Tan Hoa Tourism Village Listed Among World’s Best In 2023
The UNWTO announced the list of Best Tourism Villages 2023 at a meeting in Samarkand, Uzbekistan earlier this year.
Tan Hoa is the only winner from Vietnam among the 260 applicants from 60 countries seeking the title, according to Vice Chairman of the Quang Binh People’s Committee Ho An Phong at a press conference held in Dong Hoi City the same day.
The Viet Nam National Authority of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said Tan Hoa was recognized for its diverse and outstanding cultural and natural resources, as well as its commitments and actions to comply with the sustainable tourism principles.
|Tan Hoa Tourism Village Listed Among World’s Best In 2023|
Tan Hoa, a mountainous commune in Minh Hoa district, is blessed with breathtaking natural landscapes and special cultural identities. In the past, it used to be frequently hit by floods due to its location. In the past, it used to be frequently hit by floods due to its location.
As of 2023, Tan Hoa is home to 620 floating houses. The village is developing a flooding season tourism model.
Local residents have engaged in tourism activities to help sustainably reduce poverty. With support from businesses, Tan Hoa has become a weather-adaptive tourism village with many unique and typical tourism products.
Surrounded by spectacular limestone karst mountains and the Rao Nan River which resembles a jade silk ribbon snaking through peaks, Tan Hoa offers a peaceful heaven. From Quy Dat town, it’s about 8km to Tan Hoa which offers scenic beauty.
However, its unique terrain also puts Tan Hoa at risk when flooding season comes from mid-September to mid-November every year. The historic flooding in 2010 with water rising to 12 meters inundated local houses and forced people to evacuate to nearby karst mountains. Properties were swept away and poultry and crops damaged, local residents returned home empty-handed and tried to rebuild their lives from almost zero.
|Tan Hoa has risen from immense hardships to become an excellent tourism village. (Photo: VNA)|
To live safely in floods, Tan Hoa villagers created floating houses of about 20 sq.m from wood with empty barrels underneath and poles to hold the houses in place.
From 2012-2020, Oxalis Adventure tour operator, through the “Tu Lan Race” event, called for financial support to build nearly 200 floating houses for poor families. The houses were constructed with stainless steel frames, walls, and roofs covered with corrugated iron sheets, and large enough for a family of at least six people and necessities to survive during monsoon season.
As of October 2023, more than 620 floating houses had been built for Tan Hoa locals with financial support from domestic individuals and organizations.
Now, floating houses are not only a place for Tan Hoa locals to live but also a way for them to earn a living.
With support from Oxalis, 10 Tan Hoa households transformed their floating houses into climate-adaptive lodging facilities. Costing some 150 million VND (6,100 USD), each homestay offers 26-40 square meters of space for 1-3 people, with a private bathroom.
Truong Xuan Hung, owner of Hung Lien homestay, said his life has changed completely since opening his homestay to visitors.
“Our incomes are more stable now, therefore, our kids have better conditions to grow.”
Earlier, most of the residents earned their meager livings through agriculture and poultry but robust tourism activities have breathed fresh air into their lives. Around 120 locals are now working as chefs, safety supervisors, and porters to serve tourists who join tours to discover Tu Lan cave. The jobs secure them 6-8 million VND a month.
According to Nguyen Chau A, Oxalis General Director, the construction of floating houses helps locals adapt to weather conditions while encouraging them to join efforts to develop local tourism.
A sustainable community-based tourism has been gradually formed, creating new experience for visitors, he said.
|Weather-adaptive tourism model has been developed in Tan Hoa commune. (Photo: VNA)|
Many fascinating tourism products have been offered in the locality, including homestay, agri-tourism, and culinary experiences in residents' households.
The UNWTO’s recognition has affirmed the local authorities’ resolve to develop Tan Hoa into an excellent weather-adaptive tourism model in Vietnam and Southeast Asia at large.
This is a global initiative to highlight villages and tourism sites’ efforts to preserve and promote community-based values, making contributions to realizing sustainable development goals through tourism.
Tan Hoa is the only one from Vietnam among the 260 applicants from 60 countries seeking the UNWTO’s title. Winning the title is the initial step for tourism development in Tan Hoa, and a chance for this locality to gradually become a bright spot of Vietnam’s tourism.
The Vietnam National Authority of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said Tan Hoa's recognition comes from its diverse and outstanding cultural and natural resources, as well as its commitments and actions to comply with the sustainable tourism principles.
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