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Thai Nguyen taps into tea culture to boost tourism

by VNA13 September 2023 Last updated at 10:41 AM

A tea farming zone meeting VietGAP standards in Tan Cuong of Thai Nguyen province (Photo: VNA)
A tea farming zone meeting VietGAP standards in Tan Cuong of Thai Nguyen province (Photo: VNA)

Renowned for tea cultivation, the northern province of Thai Nguyen has developed community-based and agricultural tourism connected with its tea culture, thus attracting a large number of visitors from far and wide.

Tea specialty farming zone becomes magnet for travellers

Tan Cuong is a half-mountain land blessed with favourable climate and soil conditions. Here, local residents have grown tea since the 1920s, forming a panoramic view of endless green hills.

The Tan Cuong tea specialty farming zone covers six communes, namely Tan Cuong, Phuc Xuan, Phuc Triu, Thinh Duc, Quyet Thang, and Phuc Ha, in Thai Nguyen city.

Tan Cuong tea has geographical indication certification that is recognised by the Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam. Meanwhile, the folk knowledge about the Tan Cuong tea cultivation and processing was named in the list of national intangible cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Aside from making high-quality tea products, locals have moved to develop community tourism linked with their tea culture to meet demand from travellers and also advertise their products.

The Hao Dat Tea Cooperative is an example. It is the first cooperative in Thai Nguyen to have a tea product recognised as a national five-star product under the One Commune, One Product (OCOP) programme.

In recent years, it has created a space of tea culture that features a wooden house for visitors to taste tea and for products to be displayed, along with an area for showcasing traditional tea making methods. This place has welcomed 6,000 Vietnamese and foreign visitors since the start of 2023.

Dao Thanh Hao, Director of the Hao Dat Tea Cooperative, said that making use of existing advantages, her cooperative has launched new services and developed community tourism in its tea farming area. This has helped diversify local tourism products, attract visitors, and directly advertise its produce to consumers.

Others such as the Tien Yen Tea and Community Tourism Cooperative, Tam Tra Thai Cooperative, and Tan Cuong Midland Tea Cooperative are also working to attract tourists. In particular, they have teamed up to establish the Tan Cuong union of community tourism cooperatives.

Last April, the community tourism site of Tan Cuong was recognised by the administration of Thai Nguyen. Setting foot here, visitors can enjoy endless green tea hills, try picking and drying tea buds, learn the folk knowledge about the Tan Cuong tea cultivation and processing, and take a sip of local tea.

Restaurant and accommodation services, along with OCOP products of the province, are also available to travellers.

Developing tea culture-based tourist sites

Apart from Tan Cuong, many other places of community tourism linked with the tea culture are also taking shape in Thai Nguyen such as those in La Bang and Hoang Nong communes of Dai Tu district and Tuc Tranh commune of Phu Luong district.

Duong Van Luong, Secretary of the Party Committee of Thai Nguyen city, said the city will hold more meetings and workshops to give guidance in sustainable and efficient tea cultivation practices to farmers. In particular, it will call on enterprises, cooperatives, and farmers to develop tea cultivation in tandem with community tourism.

In its tourism development plan for 2021-2025 with a vision to 2030, Thai Nguyen province aims to build at least five more community tourism sites based on the tea culture by 2025.

So far, the provincial administration has recognised six community tourism sites, including two tea culture-based ones, which have drawn a large number of visitors. They have helped popularise the Thai Nguyen tea brand and local farm produce while generating higher and more sustainable income for rural residents.

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