With his efforts, Phu has built special community tourism products, contributing to preserving ethnic cultural identity.

Born in A Roang commune, A Luoi district, Thua Thien Hue province, Vien Dang Phu is attached to his ethnic group’s songs and dances, familiar with weaving loom sound, and fascinated with local dishes made from ingredients from forest. He has dreamed of raising local people’s living standard and preserving and spreading special cultural values of the ethnic groups.

Vien Dang Phu (second from right) and other tourists with the Ta Oi ethnic group's musical instruments.

According to Vien Dang Phu, A Roang is a locality bordering A Luoi district and the majority of the population are Ta Oi ethnic people. Since the locality has many traditional cultural features and beautiful natural scenery, it has gradually attracted more tourists.

Phu considered it good news for local tourism sector, but he had worries that cultural identity could be affected. Therefore, after graduating from university in Da Nang city, he decided to return to his hometown to develop community tourism and preserve culture.

At first, he faced numerous difficulties, ranging from provision of methods to boost tourism for locals to shortage of tourism infrastructure and investment capital. Luckily, he was given favorable conditions to develop green tourism and community tourism by local authorities. With locality’s support, homestay Huong Danh was established under his management. 

To promote traditional cultural values of his ethnic group, Phu decorated his homestay with objects imbued with the Ta Oi ethnic group’s identities and disseminated it on social media. He attended classes on tour guiding skills and passing down folk art of the Ta Oi, thus developing his homestay model.  

After more than a decade, his homestay model has reaped unexpected achievements. At present, Vien Dang Phu’s model is focusing on strengthening experience tourism model in craft villages.

According to him, experience tourism in craft villages would better popularize culture and agriculture products and create more jobs for locals. Currently, his homestay attracts from 60 to 70 tourists per month, creating jobs for around 20 workers with an income of from 2 to 5 million VND/month.

Talking about his future plan, Vien Dang Phu hoped to expand his homestay model and further popularize local culture and image of the Tao Oi people through tourism products, thus creating more jobs for locals to help them stabilize their lives. 

Translated by Tran Hoai