Hanoi (VNA) – According to Mr. Ha Van Thang, Director of Lao Cai Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, tourism exploitation on the basis of preserving and promoting the unique values of ethnic minority culture is considered the key to open up many prospects for the province’s socio-economic development.
Lao Cai develops culture-based tourism
Up to now, Lao Cai is one of the top provinces in the country in terms of the number of cultural heritage items with 26 national intangible cultural heritage items recognised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
“Tay and Giay people’s tug of war” was recognised by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Along with that, the province has 45 ranked relics such as Bao Ha Temple relic complex and Co Tan An Temple; vestige complex of Thuong Temple – Mau Mau – Doi Co Temple (Lao Cai city).
Lao Cai has 19 artisans awarded the title of Excellent Artist by the President. Many artisans have collected and kept good customs and practices of ethnic minorities.
Artisan Ma Thanh Soi has edited 16 categories with more than 2,000 pages on the customs and traditions of the local Tay ethnic group. Meritorious artisan San Chan (Sa Pa) with 5 research works on Giay ethnic culture, including 3 award-winning works of Vietnam Folk Arts Association.
Meritorious artist Tan Van Sieu, the Dao (Ta Phin) ethnic group teaches Nôm Dao to hundreds of students, organizes and teaches Dao ethnic folk songs to girls and women, collecting and preserving ancient Dao books. ..
According to Mr. Nong Duc Ngoc, Head of Ethnic Minority Committee of Lao Cai province, the preservation of cultural heritage is closely linked with tourism development, contributing to economic restructuring and sustainable poverty reduction. Ethnic cultural identity becomes a resource to promote socio-economic development of Lao Cai.
Meanwhile, with the view that Sa Pa is of the whole country, Lao Cai determined that preserving and promoting the value of the cultural identity of ethnic groups is one of the important goals of this locality.
In recent years, tourism in Sa Pa has developed, helping revive a number of traditional jobs of ethnic minorities in the district such as brocade, silver carving, blacksmithing. Many types of local cuisine are gradually introduced to visitors and have become unique menus at restaurants.
Sa Pa has been recognised by the Prime Minister as a National Tourism Area and aimed to be of an international level. In particular, this locality is about to be upgraded from the district to the town. Therefore, preserving and promoting cultural values of ethnic groups in Sa Pa should be identified as one of the important tasks in the coming time.
Many travel models
Lao Cai with a typical climate and unique cultural traditions of 25 ethnic groups has developed many tourist models.
Agricultural development models associated with eco-tourism in Lao Cai have formed typical tourism products.
With the model, visitors can participate in tree planting and learning cultural traditions.
Lao Cai is also one of the first provinces in Vietnam to apply a community tourism development model associated with poverty reduction for ethnic minorities with two pilot models in Ban Ho and San communes.
So far, community tourism in Lao Cai has gradually asserted the brand. Especially in 2016, the cluster of homestay facilities in Bac Ha district received the ASEAN homestay awards. In 2017, Ta Van Giay 1 homestay group in Ta Van Giay village, Ta Van commune, Sa Pa district was also honoured with this award.
It can be seen that the close cooperation between local authorities and devoted folk artisans along with appropriate policies have initially shown the effectiveness of preserving traditional culture of ethnic groups in Lao Cai./.