Bac Giang: Community-based tourism attractive to foreigners
Update: Dec 30, 2014
The 100 sq.m old wooden house owned by Nguyen Thi Thai, 66, in Tuan Mau commune, Son Dong district, Bac Giang province, has become a stop-over for many foreign tourists over the two years when they visited the northern locality.

Khe Ro landscape in Bac Giang attracts tourists

Each year, Ha Noi-based travel agencies arrange between of 10 and 14 groups of seven to 10 tourists each, mostly from France, the UK and Sweden, to explore and experience untouched landscapes here.

Holiday-makers have a chance to discover themselves the Dao ethnic minority group’s typical culture, such as brocade costumes making, traditional festivals and local specialties. They even join the locals’ farming works by fetching firewood in mountains, growing or harvesting rice and breeding figs.

Thai’s family provides a comfortable accommodation and prepares traditional meals for visitors.

“I’m happy to welcome foreign visitors at my house. This is a good opportunity for us to introduce the traditional culture and understand more foreign lifestyles,” Thai said.

Trips including a homestay with local families are popular among foreign tourists. Bac Giang, populated by ethnic minorities and with traditional craft villages, has become an attractive destination for the holiday-makers.

An Lac commune in Son Dong district is also a homestay destination. Since 2009, the non-governmental organisation Trentino Voluntary Group (GTV) and the Trento province, Italy, have invested nearly 200,000 EUR to support the model’s development.

The project, which is being carried out in the four villages of Bieng, Na O, Dong Bay and Doi Moi, aims to explore local potential, develop tourism products and services, while contributing to improving local living conditions and raising awareness of environment protection among local residents.

However, infrastructure, human resources and community-based tourism services in Bac Giang yet to match the demand. Local people lack knowledge on tourism development, environmental hygiene and awareness of promoting and preserving traditional values.

As an effort to boost the model, the Bac Giang provincial People’s Committee has approved a project worth 42 billion VND (2 million USD) to develop the community-based tourism model in the period of 2014-2020.

The project targets to develop the homestay model as an attractive product, contributing to preserving and promoting local cultural values as well as boosting the local tourism sector.

It also focuses on developing human resources, improving infrastructure facilities and accelerating tourism promotion.