Northern Ninh Bình province is promoting tourism homestays and improving co-operation with other provinces to enhance the tourism experience, says Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Dương Thị Thanh.
Up to 50 households in five villages in Gia Vân Commune were providing homestays, Thanh said.
“Each household has one to five rooms for tourists. I’m receiving good feedback.”
Tourists in homestay accommodation take part in the family’s daily activities, like going to the market, cooking and farming.
The nation’s current tourism strategies favour green tourism which Thanh said was associated with the preservation of eco-diversity and natural values.
In ties with other regions, Ninh Bình had signed a 2012 development and co-operation agreement with 10 provinces and cities with high tourism potential, including Hà Nội, Hồ Chí Minh City, Đà Nẵng, Thừa Thiên-Huế, Quảng Nam, Cần Thơ, Quảng Ninh, Hải Phòng, Lào Cai, and Lạng Sơn.
Thanh said the ties would assist tours of ancient capitals, including Hoa Lư in Ninh Bình, Thăng Long citadel (Hà Nội), Lam Kinh vestige, Hồ citadel (Thanh Hóa Province) and Huế City.
The provincial tourism section head, Hoàng Thanh Phong said:
“The province also has craft villages like Văn Lâm embroidery village, Ninh Vân stone carving village of Hoa Lư District, and Kim Sơn sedge village in Kim Sơn District.”
“When craft villages are better known, it could help create jobs for local people.”
However, Ninh Bình still faced challenges, including the perception of poor environmental protection, site information and professionalism among tourist guides, along with annoying street vendors and a lack of entertainment, Thanh said.
“Employees in tourism activities will undergo training in environment protection, languages, culture and history.”
Recently, Gia Sinh commune in Gia Vien district opened the club Làng ẩm thực dê núi (Gastronomy Village of Mountain Goat).
There, 20 members made a commitment to strictly observe food service regulations and to make sure prices were included on menus.
Located 93km south of Hà Nội, Ninh Bình has diverse landscapes, with the Tràng An ecotourism complex boasting mountains, caves and lakes.
Among 3.6 million visitors to the province in the first six months of this year, 2.5 million went to the complex.
The Tam Cốc-Bích Động tourist destination and Bái Đính Pagoda have also created an impression.
Ninh Bình aims to welcome six million visitors, including one million foreigners, by 2015, an annual growth rate of 10 percent.