Combining agriculture and tourism has huge potential for Vietnam,
but putting the plan into practice is still a long way off.
Officials say a lack of planning, strategy and training is holding the idea
So says Nguyen Quy Phuong, an official from department of tourism under the Viet
Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), during a seminar in sustainable
eco-tourism and agriculture and rural development
Phuong said agri-tourism would help local farmers preserve their traditions and
culture, while improving the income and living standards.
He said with 70 per cent of population living in rural areas, the new ‘green’
industry would have rapid growth.
“Local farmers could use their produce and production as a craft demonstration
to tourists, while earning more from tourism service beyond than the harvest
itself,” Phuong said.
Phuong said the agri-tourism in Vietnam still needed a master plan and positive
support from relevant agencies as well as connections among communities and
locals in boosting the ‘green’ industry.
He said agri-tourism had been successful in Thailand, Japan and Taiwan, but it
was still a new concept here.
Vice director of Quang Nam Province’s Culture, Sports and Tourism department, Le
Ngoc Tuong said agri-tourism would be a solution in easing overloaded tourism in
some destinations in the coming years.
“Suburban in Hoi An including Tra Que vegetable garden, Thanh Ha pottery
village, Cam Thanh nipa-palm village, white corn farm in Cam Nam Village and
carpentry Cam Kim Village developed in Hoi An Town,” Tuong said.
“However, three of five villages in Hoi An had the same agri-tourism product
such as Tra Que, An My and Thanh Dong – offering vegetable farming
demonstrations and cuisine,” he said, adding that visitors come to the three
villages with the same service (learn how to grow vegetable and enjoy cooking).
He suggested that it needed a positive co-operation between the ministries of
agriculture and rural development and VNAT in building key samples and standards
for synchronised development in the near future.
He said agri-tourism also needed huge investment in infrastructure, brand
promotion and information technology.
According to the latest report, Quang Nam welcomed more than six million
tourists in 2017, 2,8 million foreigners. That’s a massive 85 per cent growth in
comparison to 2016, earning VND9.2 trillion (US$407 million).
Director of Da Nang city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development,
Nguyen Phu Ban said Da Nang has developed 150ha organic rice farm and hi-tech
vegetable gardens in suburban districts, but agri-tourism has yet promoted, even
the city welcomed 6.7 million tourists in 2017 with a revenue of VND19 trillion
Only 4,000 local visitors came to the organic vegetable farms in districts of
Hoa Vang, Cam Le and villages of Tuy Loan, La Huong and Hoa Khuong, he said.
He said agriculture has yet joined in with other tourism projects.
Phan Xuan Thanh, from Emic Hospitality Hoi An travel agency, said farmers had to
live well from their trade first, while tourism service would be an added
“Agriculture is a base in the agri-tourism model and sustainable development in
the future. Tourism will help farmers preserve their crafts, land and livelihood
as well as rural lifestyle that they inherited from generations,” Thanh said.
He said tourists would pay much more than resorts service if they really enjoy
rural life and practice farming skills with local farmers as well as community
lifestyle and culture.
Pham Ha, CEO and founder of Luxury Travel Company, said tourists really want to
explore local lifestyles during their visit.
They come to Vietnam to understand how farmers grow rice and cook from farm
produce, and they even cook themselves after a daily life on farm experience
tour service, Ha said.
“Many locals and provinces did the same product. Each province should build
their own unique agri-tourism product, while VNAT should create a standard model
at each local that base on potential farm product in developing a diversity of
agri-tourism service,” Ha added.
He added that this would help farmers create their own beautiful rural scenery
and a clean environment.
While waiting for positive measures offered by VNAT and Ministry of Agriculture
and Rural Development, farmers at some locations still do their own way of agri-tourism
service to improve their income.
More than 200 households living in Tra Que vegetable garden – one of the most
favourite site in Hoi An, earn VND500,000 ($22) each day from tourism and
cooking service at herb farms. Each household in Tra Que also earn $22 more from
supplying 30kg of fresh vegetable to local market each day.