|A boat tour in Hòn Mát Island ecotourism zone. — VNA/VNS Photo Bích Huệ|
NGHỆ AN — Development of safe and eco-friendly agritourism is a new direction for Nghệ An Province after nearly two years of the pandemic badly affecting the tourism sector.
To meet tourist needs, agritourism destinations have focused on investing in attractive tourism products to bring different and unique experiences.
In recent years, people's travel needs and trends have changed. Many tourists choose to go to areas far from the city to experience and immerse themselves in nature as an alternative to luxury hotels and resorts.
Taking advantages of large areas of agricultural land, diverse terrain and a climate suitable for many crops, the province has been pushing agritourism in many districts.
The orange garden in Đồng Xoài Commune of Yên Thành is an example.
Just 50km from Vinh City, the garden has become a weekend destination for young people and families to enjoy the natural scenery and taste sweet ripe oranges.
Hà Giang, a visitor from Vinh City, said: “The orange garden has become one of my favourite destinations on weekends or holidays in recent years. I came here to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and fresh oranges with my friends.”
Trịnh Xuân Thành, the orange garden’s owner, said: “Along with supplying organic oranges to the market, we are developing the agritourism model because I have found the potential of the model so big.”
“Recently, people tended to go away from cities, to farms to enjoy fresh air and agricultural produce on the spot.”
Thành’s family is expanding the model with a project of Xã Đoài Orange in Nghi Diễn Commune of Nghi Lộc District.
Meanwhile, picturesque persimmon farms in Nam Anh Commune of Nam Đàn District are a popular rendezvous for young people to take photos and taste the fruit.
According to the commune’s authority, the total area of persimmons was about 100ha. Along with selling the fruit, the farmers earned additional money by renting costumes and accessories for photography.
Along with the persimmon farms, tourists have also been attracted to Hòn Mát Eco-Tourism Area.
The area includes gardens of avocados, pomelos and oranges and hi-tech greenhouses of cucumbers, melons and tomatoes, as well fishing, camping and homestays.
Đặng Trọng Tấn, director of Hòn Mát Eco-Tourism Area, said: "We provide tourism products combining with agricultural production experiences as per the new trend of tourists.”
To help the tourism sector recover, the local province had also supported and offered policies to encourage agritourism.
Nguyễn Văn Dương, vice chairman of Đồng Thanh District, said: “In order to sustainably develop orange trees, Yên Thành District planned an agritourism system to develop tourism destinations such as Vệ Vừng Eco-tourism Area, Đồng Thành Orange Garden, and Kim Thành Peach Blossom.”
“The model of tourism combined with agriculture has helped promote the local agricultural specialties and push friendly tourism.”
The province plans to upgrade the tourism model to an agri-forestry-tourism model.
“This was a major policy of the province to create commercial products associated with each region and each ecological condition,” said Nguyễn Văn Nam, vice director of the Nghệ An Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Centre.
Developing agri-tourism not only helps farmers increase their income, but is also a good solution to promote agricultural specialties of Nghệ An.
This was also the driving force to process the restructuring of agricultural production towards sustainability, contributing to replacing mixed gardens into specialty farms with high economic value, meeting the diverse needs of tourists.
Currently, the agritourism model had been successful in the districts of Nghĩa Đàn, Nam Đàn, Thanh Chương, Hưng Nguyên and Con Cuông, and Thái Hoà Township with farms of oranges, persimmon, grapefruits, sunflowers and buckwheat flowers.
However, most agritourism farms are still spontaneous and small scale with modest products not commensurate with the province’s potential and advantages, said Nam.
With the tourism industry facing many difficulties, agri-tourism has became a key product in the province’s strategy of tourist stimulation, especially with the lunar New Year approaching, he added. — VNS