CECAD Staff participated in the training course on “Developing community-based ecotourism” in Pu Mat National Park
CECAD Staff participated in the training course on “Developing community-based ecotourism” in Pu MatNational Park, Con Cuong District, Nghe An Province.
The Pu Mat National Park situated in three districts, including Anh Son district, Con Cuong district and Tuong Duong district is a core zone of the Western Nghe An Biosphere Reserve, which is one of six World biosphere reserves in Vietnam. The park consists of a rich ecosystem with nearly 2500 species of plants belonging to 100 families and approximately 1000 species of animals which are rare and need to be preserved. Pu Mat National Park has great potential to develop community-based ecotourism, due to its wild, beautiful scenery and the unique culture of Thai ethic minority groups living in the region.
The training course was designed and taught by Mrs. Pham Thi Duyen Anh, a consultant from SNV Vietnam (a Dutch NGO which has a great deal of experience in supporting the development of community-based ecotourism in Vietnam and in the world). The course aimed to provide project staff and local people in the National Park a base of general knowledge about sustainable tourism, ecotourism and community-based tourism. In addition, it also helped its participants make plans to develop ecotourism.There were about 30 participants in the course, including core staff of Pu Mat National Park and leaders of tourism groups in villages and communes of the district. Before attending the training, the participants had no ideas about what tourism and tourism services were. After the training they not only understood what tourism was, but they were also able to make business plans such as designing schedules for tourists, selecting home stays, greeting tourists, making food, guiding, and designing souvenirs.CECAD staff also learnt and acquired a good knowledge base about community-based tourism as well as approaches to support local communities to develop tourism in a systematic way. Furthermore, during the time of the training course CECAD staff also contributed some experiences to the tourism groups, which included the following:- Tours designed for the guests should consist of various activities so that they would not be any spare time- Dishes should be easy for the tourists to eat, because they do not have habits of using toothpicks like the Vietnamese people.- Tourist activities should be advertised and posted on international tourism websites with detailed information and nice photos.- In meetings, participatory approaches should be applied in such as way that encourages both project staff and the local people to give their own opinions and ideas in order to make the best plans to develop tourism.By attending training courses like this, CECAD staff hope to learn a great deal and share experiences with other organisations in different regions and areas of Vietnam about developing community-based ecotourism. It is also important to draw lessons from these courses in order to better develop community based ecotourism in both Tu Ne and Thanh Hoi communes.Within the framework of the project on “Developing Community-based Ecotourism in the Buffer Zone of the Pu Mat National Park, Con Cuong district, Nghe An province” a training course on the same topic was organised by the Management Board of the National Park. The course was funded by the UNCESCO Vietnam.