Many agricultural production farms and cooperatives in the outskirts of Hanoi have organized activities for visitors to experience rural life in the context of consumer trends impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Children join activities at Long Viet Agricultural Park. Photos: Long Viet Agricultural Park
In Hong Van Commune, Thuong Tin District, Hong Van Flower, Bonsai, and Service Cooperative is one of more than 20 businesses providing the agritourism model. Nguyen Van Tu, Director of the Cooperative said that local visitors can experience crop cultivation and harvesting as well as visit the areas of production, processing, and packaging of herbal teas, and the brewing facilities for more than 100 kinds of herb wine.
The city also has many similar models in the districts of Ba Vi, Dong Anh, Ung Hoa, and Thach That as these localities have the advantage of natural landscapes, large areas, local products, long-standing agricultural tradition, and ancient villages. These days, Dong Que Farm, Ba Vi District, is welcoming many groups of students coming for extracurricular activities.
They experience the ancient space of Vietnamese villages and join the farmers in several activities such as growing vegetables and harvesting crops. To attract more tourists, Dong Que Farm, in cooperation with residents, has organized tours to the traditional medicine village of the Dao ethnic group or allowed visitors to enjoy the Muong people’s dance. Located in Phu Cuong Commune, Soc Son District, Long Viet Agricultural Park, with an area of 120,000m2, is also a favorite destination for many families and students in Hanoi.
Visitors can participate in folk games such as catching fish, Blind Man’s Bluff, basket boating, growing vegetables, and rice, as well as harvesting tomatoes. Chairman of the Tourism Advisory Council Tran Trong Kien said that the agricultural tourism model not only brings livelihoods to farmers but also contributes to preserving and promoting traditional cultural values, landscape, and ecological environment, as well as supporting the diversified and sustainable development of tourist destinations.
Barriers need to be removed
Citing weaknesses in the agritourism development, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Tourism Tran Trung Hieu mentioned the insufficient and unprofessional human resources for agritourism.
“The number and scale of agritourism enterprises are still limited. In addition, the system of supporting infrastructure for agricultural tourism is not synchronized, making it difficult for visitors to access,” he underlined.
|Local visitors enjoy interesting experiences.|
Director of VietSense Travel Nguyen Van Tai said that agritourism in Hanoi still lacks unique products and local businesses are running small and fragmented activities.
“The linkage between the three parties namely the authorities, residents, and travel businesses is still weak, so they have not been able to create a push for the development of agritourism,” he added.
Deputy General Director of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Ha Van Sieu admitted that there is no overall policy on agritourism at the national level, and currently, each locality applies its own policies.
“To overcome the difficulty, the management agencies should soon have specific and synchronized guidelines, mechanisms, and policies from the central to the local level on the organization and management of agritourism,” he said.
In this regard, the Hanoi Department of Tourism plans to help companies improve the professional qualifications of guides and staff by organizing training courses, as well as encouraging travel companies to coordinate with localities to open galleries where handicrafts and specialties from villages are sold.
Vice Chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Manh Quyen said that the city has issued a plan for the development of agritourism in association with new rural areas construction in the city in the 2022-2025 period.
According to the plan, each district or town with potential and strength in developing agricultural and rural tourism in the city should aim to have at least one to three community tourism services and tourist attractions and at least 50% of these products protected by intellectual property law and recognized by the One Commune One Product program (OCOP) with three stars or higher standards.
They should have at least one model of a typical agricultural and rural tourism chain with the participation of farmers, cooperatives, business households, and enterprises.
With these policies, Hanoi agritourism is expected to make a breakthrough for the local rural areas to become attractive destinations for tourists and help local people get rich.