Community-based tourism: bankruptcy looms for some villages

  • ngày 22/11/2018

Community-based ecotourism (CBET) is believed to be the best way to develop tourism and protect the environment. However, the performance of some CBET villages has been discouraging.


In Tra Nhieu CBET Village

Located near Hoi An ancient town, Tra Nhieu Village became the first CBET village in the central province of Quang Nam in October.

Tourism has brought great opportunities to Tra Nhieu and helped it change its face with new infrastructure. Original craft village-related tourism products have also been developed. 

However, many problems have arisen during the operation because of mismanagement and the lack of a reasonable policies on profit sharing.

Most travelers, both self-guided and those brought by travel firms, visit Tra Nhieu, but return to Hoi An to have meals and stay there. Tra Nhieu sometimes receives over 100 travelers but earns little money. Some families receive guests occasionally, but the money earned is modest.

The My Son CBET village project is facing the same problems. It has been five years since its inauguration, and the dream of an attractive destination outside of the My Son temples remains elusive. 

Most travelers, both self-guided and those brought by travel firms, visit Tra Nhieu, but return to Hoi An to have meals and stay there. Tra Nhieu sometimes receives over 100 travelers but earns little money. Some families receive guests occasionally, but the money earned is modest.

Vo Van Xoa, former head of My Son CBET Service Team, said the number of visitors is on the decrease. Travel firms which promised to bring visitors to the village have given up. Villagers now try to look for travelers via Facebook.

Even Triem Tay CBET Village in Dien Phuong commune, opening in 2015 with support of UNESCO and ILO offices in Hanoi, and considered the most successful CBET model in Quang Nam province, has also fallen on hard times.

The inadequacies and inconsistencies in operation have affected the activities in the village. Recently, the Triem Tay Agricultural Co-operative (representative of the tourism village) announced a temporary closure due to insufficient revenue to maintain operations.

CBET villagers 

In the case of Tra Nhieu, according to Tran Duy Nam from the village’s tourism management board, since its opening in 2010, the village has not received support from the local tourism department.

The board several times asked the local authorities to allow it to collect environmental or security fees from travel firms and tourists, but the proposal was rejected. As a result, the board has no revenue.

“It is true that the tourism management board is set up just for fun,” he said.

CBET villages have taken action to ‘save themselves’ by calling for investments from businesses. Tra Nhieu has three investors. These include Hoi An Tra Nhieu Company with Tra Nhieu Xanh (green Tra Nhieu) project, Paris Nho Mui Ne with a green farm project and Bao Minh Tourism with Tra Dong Areca Village.

Source: Vietnamnet

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