In 20 years of transforming Thung Nham Valley from a dense, wild and swampy place into an ideal ecological and spiritual tourist destination, entrepreneur Pham Cong Chat, Director of Doanh Sinh Trading and Tourism Service Joint Stock Company, has created sustainable eco-tourism products from distinctive agriculture of Ninh Binh province. This approach not only helps preserve cultural values and sustainable development, but also contributes to local tourism development.
Thung Nham Ecotourism Area is an exemplary green tourism development model, combined with natural protection and sustainable environment
About 12km west of Ninh Binh City, Thung Nham Eco-Tourism Area (Hai Nham village, Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district) is located in the core area of Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, next to Tam Coc - Bich Dong tourist area. Covering more than 300 ha with harmonious combination of majestic beauty and poetic natural scenery, Thung Nham is likened to an ecotourism paradise, a favorite destination for nature lovers in Ninh Binh province.
Contemplating this "green pearl" in the charming countryside, it is little known that Thung Nham used to be a swampy land, with no traffic access, overgrown reeds and weeds, and wilderness. Entrepreneur Pham Cong Chat, just over 20 years old at that time, returned from military service. The only thing he had was the willpower of a soldier and of an aspirational young man who did not accept a poor life.
He said Thung Nham came as an extraordinarily "lucky fate". After just a chance to visit here, he decided to stay and build an ecological farm with his burning desire to "get rich on his native land". However, the very first job - clearing bushes, building dams, embankments, roads and lakes - was just a tough challenge.
In 2003, Thung Nham Ecotourism Area was established. After 20 years of construction, the then unspoiled valley has become a "red address" on the tourist map of Ninh Binh and welcome visitors with a variety of charming eco-tourism products. In 2022, Thung Nham received about 300,000 domestic and international visitors.
Especially, in the first months of 2023, visitor arrivals to Thung Nham equaled to about 65% of total arrivals in 2022. Starting with fewer than 20 employees, the tourist area now employs nearly 300 employees, each of whom is paid an average monthly salary of VND8-15 million, even VND20-25 million for senior managers. Therefore, it has contributed to local economic restructuring, increased the share of the service sector, improved life quality and served as an effective guardian of the ecological environment in Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex.
Towards sustainable tourism development, environmental protection
At the age of 20, Thung Nham Ecotourism Area is an exemplary green tourism development model, combined with natural protection and sustainable environment.
Unlike in its early days, more birds are coming to the valley. This is an ideal and safe habitat for more than 40 species of birds, including endangered species like Asian openbill stork and phoenix.
In addition, this place has 12 attractions with many tourism types, combined with various services for visitors such as leisure relaxation, culinary enjoyment and ecological life. It has helped adorn the local tourism picture and become an exemplary sustainable eco-tourism area.
In particular, the tourist site has synchronously and effectively carried out environmental protection solutions like arranging a system of trash bins along its roads and public places, installing “no littering” warning signs, and communicating and informing tourists and employees of the responsibility of environmental protection. The company also invested in building its own waste treatment system to ensure environmental sanitation.
Besides, to have clean organic products, Thung Nham has managed to run its farms to grow clean, safe organic products, and protect the health of customers and consumers. This is also one of sustainable tourism development criteria, associated with the responsibility of environmental protection.
The company also regularly launches tree planting events for its employees.
Businessman Pham Cong Chat said, as soon as it operates Thung Nham tourist site, Doanh Sinh Trading and Tourism Service Joint Stock Company is resolved to develop sustainable eco-tourism. This means upholding responsible tourism, minimizing negative impacts and making positive impacts on environmental protection, creating good ecotourism products, and protecting human health.
In the coming time, the company will continue to build technical and infrastructure facilities for the tourist area; regularly monitor and assess its environmental impacts; develop professional human resources; attract the local community into the tourism economy; and strengthen promotion and marketing to introduce Thung Nham to more tourists.
“Doing so, this not only helps create Ninh Binh's tourism brand, but also gradually turns tourism into a spearhead economic sector and contributes to economic growth and sustainable local development,” he noted.
By Ngo San, Vietnam Business Forum