Huong Giang Travel supports community-based ecotourism in Tu Ne and Thanh Hoi
The community-based ecotourism project implemented by The Center for Environment and Community Asset Development is a component of two projects. One is “Livelihood improvement, cultural identity preservation and environmental protection in Tu Ne, Tan Lac district, Hoa Binh province” funded by ICCO (The interchurch organisation for development cooperation). Another is “Ngoc Son – Ngo Luong” funded by FPSC, The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). The aim of the project is to improve the livelihood of the locals through developing household economies, preserving the Muong culture as well as protecting the environment. After 3 years of implementation (from 2008 to now) the community-based ecotourism has already acquired certain achievements. Two communal houses and four homestays with bathrooms and water containers have been built.
CECAD have also helped the locals to establish two community-based tourism groups which are divided into a weaving group and a cooking group, as well as creating a homestays group, tour guides and a performing group. A community development fund with clear regulations has also been established. The locals have welcomed 40 groups with over 200 local and foreign tourists. The brochures, tourist maps, posters and card visit for the tourist group are all complete. CECAD members together with the volunteers have built a training course on community-based ecotourism and welcoming the guests for the tourism group. Beside the achievements, CECAD and the locals have to deal with many difficulties in developing this kind of tourism. Despite having participated in training courses and having visited some successful local (Pu Luong) as well as foreign (Chieng Mai, Chieng Rai, Thailand) community-based tourism models, the locals in Tu Ne and Thanh Hoi still have difficulties in planning, preparing and implementing the tourist activities themselves. Due to the limited number of tourists that visit, the locals do not get a lot of practice in welcoming tourists. Moreover, the locals do not know much about planning and approaching the market, thus they cannot implement the activities independently.