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Ninh Thuan: Homestay services get popular thanks to natural, cultural charms

The south central coastal province of Ninh Thuan has invested in expanding tourism, particularly homestay services, thanks to its advantages on natural charm and cultural richness.

Photo: VNA

Ninh Thuan boasts a 105km coastline with many pristine beaches, such as Binh Tien, Ninh Chu and Ca Na. Its Vinh Hy Bay is one of the most beautiful bays in Vietnam, and the Nui Chua National Park is home to 1,500 plant species, 160 bird species and 60 mammal species.

The province, the driest and hottest region in the country, is well known for vast gardens of grapes, jujube, garlic, aloe vera, green asparagus and hot peppers as well as large farming of sheep and goat.

According to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Ninh Thuan houses about 50 tangible and intangible cultural and historical relics, including 12 national-level and two special national-level relics.

Cham pagodas with unique architecture have been an icon of Ninh Thuan province for centuries. Especially, it must be a fascinating experience when visiting well-preserved Cham tower complex, including Po Klong Garai and Hoa Lai towers which were recognised as special national architectural relic sites.

In addition, the province has been renowned for a line-up of festivals such as the Whale Worshipping, leaving tomb of the Raglai ethnic group, and Kate, Chabun and Ramuwan of Cham ethnic people.

Homestay services are becoming more popular, allowing visitors to explore the local natural beauty and cultural diversity. Many locals have spent money to transform farming lands into eco-tour destinations for tourists, such as Inra Jaka Champa Homestay and Charaih Lotus Cultural and Ecological Tourist Area in My Nghiep Brocade Weaving Village in Phuoc Dan township, Ninh Phuoc district; the grape village of Thai An in Ninh Hai district; and Peace Home Homestay in Thuan Bac district.

People in Thai Anh village used to live on only grape farming which allowed them to earn just about 25,000 VND per kg. Now they can earn more from ecotours to their vineyards that give tourists real life experience of how to cultivate and harvest the local specialty.

The mountainous district of Ninh Son has a similar idea. Last year, the local authority opened a 600-hectare fruit garden named Lam Son at the foot of Ngoan Muc pass to tourists. During this summer, the garden often welcomes about 200 – 300 visitors daily to enjoy different specialty fruits.

The Ninh Son People’s Committee has taken various measures to support the villagers expand eco-tour businesses at fruit gardens and further promote the local fruits, culture and cuisine among the travellers. It is considering to provide garden owners with soft loans to ugrade their service quality, meeting the rising demand of visitors.

This year, the provincial People’s Committee has allocated funds to develop rural infrastructure around popular ecotourism sites. These sites will be financially supported to build stilt houses and rest rooms; install waste treatment system; provide training for service providers and staff; and promote tourism products.

In 2018, Ninh Thuan welcomed 2.19 million tourists, a year-on-year increase of 15.3 percent. Tourism turnover reached 1.05 trillion VND (45 million USD), a year-on-year increase of 18.9 percent.

The province has 145 accommodation facilities with a total of 3,100 rooms.