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Travel firms, local leaders eye agri-tourism

Update: March, 31/2018 - 11:00
Foreign tourists experience farmers’ lives in Trà Quế Village in the central province of Quảng Nam. — Photo courtesy of Hava Travel Company
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Farming-focused tourism should be developed as part of the country’s strategy for promoting agriculture and tourism, said Nguyễn Văn Tuấn, director general of the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism, at a conference held on Friday in Hà Nội.

In the framework of the Việt Nam International Travel Mart (VITM) 2018, the conference gathered many travel companies and experts. They discussed the strengths of agri-tourism in the country and suggested ways to develop specialised products.

“As an agricultural country, Việt Nam has a big potential to develop tourism based on agricultural products, and highlight many tours designed to help tourists discover the beauty of flower fields in Đà Lạt City, coconut forests in Bến Tre Province, and tea hills in Mộc Châu Plateau,” Tuấn said. “Agriculture-based tourism products don’t just bring profits for farmers and the region, but they also help foreign tourists understand more about Việt Nam’s society, economy, culture, daily life and history.”

Dương Minh Bình, director of CBT Việt Nam Company, has spent 20 years working in the field of community-based tourism (CBT). He has established many models of agriculture-based tourism products nationwide.

“In my opinion, community-based tourism doesn’t mean that we offer tourists cheap service,” he said. “Tourists live, eat and work together with the local people to discover their daily lives, but we still require the local people to provide the high-quality service like that at resorts and hotels.”

Bình said agri-tourism can be developed based on six Es: Enable means to launch tourism products, Engage people and authorities to join the project, Educate the farmers to build up products, Empower the local people, Encourage them to continue and, finally, Earn money and recognition.

Tourism expert Ngô Kiều Oanh has helped build up farm tours in Ba Vì District on the outskirts of Hà Nội. She said it’s necessary to create attractive products based on resources and traditions within the region.

“Some villages have interesting handicrafts, beautiful natural landscapes and prosperous crops, that’s the first condition to build up tourism products,” she said.

“However, it’s not enough. We have to make the products become attractive and lure tourists to spend money and stay longer. We can involve them in daily activities.”

The specialists also agreed that it’s necessary to develop a strategy to promote the tours effectively to get tourists to participate. One solution is to link farmers, local authorities and travel agents. — VNS

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