With 90% of its population made up of various ethnic minority groups, Ha Giang province represents some of Vietnam’s greatest diversity. Unfortunately this area also faces some of the highest inequality and poverty rates in the country. A predominant focus on agriculture and a lack of livelihood development in other industries has stunted economic growth. This is changing, however, with the rise of community-based tourism and you can help transform the future of this province through engaging in this type of travel.
What is community-based tourism (CBT)? CBT involves local families inviting travellers into their homes to stay and experience their community’s way of life. This type of travel encourages greater cultural exchange and active consideration of travel’s environmental and social impact. CBT is usually found in the form of staying in local homestays and eating with local families.
What impact can have CBT have in Ha Giang? In Ha Giang, CBT is being actively implemented by the Swiss organization HELVETAS and the local Center for Rural Economy Development (CRED). The goal of this project is to introduce a sustainable source of income to families in the province to promote economic development for 600 direct beneficiaries and 10 000 indirect beneficiaries, the majority of these being ethnic minority females. This in turn helps to preserve traditional cultures and practices.