Tourists may trek to craft villages

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Craft villageIn recent years, a lot of traditional craft villages have been gradually falling into oblivion because their products cannot be sold. Bringing tourists is one possible solution.
An Giang province has 29 famous craft villages, some more than 100 years old.
Phu My forging village is 110 years old and Cho Thu woodwork village has existed since the 18th century. Besides, there are craft villages specializing in making Cham brocade. In 2007, An Giang Tourism Department started a trial tour program that became successful. To date, five tours have been built to bring tourists to 12 craft villages. This has helped craft villages advertise and sell their products.
Bui Thi Dung from An Giang Industry and Trade Department reported that this is a new solution to preserve and develop craft villages.
In Dong Thap province, there are 44 traditional craft villages, including Lai Vung nem (spring roll) village and Sa Dec flower village, that attract hundreds of thousands tourists every year. Nguyen Thi Nga, General Director of the Dong Thap Tourism Company, revealed that they transport 1000 tourists to Sa Dec flower village every month. They are also considering new tours to bring more tourists to other villages in the province as well.
Bui Thi Hong Ha, Deputy Director of the An Giang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, called the initial achievements encouraging, but added that the potential of these craft villages has not been fully exploited. In An Giang, for example, there are many original craft villages, but just that have arranged tours.
“Most craft villages have poor infrastructure and small production scale, so, it is very difficult to build up tourism,” Ha noted.
“Especially, residents do not know anything about tourism and marketing,” Ha added. Tan Chau silk is famous and many tourists want to buy it, but the products are not sold at restaurants or hotels.
Vu Kim Anh, Deputy Director of the HCM City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, also admitted that the many travel firms in HCM City cannot build tours to bring travelers to famous craft villages like Go Vap flower village.
To develop craft village tourism, Nguyen Van My, Director of Lua Viet Travel Firm, observed that professional investment is necessary. “In other countries, craft villages are managed by tourism watchdog agencies. Meanwhile, in Vietnam, it is very difficult to develop craft villages in a professional way due to the overlapping management,” My complained.