Young lady contributes to developing tourism business in her hometown in the countryside

By DA NANG Today / DA NANG Today
May 22, 2024, 14:10 [GMT+7]

Nguyen Thi Lan Anh found it easy to find a suitable job in the city after graduating from university, but the 23 year-old girl, a resident of Hoa Bac Commune, Hoa Vang Suburban District, Da Nang, has decided to return to her hometown located upstream of the Cu De River to start a career, contributing her youth to her hometown's tourism development.

Nguyen Thi Lan Anh (middle) introduce the Hoa Bac Ecological Agriculture and Community-Based Tourism Cooperative to tourists. Photo: LAM VIEN.
Nguyen Thi Lan Anh (middle) introducing the Hoa Bac Ecological Agriculture and Community-Based Tourism Cooperative to tourists. Photo: LAM VIEN.

At the age of 23, Lan Anh is considered as the youngest member of the Hoa Bac Ecological Agriculture and Community-Based Tourism Cooperative which is a tourism business with its goal of preserving and promoting cultural traditions and indigenous knowledge, as well as creating livelihoods and job opportunities for local residents, preserving nature and protect the environment.

The young lady's working day starts with cycling across the village fields in the Nam Yen Valley to get to the namesake homestay which is more than 1km away from her home. This homestay has also been the headquarters of the Cooperative for more than a year. With her youth, enthusiasm and understanding of her hometown, the Nam Yen girl was elected as Deputy Director of the Cooperative last year by local residents after graduating with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Education under the University of Da Nang.

Her tourism business opportunity in her hometown came up 4 years ago. In 2020, while studying online at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, she realized that Ms. Do Thi Huyen Tram, the Director of the Cooperative and some local people planned to develop a community-based tourism cooperative with a focus on encouraging young people’s participation in tourism business. Hence, Lan Anh became a tour guide in her hometown, with her initial task of acting as a guide in cycling tours to explore the beauty of Cu De River’s banks, Hoi Yen Church, as well as help tourists take photos in the field, thereby contributing to promote local culture and cuisine of Hoa Bac to tourists.

She said that her job had offered an opportunity to her in a bid to promote the beauty of her hometown, and improve her own abilities from what she learned while working as a tour guide.

After graduating from university, Lan Anh decided to return to her hometown in the Nam Yen Valley in order to continue doing tourism business with local people. In addition to the position of Deputy Director of the Cooperative, the young lady also holds additional roles in administrative, office, accounting, communications works, as well as encouraging local people’s participation in welcoming and serving tourists.

In particular, Lan Anh is among a few people who choose to stick to the Cooperative while many young people have left local community-based tourism activities for new paths.

"In my commune, in the past, tourism business was only understood that Hoa Bac attracted tourists to visit in order to explore its landscape and food while local people did not enjoy benefits from tourism activities. Therefore, the establishment of the Ecological Agriculture and Community-Based Tourism Cooperative has received strong support from local residents. In the coming time, the Cooperative will focus on raising public awareness about sustainable tourism, and promoting the Co Tu ethnic minority people’s culture, including Tung Tung Da Dá Dance, cuisine, the brocade weaving craft, and Guol house", Lan Anh shared about the Cooperative's tourism development strategies.

Furthermore, the Cooperative also deploys sustainable environment projects, especially the most recently project ‘Forests preserve water sources’ in a bid to save forests, and preserve land, as well as create livelihoods or job opportunities under forest canopy in Hoa Bac for local people.

Currently, the cooperative has 19 official members and 275 affiliated members from agricultural groups, traditional craft groups, those of the Co Tu people’s culture and their cuisine, those of accommodation services and sightseeing tours, and more.

In 2023, the cooperative welcomed nearly 5,000 visitors and higher number of visitor arrivals in Hoa Bac is expected in 2024. The majority of visitors are school pupils and university students who want to learn about local agriculture, and those from other parts of the country to explore Hoa Bac. The cooperative's development strategy is to develop specific tourist programs and tours tailored to suit visitors' needs.

The Cooperative’s Deputy Director Nguyen Thi Lan Anh has made remarkable contributions to its development and growth. The Hoa Bac girl was among 16 young officials who were honored with a Certificate of Merit from the Da Nang Cooperative Alliance for her dedication to the movement ‘Young officials participating in cooperative management in 2023’.

Lan Anh finds it easy when holding the position as Deputy Director of a tourism cooperative at a young age as she has exciting experience for self-improvement from her daily work. The 23-year-old girl is always loved by everyone.

“I learn many things for self-improvement from my job. All local people are willing to leverage community-led sustainable tourism with the desire to promote their hometown’s development. They are active in contributing their ideas to the cooperative's development. That's the reason why I stick to Hoa Bac," Lan Anh remarked.

Reporting by LAM VIEN – Translating by H.L, V.DUNG