Enhancing and Sustaining Rural Tourism Development

3:53:44 PM | 11/23/2022

To promote the potential advantages of agriculture, cottage industries, countryside culture and ecological environment to raise the material and spiritual life of farmers, the Prime Minister approved the Rural Tourism Development Program in the course of the New Rural Development in 2021 - 2025.

Rural tourism is regarded by many localities as a "gold mine" in rural economic development and a facilitator of accelerated new rural development.

Multi-value integration

Rural tourism is an advantage of Vietnam's tourism, not only contributing to the creation of many unique tourism products, but also helping create jobs for local people and enabling economic development and social security. With nearly 65.6% of the population in rural areas, plus plentiful advantages of beautiful and peaceful landscapes, and distinctive cultural and historical values, Vietnam has huge potential and strengths to develop rural tourism.

Vietnam has 365 countryside tourist spots in 37 provinces and cities and more than 2,000 traditional handicraft villages with the potential for tourism development. In many localities, rural tourism is a spearhead for economic development and a magnet to tourists. Many rural tourism models are very attractive to tourists, such as “Ripen rice season” in the East-Northwest mountains, river tourism in the Mekong Delta, and "Coffee flower watching” in the Central Highlands. Currently, tourism models have made rural villages appealing to tourists. Rural tourism has helped change the life of local people.

However, the scale of countryside attractions remains small and attraction to tourists remains weak. Rural tourism models are still seasonal, segmented, fragmented, or lack multi-value integration. Rural tourism is not yet a major development for many provinces and cities. Worse, resources and marketing activities are limited.

To speed up the National Target Program on New Rural Development, the Prime Minister approved the Program on Rural Tourism Development in New Rural Development in 2021 - 2025. The program was expected to change the mindset from agricultural production to rural economic development; integrate multiple inclusive and sustainable values. It was, therefore, hoped to support localities to effectively and sustainably carry out new rural development criteria and make new rural development deeper and more substantive.

For policies to be really effective

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development deployed this program to many localities. This is one of the important tasks and solutions for provinces and cities to capitalize on their advantages, change their mindset and create new development space for rural areas. By 2025, destinations and rural tourism products will be developed and standardized. Each province or city will strive to have at least one recognized rural tourist spot associated with local agriculture, culture, cottage industries, or ecological environment; half of rural tourism service facilities will be recognized to meet tourist service standards; and each rural district with tourism development potential will create at least one particular model of agricultural and rural tourism linkage chain.

Mr. Tran Nhat Lam, Deputy Director of the Central Coordination Office for New Rural Development, said: In the coming time, the office will advise the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other ministries to finalize documents guiding the implementation of Decision 922 /QD-TTg of the Prime Minister. Accordingly, central and local authorities will have to work out their own specific plans for program implementation. The office will also construct and complete criteria on agricultural and rural tourism and support building some models for performance evaluation before scaling it up.

While further perfecting mechanisms and policies, communicating and raising awareness of rural tourism potential is considered a very important task, the Central Coordination Office for New Rural Development is researching and developing training materials and training courses on agricultural and rural tourism development in the course of new rural development. We expect that central and local agencies will join to open more in-depth training courses to deliver insightful knowledge, skills and qualifications in all aspects to improve capacity and meet requirements for human resources for rural tourism development. "That thinking and perception must be insightful, because rural tourism is not about building a house or tidying up a route,” he noted.

Minh Ngoc (Vietnam Business Forum)