Tay Yen Tu Services Joint Stock Company: Working together to Boost Tourism Development Links

8:56:13 PM | 12/21/2022

Resolution 112-NQ/TU dated June 15, 2021 of the Executive Board of the Bac Giang Provincial Party Committee on tourism development in 2021 - 2025 defines that tourism will be developed into an increasingly important economic sector and occupy an increasing share in local economic structure by 2030. As a responsible tourism services company, Tay Yen Tu Services Joint Stock Company has adopted many practical and active ideas and cooperated with the province to boost effective and sustainable tourism connection and development.

Tay Yen Tu cable car system

Enhancing connectivity, unlocking tourism potential

Provincial and local tourism authorities in Bac Giang province share the same view on “Focusing investment on infrastructure, tourism products, tourism connection and promotion; speeding up communications on tourism promotion; effectively tapping tourism potential on the western side of Yen Tu Mountain.”

As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic was contained, in order to attract more tourists to Bac Giang, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Bac Giang province coordinated with localities to organize many seminars to develop tourism in the western Yen Tu region, and researched and developed outstanding tourism products since late 2021. These workshops were attended by many experts, officials, and reputable travel businesses which put forth many solutions to boost investment in tourism development. After each gathering, many travel operators returned to the province to survey and build tours and routes. From August 1 to October 31, 2022, the Spiritual Journey Tourism Alliance, mainly membered by Hanoi-based travel agencies, launched the "Following the Buddha Emperor's Footsteps" Program. Tour operators have brought travelers to visit, sightsee and experience the landscape.

Particularly, in mid-August 2022, the Provincial People's Committee launched a plan to carry out measures to foster regional linkage of Quang Ninh, Bac Giang and Hai Duong in many fields in 2022 - 2025. Mr. Tran Minh Ha, Director of the Bac Giang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Deputy Director of the Bac Giang Tourism Development Steering Committee, said that the department is currently actively coordinating with the Departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Hai Duong and Quang Ninh provinces to advise on the tourism development cooperation program for three provinces. At the same time, the department organized seminars between authorities and tourism service firms to develop the “One journey, three destinations” tourism program, and coordinated and exchanged experiences in training tourism human resources.

Bac Giang province will strive to create five main tourist spaces by 2025, including the Tay Yen Tu tourism space linked to the “Journey to enlighten Buddha teachings of Buddhist ancestors of the Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen sect” and restoring "Following the Buddha Emperor's Footprints” relic sites and space for eco-tourism, leisure tourism and entertainment associated with golfing tourism. The province will build and develop “Tay Yen Tu tourism" into a tourism brand of Bac Giang. According to the draft project on restoration of “Journey to enlighten Buddha teachings of Buddhist ancestors of the Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen sect” consulted by the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, a 95-km long journey will be built along three districts of Luc Nam, Son Dong and Yen Dung. The space of the journey from Vinh Nghiem Pagoda to Hon Thap Pagoda, Quan Tuan Temple, Hoa Pagoda, Rao Pagoda, Ba Chua Temple, Dam Tri Pagoda, Giot Waterfall, Vang Brook (Luc Nam) and Dong Pagoda (Yen Tu, Quang Ninh province). This is reportedly the most unique spiritual pilgrimage in Vietnam and helps create a special tourism product linked to the sacred land of Tay Yen Tu.

In addition to strengthening connectivity, from now to 2025, the Provincial People's Committee will direct focus on expanding and upgrading Provincial Road 293; coordinate with Quang Ninh province to build a road to connect Tay Yen Tu Town (Son Dong) with Ha Long City; and formulate investment support mechanisms and policies for tourism infrastructure development. With the support of all-tier government and localities and the active participation of businesses, Bac Giang province’s hospitality industry will continue to thrive, contribute more to local development, generate more jobs and open up opportunities for cooperation and investment in socioeconomic development between Bac Giang and neighboring localities.

Bac Giang spends VND60 billion upgrading provincial road 293 to Tay Yen Tu tourist site

Tangible and intangible cultural renaissance

Carrying out this project in line with guidelines, resolutions and tourism development plan of Bac Giang province in 2021 - 2025 and to 2030, and Yen Tu development plan of Son Dong district, Bac Giang province to 2035, will help boost socioeconomic development in Son Dong district, especially tourism development investment projects. Ms. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Operation Director of Tay Yen Tu Spiritual - Ecological Tourist Area, said that Tay Yen Tu Services Joint Stock Company successfully implemented the first phase of Tay Yen Tu Project. With the support and assistance of all relevant bodies of Bac Giang province and Son Dong district, legal procedures were completed for the project much more quickly than other projects. Specifically, the company built and operated major items to effectively serve domestic and foreign tourists, including the cable car from Ha (Lower) Pagoda to Thuong (Upper) Pagoda, a walking pilgrimage to Dong Pagoda and several scenic landscapes covering 15-16 ha in the first phase (accounting for only 10% of the total approved area of 136ha).

As soon as the project was put into operation in 2019, Bac Giang province launched “Bac Giang Culture and Tourism Week” in Tay Yen Tu and welcomed about 150,000 visitors. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although it was open in just five days (from the 2nd to the 6th days of the first month of the Lunar Year), Tay Yen Tu welcomed up to 75,000 visitors. On the last open day alone, about 8,000 people experienced the cable car and 10,000 people visited the site.

Tourism was restarted as soon as the pandemic was contained. With the effort and cooperation of domestic travel agencies, the company served nearly 100,000 visitors in 2022, including over 50,000 people during the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday. The company is also making detailed plans to organize many practical activities like coordinating with provincial agencies to prepare for the opening ceremony of the Bac Giang Culture and Tourism Week Festival 2023 in Tay Yen Tu tourist area; launching tourism stimulus policies; and embellishing landscapes and service facilities to serve 300,000 visitors during the Lunar New Year of the Rabbit in 2023. These activities will help realize aspirations of local authorities and Tay Yen Tu Services Joint Stock Company of reviving the "tangible and intangible" culture; and strongly attract tourists from all over the world to experience and sightsee. The tourist area aims to attract 2.5 million visitors by 2030.

She also revealed ideas for the second phase, including eco-resort, World and Vietnam Buddhist Wonder Park, service areas (food and drink, shopping, local cultural and art experiences) for diverse demands of tourists seeking weekend getaways. Moreover, the company is actively collecting indigenous cultural data to revive and promote unique cultural values. Combined with the spiritual artifacts of the Unified Buddhist Sangha of Vietnam, the project also focuses on crystallized reproduction of the "Journey of Enlightening Dharma Rituals" and "Dispersing imprints of Buddha Emperor Tran Nhan Tong" as suggested by historians, tourism experts and economists at the scientific workshop on consulting and criticizing the "Project of restoring the Journey of enlightening Buddha teachings of Buddhist ancestors of the Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen sect in 2022 - 2030” in September 2022.

While striving to complete the Tay Yen Tu project on schedule, the company hopes for more support and assistance from Bac Giang and Son Dong authorities, as well as other stakeholders to effectively untap existing tourism potential, local products and indigenous cultures of local ethnic groups.

By Ha Thanh, Vietnam Business Forum