03/09/2009 | 23:39:00

Central province develops craft villages to lure visitors

In addition to historical relics, beautiful beaches and landscapes, central Quang Nam province also attracts visitors with traditional craft villages.

The province now has over 40 traditional craft villages, with the weaving village of the Ca Tu ethnic people getting special attention from tourists.

By promoting such villages in combination with tourism development, Quang Nam reaps benefits not only in terms of economic value but it also nurtures and preserves the unique characteristics and culture of the land.

The programme “A day being a resident of an ancient quarter” brings hundreds of visitors to Tra Que vegetable village a day. Visitors taking part in the programme have a chance to plant, harvest and process vegetables like local residents and enjoy traditional dishes in the village.

Welcoming domestic and foreign tourists expands outlets for Tra Que’s farm produce in the country and abroad. Many of the province’s fine arts and handicraft products can reach the European and American markets in this way.

Deputy Chairman of Quang Nam People’s Committee Tran Minh Ca conveyed that the province has created many favourable conditions for traditional craft villages like providing financial support, and helping build infrastructure and vocational training, as well as finding markets for their products.

The province has so far approved a combined investment capital of over 200 billion VND (11.1 million USD) to help craft villages.

According to the province’s Department for Culture, Sports and Tourism, the expansion of investment in tourism programmes to the villages has markedly helped raise revenue for the tourism sector and improved people’s lives. In 2008, the province earned about 770 billion VND (42.7 million USD) from tourism.

However, in a recent survey, the German Organisation for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) said that Quang Nam traditional craft villages have had their trademarks for a long time with beautiful scenery, favourable infrastructure, and, in particular, they are easily linked with other sites in tour itineraries, but the development trends are not sustainable and not really attractive to visitors.

Tran Minh Ca conceded this and added that some traditional craft villages in the province showed signs of a downturn, as they are unable keep up with the market. Farmers continue to focus on products with which they have experience without paying attention to customer demand.

The province is giving priority to the recovery of craft villages, combined with building attractive tourism programmes. It is also focusing on developing cultural and historical tourism in combination with luxury eco-tourism and entertainment./.

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