|Many traditional craft villages and tourism areas in central provinces are struggling to attract visitors. — Photo disanxanh
DAK NONG — Many traditional craft villages and tourism areas in central provinces are struggling to attract visitors.
Six years ago, local authorities inaugurated the VND6.5 billion (US$300,000) Lieng Nung traditional craft village in the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong. The village aimed to preserve tho cam (brocade) weaving and create jobs for the Ma ethnic people in Dak Nia Commune in addition to promoting tourism.
However, the craft village has been unoccupied since it opened, local residents said. Even after several restorations by the local People's Committee, the traditional products workshop, exhibition room, open-air performance stage and parks remain unused.
Local artisans explained that the workshop was deserted because there was little interest in making traditional woven products.
"Only about ten artisans in the village weave tho cam. Other people do farmwork and look after their families," said Nguyen Tien Tung, chairman of Dak Nia Commune's People's Committee.
"The project was carried out to create local products that would be sold to tourists so as to preserve the cultural value of the weaving craft. But it is difficult for us to sell products and to find funds to preserve the craft village and improve the life of those artisans."
The second deserted site in Dak Nong Province is the Trinh Nu Waterfall ecological tourism area in Cu Jut District, once known as the most beautiful waterfall in the province.
Today, tourists are warned about the risks of accessing the waterfall. Moreover, several sites in the area, such as restaurants and reception rooms designed to look like the traditional houses of E De ethnic minority people, are degraded.
"We plan to call on businesses to invest more in the village," said Ngo Van Linh, chairman of Gia Nghia town's People's Committee.
Other tourism areas in different regions suffer the same problem, such as the Thuan Tinh ecological tourism zone, the ethnic Cham's My Son village and the Duy Son ecological tourism area in central Quang Nam province.
Three years ago, the Thuan Tinh tourism area, located 3km from Hoi An town, was a popular place for camping. After the enterprise managing the area suffered losses, it became deserted.
Built in 2005, the VND2 billion ($94,000) craft village complex of My Son comprises several craft villages producing stone sculptures, conical hats and other goods. However, the site draws few tourists.
"We don't have enough money to pay the employees, while we still have to pay for the maintenance of its infrastructure," said Le Thi Lien, deputy director of the complex.
"We hope to get more co-operation from local authorities to help develop the tourist site and create more jobs for locals." — VNS