Tan Hoa Tourism Village Recognized as one of the Top Destinations in the World for 2023

Recently, the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has recognized Tan Hoa Tourism Village in Minh Hoa district, Quang Binh province as one of the Best Tourism Villages for 2023. This remarkable achievement is attributed to the village's innovative weather-adaptive tourism model, which sets it apart from other tourist destinations. Tan Hoa Tourism Village offers a unique and immersive experience for travelers, allowing them to embrace the beauty of nature while adapting to changing weather conditions. This accolade showcases the village's dedication to providing exceptional tourism experiences and its commitment to sustainable development. With its stunning landscapes and welcoming local community, Tan Hoa Tourism Village is truly a gem in the heart of Quang Binh province. Discover the magic of this award-winning village and embark on an unforgettable journey like no other.

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The UNWTO recently announced the winners of the Best Tourism Villages 2023 competition at a meeting in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Tan Hoa, a commune in Minh Hoa district, is the proud representative of Vietnam among the 260 applicants from 60 countries. At a press conference held in Dong Hoi City, Vice Chairman of the Quang Binh People’s Committee Ho An Phong shared the exciting news.

According to the Viet Nam National Authority of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Tan Hoa stood out for its rich cultural and natural resources, as well as its commitment to promoting sustainable tourism.

Tan Hoa Tourism Village Listed Among World’s Best In 2023
Tan Hoa Tourism Village Listed Among World’s Best In 2023

Situated amid scenic mountains in Minh Hoa district, Tan Hoa boasts stunning natural landscapes and a rich cultural heritage. Despite being prone to floods in the past due to its location, the village has transformed itself into a thriving tourism destination.

As of 2023, Tan Hoa is home to 620 floating houses and has developed a unique flooding season tourism model.

The local residents have embraced tourism as a means to reduce poverty sustainably. With assistance from businesses, Tan Hoa has become a weather-adaptive tourism village with a wide range of unique and authentic tourism experiences.

Surrounded by magnificent limestone karst mountains and the Rao Nan River, which winds through the peaks like a silk ribbon, Tan Hoa offers a serene escape. From Quy Dat town, it takes about 8km to reach Tan Hoa, where visitors can immerse themselves in breathtaking beauty.

However, the village faces a significant risk during the annual flooding season from mid-September to mid-November. The historic flooding in 2010 saw water levels rise up to 12 meters, causing extensive damage to local houses and forcing residents to seek refuge in nearby karst mountains.

Tan Hoa Tourism Village Listed Among World’s Best In 2023
Tan Hoa has risen from immense hardships to become an excellent tourism village. (Photo: VNA)

To cope with the floods, the villagers have built floating houses measuring around 20 sq.m. These houses are made of wood and have empty barrels underneath, along with poles to anchor them.

From 2012 to 2020, Oxalis Adventure, a leading tour operator, initiated the “Tu Lan Race” event to raise funds for the construction of almost 200 floating houses for low-income families. These houses were built with stainless steel frames, walls, and roofs covered with corrugated iron sheets. Each house can accommodate a family of at least six people and provide basic necessities during the monsoon season.

As of October 2023, more than 620 floating houses have been built in Tan Hoa, thanks to financial support from local individuals and organizations.

Today, the floating houses have become more than just residences for the locals; they also offer livelihood opportunities.

With support from Oxalis, 10 households in Tan Hoa have transformed their floating houses into climate-adaptive lodging facilities. Each homestay costs about 150 million VND (6,100 USD) and provides 26-40 square meters of space for 1-3 people, along with a private bathroom.

Truong Xuan Hung, the owner of Hung Lien homestay, expressed how his life has changed since he opened his homestay to visitors. He said, “Our income is more stable now, which has improved the living conditions for our children.”

Previously, most residents relied on agriculture and poultry farming for their livelihoods. However, the robust tourism activities have injected new life into the community. Around 120 locals now work as chefs, safety supervisors, and porters, earning a monthly income of 6-8 million VND.

Nguyen Chau A, the General Director of Oxalis, stated that the construction of floating houses not only helps the locals adapt to weather conditions but also encourages them to actively participate in tourism development.

A sustainable community-based tourism model has gradually taken shape, offering visitors unique experiences, he added.

Tan Hoa Tourism Village Listed Among World’s Best In 2023
Weather-adaptive tourism model has been developed in Tan Hoa commune. (Photo: VNA)

Tan Hoa offers a range of fascinating tourism products, including homestays, agri-tourism, and culinary experiences in the local households.

The recognition from UNWTO highlights the local authorities’ dedication to developing Tan Hoa into a leading weather-adaptive tourism model in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. This global initiative aims to promote the efforts of villages and tourism sites in preserving and promoting community-based values, contributing to the achievement of sustainable development goals through tourism.

Winning the title is just the beginning for Tan Hoa’s tourism development. It presents an opportunity for the village to shine as a prominent tourism destination in Vietnam.

The Vietnam National Authority of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism believes that Tan Hoa’s recognition is well-deserved, considering its diverse cultural and natural resources and its commitment to sustainable tourism principles.

Charlotte Pho