Tourists visit a dragon fruit orchard in Bình Thuận Province. Source binhthuan.gov
BÌNH THUẬN The south-central province of Bình Thuận will continue to focus on agriculture-linked tourism this year.
It has 270,000ha of farm lands, with rice, maize, grapes, and dragon fruit being among the main crops.
According to the province tourism promotion information centre, tourism basing on agriculture is a new trend and likely to be sustainable.
The centre launched tours to dragon fruit orchards where visitors can join farmers in harvesting in Hàm Thuận Nam District last year, and said both foreign and domestic tourists are interested in the tour.
A foreign tourist, Victoria Norman, said she was excited to eat fresh fruit, drink fresh juice and taste the jam made from the fruit on the spot.
She also experienced village life, she said.
Võ Xuân Nghĩa, the centre’s head, said the centre would launch more tours to other fruit orchards in rural and remote areas to benefit local residents.
Nguyễn Văn Chín, a farmer taking part in the tourism-agriculture model, said it has helped popularise the province’s dragon fruit.
Besides, to take part, he has to comply with Vietnamese good agricultural practices (GAP) norms to ensure food safety and tourists’ well-being, he said.
Moreover, farmers have improved their techniques to grow increasingly cleaner crops, Nghĩa said.
The province currently operates tours to orchards in Đa Tro village in Hàm Thuận Bắc District’s Đa Mi Commune, Đa Kai Commune in Đức Linh District, Tuy Phong District and others.
But they are not systematically developed and plagued by shortage of investment in infrastructure and services.
According to Nghĩa, the province is also developing community-based tourism and eco-tourism in ethnic minority areas such as Phan Tiến, Phan Dũng and Đa Mi communes.
It is known for its many beach resorts, golf courses and sand dunes.
This year it hopes to attract seven million tourists, including 850,000 foreign ones.
According to the province's tourism authority, last year it received more than 6.4 million visitors, an increase of 11.4 per cent from 2018.
It issued licences for six tourism projects last year, taking the total so far to 383.
The province has more than 550 lodging establishments with 16,500 rooms, enough to meet demand even during peak times such as Lunar New Year and other holidays. VNS