Our Community-based Tourism (CBT) project offers guests a unique travel experience while making a lasting social impact in the community. The project’s overall objective is to develop new business opportunities and tourism practices that provide sustainable incomes, encourage equitable distribution of profits, and contribute to poverty alleviation for ethnic minority groups. Through the promotion of CBT, we aim to not only create sustainable jobs, but also to preserve local cultures and the environment.
AOP’S FIRST CBT PROJECT
In the mountainous Hoa Binh Province, flooding from a hydroelectric dam development displaced tens of thousands of ethnic minority people. Living conditions in the area became even harsher and much of the population lived in poverty. At Action on Poverty in Vietnam (AOP), we saw an opportunity to develop socially and environmentally responsible tourism in Da Bac’s lush landscapes and rich ethnic cultures.
Conduct feasibility study and research appropriate forms of responsible tourism to identify best practices.
Develop partnerships with relevant stakeholders, especially the local community and local government.
Provide assistance technically and financially for upgrading traditional stilt and ground houses into homestays.
Provide CBT related trainings and other capacity building activities for local communities.
Support ancillary livelihood models by establishing local service groups and promoting traditional dance and local products, such as local tea and brocade.
Support the restoration of traditional performance/herb/crafts.
Engage with the private sector to promote the development of the CBT model.
Engage with the local government to better oversight the project and integrate the tourism development into the local development plans.
Support the local communities to establish an appropriate local led management structure to manage the model and ensure that benefits are distributed equitably.
Raise awareness about environmental protection and the link between environmental protection and sustainable livelihoods.
At this stage of the project, not only have we seen incomes rise, but confidence and social cohesion in the community have also soared. We have now established a social enterprise named Da Bac CBT with the objective of managing and improving the CBT model. Meanwhile, AOP in Vietnam continues to provide technical support and oversee the operation of the enterprise.
The success of Da Bac CBT has encouraged AOP in Vietnam to scale up the project to neighbouring provinces. In early 2018, with support from Dr Vance Gledhill, the English Family Foundation, the Australian Government and our tour partners, we established a new CBT project in Xuan Son commune, Tan Son district, Phu Tho province.