Model Vietnam eco-tourism project for remote highland village
A model for eco-tourism in a remote, mostly Thai-speaking village, high in the mountains of northern Son La Province, is about to be tested.
The experiment in Chieng Yen Commune’s Phu Mau 2 village, Moc Chau district Son La, will be based on research by the Netherlands Development Organisation.
The Dutch organization began a consultancy programme intended to support the district’s remote, poor villages in a new type of tourism based on available resources in 2006.
“The year-long consultancy programme included surveys of potential tourism sites and the potential market for tourists,” says the Son La Province Trade and Tourist Department’s chief planner Nguyen Dinh Phong.
Chieng Yen commune was one of 16 sites chosen because of its landscape, traditional occupations and culture.
The Moc Chau District hosts major dairy farms across a wide green plateau and Phu Mau 2 Village, at a height of 330m, is home to 90 families – most of them farmers.
“The village is one of Moc Chau District’s poorest villages,” says Phong.
“But it has the potential for tourism development.”
Apart from the peaceful landscape, waterfalls and beautiful caves, tourists visiting the village will have the chance to taste its culture and enjoy the peaceful life of the local community.
Although the Netherlands Development Organisation consultancy programme has ended, the work has motivated the district’s administrators to continue with the idea.
A provincial Trade and Tourism Department team is working on establishment of the eco-tourism model and the Moc Chau District is a part of the effort.
The project to the end of next year, focuses on how to develop eco-tourism so that it eradicates poverty.
It includes the collection of the information necessary to the establishment of an eco-tourism model.
The information will be disseminated to villagers so that they understand the concept of eco-tourism services.
Information about tourism in Moc Chau District has been widely disseminated among Vietnam tour companies and tourists.
Dissemination of information about the model to the villagers has motivated them to protect the environment and conserve traditional values, he says.
The planner is confident that the draft project will not only ensure the village’s development, it will also help eradicate poverty in the remote northern highlands.