Hanoi is rich in tourism resources in the Northern region, with 1,205 festivals, 1,350 handicraft villages, and many monuments and anniversaries recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Besides, Hanoi has over 1,000 cooperatives and more than 100 hi-tech agricultural models. This huge potential enables the city to promote rural tourism.
Foreign tourists are very interested in Hanoi’s craft villages
Hanoi has introduced many policies to support handicraft village development through effective trade promotion programs, national industrial promotion programs, and local industrial promotion programs; actively helped develop cottage industries, restructure the local economy, workforce and employment in rural and suburban areas, foster local economic development and increase export value. Craft villages contribute about 8-10% of the total export value. Nearly 200 craft villages earn VND10-50 billion in revenue per year, with some making VND10,000-25,000 billion.
In 2022, the Hanoi Department of Agriculture and Rural Development advised the City People's Committee to introduce policies on the development of rural industries and craft villages in Hanoi in the 2021-2025 period and beyond. The department will coordinate with relevant agencies to organize training courses on craft village capacity building, vocational training classes and human resources training courses for craft villages, aligned with the implementation of the city's One Commune One Product (OCOP) Program.
Hanoi has as many as 1,350 craft villages, accounting for about 56% of total villages in rural areas. Among them, 318 craft villages are certified as traditional craft villages - converging 47 out of 52 traditional trades in the nation. The typical cottage industries include Bat Trang pottery village, Kieu Ky gold and silver-inlaid village, Van Phuc silk production village, Quat Dong embroidery village, Phu Vinh bamboo and rattan village and Thuy Ung horn village. Nhat Tan, Quang Ba, Nghi Tam, Tay Tuu and Me Linh are very famous flower and bonsai villages. Traditional products and traditional trades are crystallized from the talent of workers, from the culture cultivated from generation to generation.
The Hanoi People's Committee launched Plan 49/KH-UBND dated February 10, 2023 on the development of OCOP Creative Design, Introduction, Promotion and Marketing Center and craft villages with tourism in districts and towns in Hanoi in 2023.
According to the plan, by the end of 2023, Hanoi will develop from 5-9 models of OCOP Creative Design, Introduction, Promotion and Marketing Center and craft villages with tourism in the following communes: Bat Trang (Gia Lam district), Duyen Thai (Thuong Tin district), Chuyen My (Phu Xuyen district), Phu Nghia (Chuong My district), Duyen Ha (Thanh Tri district), Di Trach (Hoai Duc district), Van Ha (Dong Anh district), Hoa Lam (Ung Hoa district), Van Phuc (Ha Dong district) or other suitable locations. The establishment of the above centers aims to create a supportive environment for rural industrial, production and trading entities in craft villages to form and develop creative designs, introduce, advertise and market OCOP products and tourism-driven craft villages to facilitate rural economic restructuring in the city.
Bat Trang pottery village still retains the inherent traditions of a village that creates beauty from clay. Bat Trang commune has more than 200 companies and more than 1,000 families that produce and trade pottery. This is a workplace for 140 artisans and thousands of excellently skilled craftspeople. Pottery creates jobs for dozens of thousands of laborers inside and outside the commune. The Center for Vietnamese Craft Village Essence has a space for Bat Trang pottery, in the past and in the present. This is where the millennial traditional values of Bat Trang village are enlightened. Each family, each artist will choose products and artifacts that have stories, are meaningful and may be very precious to them to introduce at the center in order to exchange with others and become a common home.
In Van Phuc silk village, there are also open production areas for visitors to see how silk is made instead of just products on the market. They can see this with their own eyes in the place silk is made and see how hard silk makers work to make it. This will be very exciting and meaningful to visitors.
Mr. Ngo Van Ngon, Deputy Chief of the Hanoi Office of New Rural Development Program Coordination, said that each OCOP product is a "cultural messenger" of a particular locality that expresses traditions, customs and habits of local people. Therefore, it is very necessary to thoroughly exploit elements that show indigenous cultural values crystallized in OCOP products to introduce them to visitors. In order to link tourism development with OCOP products, position destinations, create distinctive properties, and attract tourists, it requires the coordination of all levels and sectors as well as every entity in each destination or OCOP product to pay attention to preserving, promoting and transmitting typical cultural values in rural tourism development as well as new rural construction.
Hanoi now has many traditional craft villages. Each contains its own unique culture, with many typical products such as silk made by Van Phuc village (Ha Dong district), pottery by Bat Trang village (Gia Lam district), ancient houses in Duong Lam village (Son Tay town) with Mia chicken and Phu Nhi boiled rolled rice cake, or 4-star OCOP-certified herbal tea by Hong Van village by the Red River in Thuong Tin district. However, Hanoi has not yet fully tapped such potential.
In the coming time, Hanoi will continue to support capable and potential places to develop community-based tourism and traditional craft village tourism products; formulate and implement mechanisms and policies on investment support for rural tourism development in craft villages. The city will encourage enterprises to invest in agricultural and rural tourism development, promote and preserve cultural values, supporting tourism worker training so as to develop rural tourism and make it an OCOP product of the city, he said.
By Ngoc Minh, Vietnam Business Forum