Towards sustainable tourism – The Saigon Occasions

Lam Dong Province’s success in agritourism has paved the way in which for different areas, together with HCMC as Vietnam’s most populous metropolis, to attain sustainable improvement within the close to future.

Agritourism, a mix of three most important components of agriculture – farming, farmers, and rural areas – and tourism, consists of any exercise that brings guests to a farm to extend its earnings and provides leisure or academic expertise to them. Not too long ago, agritourism has emerged as a development amongst vacationers searching for to discover native life and farming practices in sure provinces.

Initially, these actions had been merely a part of tour packages, with tour guides displaying guests how rice was grown, how buffaloes had been raised, how a sickle was used, and the way coconut sweet was made.

After realizing the excessive demand for these actions, journey corporations carried out analysis and promoted agritourism as a brand new kind of service together with city tourism, island and sea tourism, non secular tourism, heritage tourism, wellness tourism, and journey tourism.

Agricultural tourism has lengthy been current in sure areas and nations because of distinct financial and social elements. Its identify varies throughout completely different nations and territories,  equivalent to “nomadic tourism” in Mongolia and “grassland tourism” in Internal  Mongolia (China). As soon as neglected, round wheat and rice farms within the Sharjah desert.

Lam Dong Province grew to become the primary in Vietnam to pilot a mannequin combining tourism and agriculture in  2015. Regardless of preliminary challenges and setbacks, the “agritourism” mannequin has been carried out efficiently there over the previous seven years. “Agritourism actions generated common income of VND2 billion per hectare, with some places recording an quantity of over VND6 billion,”  stated Tran Van Hiep, chairman of the  Lam Dong Individuals’s Committee.

This mannequin has at the moment unfold to different provinces in Vietnam, together with Ha Giang, Lao Cai, and Yen Bai within the northern area, in addition to Mekong Delta provinces equivalent to Ben Tre and Tien Giang.

Agricultural tourism provides vacationers numerous experiences and actions at completely different ranges. The primary stage includes observing the manufacturing course of and having fun with contemporary merchandise equivalent to coconut sweet and strawberries on the farm or manufacturing website.  That is normally known as “commentary actions”, as guests can see how native folks make dried persimmons, coconut candies, and rice paper.

Native guides and residents introduce guests to the manufacturing processes and instruments after which serve them some merchandise. The second stage of agritourism is real-life expertise, whereby vacationers can take part in numerous phases of manufacturing. Guests have the chance to affix the farmers in selecting flowers in greenhouses in Dalat, rising greens in Tra Que vegetable village in Hoi An Metropolis, selecting natural leaves with the Dao folks in  Lao Cai, harvesting shrimp in Halong Bay, and finally, having fun with the fruits of their labor. Vacationers discover it thrilling to immerse themselves within the sizzling tubs of natural leaves they harvested, washed, and boiled.

The third stage is called the  “three-in-one” expertise of “residing, consuming, and dealing” with locals for just a few days. Vacationers turn out to be members of the group to stay and expertise every day actions with the locals, together with driving buffalos and harvesting bamboo shoots. Furthermore, guests could get an opportunity to take part in native weddings, funerals, festivals, and rituals at temples and pagodas.

Agritourism ranges differ relying on location and group, with every place providing a novel expertise. Agritourism solely reaches the primary and second ranges within the majority of provinces.

Agritourism in Lam Dong Province has reached the third stage and has turn out to be probably the most interesting to overseas vacationers. Guests are keen to spend more cash and keep longer for these real-life experiences.

Vacationers, particularly these from overseas, have lengthy complained concerning the monotony of tourism merchandise in HCMC. Day excursions sometimes embody stops at Bui Vien Road, adopted by visits to the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Central Submit Workplace, Dragon Wharf, or the Cu Chi Tunnels. After a day tour across the Mekong Delta area, vacationers can journey on to central and northern provinces.

Given the state of affairs, agritourism in HCMC may be seen as a brand new product to make vacationers keep longer and enhance spending on the journey. With the HCMC Individuals’s Committee quickly suspending the plan to improve districts to cities, opening homestays mixed with agritourism is among the possible options to spice up tourism and obtain sustainable improvement.

A pacesetter in HCMC as soon as stated, “Farming on one hectare of agricultural land solely yields a mean of VND55 million in a yr” and recommended changing it into industrial land for extra income.

Nonetheless, this method is now seen as problematic because of its potential damaging affect on the estimated 800,000 people who depend on agriculture for his or her livelihoods, in addition to the tangible and intangible cultural heritage in outlying districts.

The adoption of a high-quality agritourism mannequin, along with homestays, presents a viable resolution to financial, cultural, and social points. An agritourism village in Hoc Mon will characteristic 18 betel nut gardens, temples, and shrines, conventional homes within the southern area, kilns, in addition to conventional artwork performances like cai luong (reformed theater), don ca tai tu (southern folksongs), and tantalizing native delicacies equivalent to rice paper, clay-baked snakehead fish, and sweet-and-sour soup. These are exactly the cultural experiences that overseas guests search, reasonably than the glamour of highways or skyscrapers.

Notably, a hectare of agritourism land in Lam Dong Province may generate a formidable VND6 billion per yr, underscoring the potential success of this tourism mannequin. Due to this fact, agritourism is taken into account a promising income for HCMC, and even the districts of Hoc Mon, Cu Chi, and Can Gio, to realize extra success and head towards sustainable improvement.

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