Ninh Binh develops sustainable livelihoods in heritage area –

Ninh Binh develops sustainable livelihoods in heritage area –

Visitors take a boat tour into Thung Nang Valley in Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, northern Ninh Binh province. (Photo: VNA)
Ninh Binh (VNS/VNA) – Do Thi Tuyen remembered the early days when she joined a tourist
boat team in her hometown in the northern province of Ninh Binh in 2003.

Tuyen was among 20 people to give boat tours to visitors. The
eco-tourism area was under construction and received few visitors, so she was
mainly transporting experts and workers to work in the area.

Like most villagers in Hoa Lu district’s Truong Yen commune, Tuyen
was struggling to earn a living with unstable income from raising rice crops.
She decided to leave her field behind and try a new job, hoping things would be

The 40-year-old woman has nothing to regret. The eco-tourism area,
known as Trang An Landscape Complex, has become a World Cultural and Natural
Heritage Site, comprising well-known tourism areas in five districts and cities
of Ninh Binh on an area of 12,252 hectares.

In Tuyen’s commune, the tourism facilities attract more than
100,000 tourists each year. The job has improved her income and changed her
life significantly.

“My income has been stable, and I have chances to talk and learn
from domestic and foreign tourists,” she said.

“Tourism brings me and many boatwomen here good things. We are
determined to protect the tourist area,” she shared.

Hoang Thi Thu Huong, Deputy Head of the Management Board of Trang
An Scenic Landscape Complex, said that the tourist area is creating jobs for
1,300 boat drivers, mainly women aged 45-60, with a monthly salary of 5-6
million VND (212-255 USD).

The labourers join regular training programmes to be equipped with
skills and raise their awareness on the importance of tourism development.

“The area always tries to ensure a stable source of income to
attract more and more local people to participate in tourism activities,” she

Previously, people living in Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex
earned their living by farming, doing animal husbandry and handicrafts.

Tourism development has enriched the livelihoods of local
residents. The economic structure is rapidly shifting from agriculture and
handicrafts to services. Many have switched jobs in tourism services such as
giving accommodation, boat tours, community-based travel services or opening

Agricultural production only accounts for 15% of the economic
structure of the heritage area.

Statistics from the Management Board of the Trang An Scenic
Landscape Complex showed that currently, about 50,000 people are living in the
heritage site. Of that, more than 14,000 are living in the core area of the

The complex has created jobs for about 30,000 labourers. Local
people are involved in the protection and management of heritage, and
contribute ideas to develop mechanisms and policies to ensure harmony between
heritage conservation and their sustainable livelihoods.

Apart from creating sustainable livelihoods for local people,
tourism development has also contributed to restoring traditional cultural
values that are at risk of extinction.

In 1994, only about 10 households in Ninh Hai commune made
hand-embroidered products, the traditional embroidery craft of the commune, as
they were ordered from handicraft export companies.

After 2014, when the …….


Sustainable living