Minority Women Encouraged to Engage in Hospitality Business

11:24:15 AM | 19/3/2020

With 12 ethnic groups living together, Moc Chau is one of the most culturally diverse districts in Son La province. Along with famous natural landscapes such as Hang Doi Cave, Dai Yem Waterfall, Pha Luong Peak, Ang Pine Forest Ecosystem, plum blossom valleys, and peach and dairy farms, special cultural features offer a variety and diversity of tourism types all four seasons of the year.

Having the opportunity to visit Vat village in Muong Sang commune, we met Hoang Thi Ha and Dinh Thi Thuan, two ethnic minority women who are developing local community tourism through homestay services.

At the beginning of this year, Ha and Thuan were admitted to GROW, a project to promote gender equality through community tourism, developed by Action on Poverty in Vietnam (AOP), part of the Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) funded by the Government of Australia. The project is designed to improve the capacity of local women, encourage them to join the tourism market, and strengthen the voice of women in making economic decisions. Through the project, they are supported with loans to improve their facilities, given the chance to visit and learn from successful homestay models and get training to make tourism sustainable.

“I invested to repair my house of Thai cultural identity that displays traditional Thai weaving tools such as looms and souvenirs, reconstruct and instruct Thai weaving stages to guests. I also provide local specialties made from organic and safe materials for visitors,” said Thuan.

Thai typical foods are also prepared quite sophisticatedly by Ha, from guaranteed food sources such as grilled fish, grilled minced meat, fish, bamboo shoots, smoked pork; rice in bamboo tubes, and five-color sticky rice.

Not only arranging houses neatly and cleanly and making unique Thai dishes, Ha and Thuan also involve other local women to help keep roads and the environment clean, green and beautiful. “I try to deliver the best impression to visitors from delicious foods to hospitality, create a fresh environment for each traveler to have a good impression when they come to this upland of Moc Chau.”

As a result, their Kien Ha homestay, only operating since mid-2019, has served over 30 delegations and is employing four women workers. The community-based tourism model adopted by Ha and Thuan is the right approach, consistent with women's economic empowerment scheme aimed to tap local tourism potential and strengths.

Homestay models in Vat village need to be scaled up to engage more upland women to create jobs and increase incomes for them as well as promote the sustainable tourism potential of Moc Chau district.

“Gender equality is a priority for both Australia and Vietnam and a critical part of the Australian Government’s development cooperation in Vietnam. The GREAT program is designed to stimulate innovative solutions to enhance the lives of women, their families and local communities in north-west Vietnam, and will also contribute to higher productivity and economic growth in the region. We look forward to working closely with the provinces of Lao Cai and Son La to make the program a success,” said Mr. Justin Baguley, Counsellor, Economic and Development Cooperation at the Australian Embassy in Vietnam.

The program will partner with a diverse range of actors, including the private and non-government sectors in agriculture and tourism, to improve the policy environment and stimulate inclusive and equitable growth in the mountainous Northwest region of Vietnam. It is expected that the program will assist some 40,000 self-employed women to boost their incomes and create approximately 4,000 jobs for women to drive economic growth in the provinces.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum