Community Based Tourism (CBT) has appeared inVietnam since 1997 and it has brought many benefits to local people after over 10 years of development. The northern mountains ofVietnam, which have spectacular natural sceneries and a lot of ethnics with variety of customs and habits, have advantages to develop tourism, especially CBT.
CBT has many kinds, such as visiting ancient handicraft villages, discovering mountains and forests, learning ethnic cultures… And the most popular kind is home stay. With home stay, tourists will be arranged at local people’s houses, eat, stay and participate in the housework of the family as well as local festivals. Today, CBT model is popular in Ha Giang, Lao Cai and Dien Bien with the development of many CBT villages, attracts a huge amount of tourists.
In the northern mountains of Vietnam, tourists can enjoy wonderful natural places, for examples: imposing stone plateaus, green palm hills in Ha Giang; beautiful corn milpas and terraced fields in Lao Cai; or historic vestiges in Dien Bien. Moreover, in the CBT villages, tourists will have opportunity to visit ethnic villages, eat, stay or live with local people, go fishing, work in the fields, feed poultry and cattle, cook traditional dishes… Tourists can also weave embroidery themselves, buy souvenirs or join traditional dance, local folk music. With the support of local authorities, households in CBT villages have furnished essential things for daily life of the tourists. Local people also have been raising awareness of CBT and training basically for doing CBT.
With the unique characteristics of the natural landscapes as well as the cultural identity, each province chose their own way to develop community based tourism activities, in order to exploit and promote the strengths of each locality. And CBT also offers tourists opportunities to experience as well as brings economic benefits to local people.