Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Farming-based tourism has been proliferating in HCM City’s outlying districts in recent years, but the destinations are developed without planning or close links with tourism agencies, experts said.
A clutch of tourism products have sprung up in Củ Chi and Cần Giờ districts, attracting thousands of visitors seeking hands-on experience in farming, Bùi Tá Hoàng Vũ, director of the city Department of Tourism, said.
Agritourism is one of the products his department would focus on in future, he said.
According to the city Department of Tourism, demand for tours to such places is rising by 20-30 per cent a year.
Since 2014 the Agricultural Hi-tech Park in Củ Chi, which is also into tourism, has begun to exploit some agritourism destinations such as greenhouse technology for growing muskmelon, cherry tomato and vegetables and farming koi fish and orchids, Trần Thị Kim Hằng, a senior official of the park, said.
The number of visitors has been steadily rising over the years, from 7,000 in 2014 to 12,000 visitors last year, she said.
Green Noen in Củ Chi’s An Nhơn Tây Commune welcomes thousands of visitors who can get first-hand experience of a variety of farming activities such as growing mushrooms, orchids and organic vegetables and tending and milking cows.
The Hải Thanh Koi Farm in Trung An Commune produces high-grade koi fish to supply local farms and export and shows off its koi fish aquarium, orchid garden, river and the pastoral landscapes to visitors.
Huyền Thoại Orchid garden in Tân Phú Trung Commune combines orchid farming with agritourism.
The coastal district of Cần Giờ with its famous seafood farms, swallow nests and mango gardens has huge potential for eco-tourism and agritourism.
Other agritourism destinations to emerge are districts Bình Chánh, Nhà Bè, Hóc Môn, 9, and 12.
Trần Tấn Quý, deputy director of the city Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said farms that cater to agritourism would also help improve farmers’ incomes.
The city People’s Committee last year approved a high-tech agricultural development programme for 2016-20, which includes credit support for farmers who plan to undertake high-tech agriculture, eco-tourism or agritourism, he said.
Phan Yến Ly, manager, tour operation, inbound division at Saigontourist, said tourists are increasingly interested in tours of rural areas while agritourism has been attracting growing interest in recent years.
The company offers local and foreign visitors farm-related tours to Củ Chi and Cần Giờ.
Tours to Củ Chi combine the Củ Chi Tunnels with fruit gardens, farms and the Agricultural Hi-tech Park while river tours to Cần Giờ take in the UNESCO-listed Mangrove Biosphere Reserve Forest and Vàm Sát Ecological Tourist Zone with seafood markets.
The Department of Tourism, Agriculture Hi-tech Park, and Hoa Lúa Farm in Củ Chi District have signed a cooperation agreement to boost agritourism. — VNS