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25/05/2021 - 09:46

Suggestions for community-based tourism development in Huong Thuy

After many concerns, Huong Thuy currently offers the suggestions for developing community-based tourism.

Boat experience service on the Nhu Y River by Mr. Le Nguyen Suu

Disproportionate to the potential

Huong Thuy Town (located adjacent to Hue City to the north) is a locality with many potentialities and advantages for developing community tourism. Notably, Thuy Thanh Commune is the convergence site of many factors to develop this form of tourism.

In the commune, there are 5 historical sites, of which 2 provincial historical sites are Thanh Thuy Chanh Village, Van Thanh Temple and 3 national historical sites are Ton That Thuyet Temple, Van The Village Communal House and Thanh Toan Tile-Roofed Bridge historical site - recognized by the Provincial People's Committee as a community tourism destination in 2018 and a place that regularly organizes the festivals known to domestic and foreign tourists.

With these potentialities and advantages, the community tourism activities in Thuy Thanh commune in recent years have grown by degrees. Many models have been developed by the locals to serve tourists: the model of gardening experience at the Van Thanh Temple relic by Mrs. Nguyen Thi Nua; model of one-day-as-a-farmer experience in Chan Que Garden, experience of rowing a fishing boat, of dropping lanterns on the Nhu Y River by Mr. Le Nguyen Suu; model of Lac Duong Flower Garden check-in by Mr. Che Quang Tam; model of Thanh Van Flower Garden check-in by Van The Agricultural Cooperative... accompanied by the groups of cuisine, boats, making conical leaf hats, tét cakes (cylindrical glutinous rice cake)...

With these resources, the authorities and people here have created the typical tourism products and the attractive ways of doing community tourism business associated with daily life of labor. But to date, the economic efficiency from this model has not become the main source of income for the people to do tourism business to improve their life.

Mr. Le Nguyen Suu said, "There are a lot of visitors every day, but only a few of them experience the services offered by the locals, so the income is almost insignificant."

According to Mr. Nguyen Mau Hoa, Vice Chairman of Thuy Thanh Commune People's Committee, visitors to Thuy Thanh only visit the tile-roofed bridge, but are not really involved in the experience activities organized by the locals.

The cause lies in the monotonousness, irregularity and unprofessionalism of service products. Besides, some travel agencies have not yet given attention to developing community-based tourism in the locality. Most of the connection between travel agencies and local people has received no attention and focused only on free products, leading to a lack of common voice in the process of exploiting destinations.

Suggestions

Contributing to solving this problem, according to Mr. Nguyen Xuan Hoa, former Director of the Department of Culture and Information (now the Department of Culture and Sports), aside from boosting the promotion and digitization of data, with the advantages mentioned above, Thuy Thanh should create a connection between the relics in the locality. Concurrently, it should upgrade the Thanh Toan exhibition house of agricultural tools to an open museum, a community museum, and equip the staff here with the basic skills of how to exploit the stories, images, artifacts; tell stories from artifacts… This both shows professionalism and increases attractiveness, contributing to keeping visitors staying longer.

“In the near future, the Department of Tourism will continue to develop the policies for supporting the localities that are exploiting community-based tourism in general, Huong Thuy and Thuy Thanh in particular in terms of  infrastructure construction, staff training and direct support for the formation of homestay services and some new experiences…After completing and upgrading the products, we can connect the community tourism attraction - Thanh Toan Tile-Roofed Bridge - with some other community tourism points in the town and the whole province; strengthen communication in many forms..., thereby creating connection, diversifying products, and supporting to attract and retain tourists," said Deputy Director of the Department of Tourism Nguyen Van Phuc.

From the above opinions, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Minh, Chairman of Huong Thuy Town People's Committee affirmed that in the coming time, the town will focus on promoting tourism, connecting with travel agencies and service providers in order to develop a number of tour programs connecting the chain of service products launched by community households and businesses associated with the community at Thanh Toan Tile-Roofed Bridge area.

Story and photo: Thanh Doan

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