Tourist sector leads the way to adventure tours
Adventure tours, these days, more and more Vietnamese youth and foreigners want to travel in the country, opening new doors for the tourism sector, said Vu The Binh, director of the Travel Department under the Vietnam Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
Instead of saving their money, many now want to spend it on travelling as a way of experiencing and enjoying life.
"I’m still young and I want to discover interesting things in the country. The best way to do that is by travelling," said Nguyen Mai Huy from Hanoi Vietnam.
Along with Huy, young people are not interested in simple tours or vacations to the beach, nor do they want to visit different cities. They want to discover new and interesting things. They want to find unique, isolated places, and risk and danger seem to be new requirements.
"Adventure travel is the best choice for these youngsters; however, in Vietnam this kind of travel is underdeveloped due to low demand," Nguyen Dinh Dung, manager of Lao Cai’s Trade and Tourism Department, said.
This country, with thousands of mountains, seas and waterfalls, as well as many remote areas, has great potential for adventure travel. Meanwhile, Vietnamese people don’t have a habit of travelling and if they do they just want to enjoy simple services. They want to relax and go shopping, get a massage or play sports.
Catching wind of the slowly increasing demand, many tourist companies in the North such as Sinh cafe, Dat Viet, Lac Viet and Tre Xanh offer ecological or community tours with activities like rock climbing, mountain climbing, cycling, Motorbiking, 4WD Adventure, canyoning and trekking.
In the South, Saigon Tourist and Hong Bang Trade and Tourism Company Ltd attract tourists to new destinations like the Death Chasm at Datanla, Da Lat, Bat Cave at Phan Thiet or the cliffs at Vinh Hao or Con Dao.
"The tourist sector hasn’t made any plans to develop adventure travel as a trademark yet. At present, the tourist companies are just trying to organise adventurous activities on community or ecological tours," said Binh.
Lao Cai, the northern province famous for its beautiful mountainous areas, including Sapa Vietnam, is trying to satisfy young people and foreigners alike with these brand new offerings.
Cat Cat hotel offers many choices for tourists. Climbing to the highest mountain in the country, Fansipan (Conquer Top Fansipan )and visiting remote villages like Ta Van or Lao Chai, have become favourites for people seeking adventure.
"Clearly, I prefer visiting Ta Van Village, which takes me eight hours to climb, to going to the market near by," said Ben Jammine from England.
Besides climbing some smaller mountains, the two-day trekking tour to the 3,143m peak of Fansipan is the best game going.
"Those seeking adventure feel satisfied after two hard days of climbing," said Nguyen Bich Thuy, a staff member at Dat Viet Company.
Out of 40,000 people taking tours to villages in Sapa (Sapa tours) each year, mostly foreigners, only 1,000 register to climb Mount Fansipan.
Most tour companies can offer this tour because it doesn’t require much and people can afford it in terms of health and finances.
Sinh Cafe and Dat Viet tourist companies get about 4% of the tourists on Fansipan each day. The service in general is to ensure insurance, offer simple equipment such as sleeping bags, flashlights, medicine and blankets.
"For this tour, we can ensure safety for tourists, that’s why we decided to develop it and why the price is 10% higher than our other tours," said Phung Thi Hanh, a staffer from the Sinh Cafe office in Hanoi.
Worth a shot
What’s more important is that locals benefit quite a lot from these tours. Located in remote areas, the villagers can easily earn between US$10-20 per day by becoming amateur guides for tourists.
Some villagers sell handicraft products to tourists or simple food as they stop along the way.
"In short term, the best solution for tourist sector is to continue developing ecological and community tours which include some sorts of adventurous activities," concluded Binh.
(Source: Viet Nam News)