Da Lat Tourism development associated with traditional crafts villages

Traditional villages have been formed and developed along with socio-cultural development of the local community. Therefore, it is considered as a kind of cultural tourism resources. In fact, the concept of “crafts village tourism” has emerged, where the two types of economy, namely, tourism and traditional craftsmanship develop together through the “symbiotic” relationship.

Products from traditional crafts villages always include both tangible and intangible values, which in turn become commodities and products of tourism.

Currently, crafts village tourism is becoming a trend in tourism development; at the same time, it becomes an effective solution to poverty reduction, building new rural areas and tourism brands. The project of preserving and developing crafts villages of Lam Dong province for the period of 2014 – 2016 with orientation to 2020 clearly states; “To focus on supporting the development of crafts villages associated with local tourism with the objectives of preserving, safeguarding and developing traditional crafts, traditional crafts villages, preserving ethnic cultural identities, raising incomes and create jobs for rural laborers.”

Van Thanh flower village

Van Thanh flower village

In the implementation of this project, the whole province has restored 28 crafts villages, focusing on supporting the investment of 12 handicrafts villages associated with tourism, thus, forming tourist routes and tourist attractions associated with crafts villages, such as Van Thanh flower village, Thai Phien flower village, pyrography, dried flowers, flower paintings (Da Lat), brocade weaving in Bor Neur C, Lang Biang wine (Lac Duong) brocade weaving at K’Long (Duc Trong), silk weaving (Lam Ha), Silver ring casting of Chu Ru people, rice paper making in Lac Lam (Don Duong), producing rattan furniture in Da Huoai…

In recent years, crafts village tourism of the province made positive changes, initially it formed a number of destinations such as Xuan Huong Hi-tech Agricultural Tourism in association with Lake of Sighs Tourist Resort; Trai Mat High-tech Tourist Resort linked to the ancient railway and Linh Phuoc Pagoda; Bor Neur C brocade-weaving village associated with the legendary Lang Biang Resort; the silk weaving village (Lam Ha) associated with the majestic Elephant Falls… In addition, 41,708 rural crafts units have created jobs for more than 200,000 workers. Particularly, 28 crafts villages in villages, hamlets, communes, wards and towns attract over 4,000 households with about 7,000 artisans and laborers. However, most of the crafts villages are still relatively unknown. According to statistics, among the 5.4 million tourists to Lam Dong in 2016, there are about 400,000 tourists (almost 8%) visiting or dropping by at traditional crafts villages.

rice paper making in Lac Lam

rice paper making in Lac Lam

Lam Dong’s craft villages are plentiful, but few products bear regional or national brands, due to small-scale production facilities and households. Only Da Lat vegetables and flowers, Cau Dat Arabica coffee, B’Lao tea (Bao Loc), Cat Tien rice have got brand names.

Only traditional crafts villages located near the center, traffic roads are easy for the establishments of tours.

Infrastructure as well as tourism human resources in many crafts villages are lacking and weak. Activities to help tourists experience almost lack interest, therefore should not create attractiveness. In several crafts villages, environmental pollution has not been dealt with regularly, so it is difficult to develop tourism.

Recently, Lam Dong province has provided 3.4 billion VND to open vocational training classes; Organize traineeship for the next generation; Invest in machinery, equipment, tools, raw materials; Seek domestic and foreign markets through fairs and exhibitions; Introduce products, provide market information, promote trade to develop production, promote the products of traditional crafts villages … to effectively exploit the potential of crafts village tourism and enrich tourism products.

silk weaving village

silk weaving village

However, for tourism and crafts villages to develop, the authorities of districts and cities should actively set up crafts village development centers; Reorganize production; counsel development of traditional crafts villages. Along with that, it is necessary to support the development of craft village tourism in the direction of opening training courses, participating in trade fairs and exhibitions and introducing strategies for human resources development.

The industry, trade, agriculture and rural development, culture – sports – tourism sectors should strengthen the coordination and counsel the provincial People’s Committee to promulgate policies to support and encourage the development of rural crafts villages, build souvenir shops in the crafts villages to serve tourists. The province should have special policies to prioritize certain resources to effectively implement the Tourism Development Program for 2016-2020, in which funding priority is given to the development of crafts village tourism. Apart from budget sources, the province should encourage investment capital from enterprises, considering it as a key factor in the development of crafts village tourism to attain high efficiency.

In the new development trend, the province should have a mechanism to encourage the establishment of associations and associations of crafts villages, especially crafts villages to prioritize development. Lam Dong Tourism, Trade and Investment Center together with Lam Dong Tourism Association will play an important role in orienting production, seeking more markets and focal points for organizing tours to crafts villages…

It can be affirmed that the development of crafts village tourism brings about dual benefits of creating jobs and raising incomes for people, while preserving and promoting national identity and traditional cultural values.

By Long Chau

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