belongs to culinary art.
|There will be many impressive activities during the 8th coffee festival. Photo lehoicaphe.vn|
What do you expect from hosting the 8th coffee festival?
We do expect a lot when hosting the biennial event.
We would like to further promote the Buôn Ma Thuột Coffee trademark, develop Vietnamese delicacy coffee; step by step make Buôn Ma Thuột a coffee destination of the world; help improve the value and confirm the position of Vietnamese coffee in the world market as well as praise the coffee growers and traders.
The Politburo has decided to develop Buôn Ma Thuột City as a central urban area of the central highlands region based on its advantages of natural resources, cultural and historical values, and its geological position in the triangle of Laos, Việt Nam and Cambodia. By 2030, with vision of 2045, the city will become a hub for processing agricultural products, for services in the region, for developing trading and logistics, attracting tourists and hosting international-level events.
Do you offer any new tourism products in this event? Have you connected with big cities like Hà Nội and HCM City to bring guests here to this event?
Concrete information on 52 local tours will be available at restaurants, hotels and public places for visitors during the festival.
In 2016, local authorities and Hanoian counterparts signed a MoU to join hands to develop tourism. Since then there have been three meetings among concerned agencies on the field. The Hà Nội’s Tourism Department and travel agencies have sent delegations to explore local tourism potential.
HCM City authorities have signed the same MoU with Đắk Lắk. So we have kept close contacts in the field. VNS