9 sample villages and Evaluation

For the candidates of the case study, 9 handicraft villages located at a distance of a day trip from Hanoi were proposed by Vietnam National Authority of Tourism (VNAT), in view that as a preceding case, it would be more desirable to select an area that is already quite successful in terms of tourist attraction. Here are the 9 villages information (order by scoring, based on the SWOT analysis and Evaluation Criteria)

*To see the detailed information and evaluation for each village, click the village name.

RankVillage NameProductPhotos of villageScore
1Phu VinhBamboo64
2Van LamEmbroidery63
3Bat TrangCeramic 61
4Dong GiaoWood Curving58
5Van PhucSilk56
5Chuyen MyLacquer56
7Dong HoPainting55
8ChuongConical Hat49
8Ninh VanStone Curving49

Analysis Results

Based on the evaluation criteria and SWOT analysis, we chose Phu Vinh Village as a case for "handicraft village and tourism promotion" and Van Lam Village as a case for "handicraft village development nearby famous tourism place". The detailed information about the SWOT analysis for each village is as follows:

Evaluation Criteria

During our study mission to the 9 craft villages located in provinces near Hanoi, we employed a SWOT analysis to quickly assess the tourism and market potential of handicraft production in each village. We therefore analyzed the internal Strengths and Weaknesses of each village with regards to their particular type of handicraft production, while also examining the external Opportunities and potential Threats confronting them.

In the process of implementing our SWOT analysis, we were primarily interested in looking at the following factors summarized below. Some of these factors were included as they related to the overall objective of our study mission which was to select a village or villages which were able to serve as models for other countries in the region. We therefore provided a score or rating for each factor (4 = major strength; 3 = minor strength; 2 = minor weakness; 1 = major weakness), so that we can compare and rank each village, in order to help facilitate the final selection process.

Each village was therefore analyzed and compared using the following 14 factors / categories from A) to N):

  1. History and Tradition
  2. For each of the 9 villages, we were interested to know whether there was a long history or tradition of handicraft production in that village. The main idea is that tourists and potential customers are usually more interested and willing to pay a higher price for products which are associated with a long tradition. Almost all of the villages we encountered, had been specializing in handicraft production for many centuries/generations, so as a result they received a high rating of 4 (major strength).

  3. Craftsmanship and Personal Story
  4. For each of the 9 villages, we were interested in evaluating the level of craftsmanship in each village and also whether the individual craftsman had an interesting personal story due to their many years of experience. In the process of the study we found that many families had been involved in handicraft production for more than 10 generations, and as a result had a lot of knowledge and wisdom to share.

  5. Village Atmosphere
  6. This category includes everything from natural beauty of the surrounding countryside, to the architecture of the houses, gardens, and overall design of the village. To receive a high score in this category, we were basically looking for villages which had maintained or preserved a traditional design (e.g. traditional houses with stone walls, gardens, etc.) as this type of architecture is usually more aesthetically pleasing to tourists.

  7. Location
  8. Location is a strength if the village is either located near to the capital city of Hanoi, or if it is strategically located near to another main tourist destination. For example, the village of Van Lam (embroidery) in Ninh Binh Province is located next to the tourism destination of Tam Coc Bich Dong (locally referred to as the in-land Halong Bay).

  9. Infrastructure
  10. This category includes the quality of the main roads, and also availability of local restaurants, guest houses, etc. To receive a high score in this category implies that it is easy for tourist buses to visit the village and that certain basic facilities such as restaurants and clean toilets are also available.

  11. Community Support
  12. This category includes the level of cooperation among the village artisans (e.g. do they have an association?) and also the quality of the relationship and support of the local government administration.

  13. Product Quality
  14. This category includes the diversity (different types of products), design (different colors and patterns, etc.), and uniqueness of the village products. For example, the traditional paintings of Dong Ho village are very unique; Bat Trang ceramics have good product diversity (e.g. tea sets, tableware, decorative products, etc.), utilizing both traditional and modern designs and colors.

  15. Traditional Method of Production
  16. This category emphasizes the importance of the traditional handmade process of production as there is often the perception by tourists that handmade products are of superior quality. Villages which are becoming more mechanized in the production process (e.g. Van Phuc village - Silk) therefore received a lower score.

  17. Market
  18. This category evaluates the current situation and future potential with regards to increasing sales in the domestic market (Vietnamese consumers), foreign tourist segment and export markets. The more diversified the customer base, the higher the score.

  19. Financial Services
  20. Do the village producers accept major credit cards (e.g. Visa, Master Card, etc.)? This is especially important for tourists, especially when the items for sale are quite expensive (e.g. Furniture at Chuyen My village, or stone carvings at Ninh Van village).

  21. Regional Relevance
  22. This category examines the relevance of the type of handicraft to other countries in the region (e.g. Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar) who are interested in learning from the Vietnamese craft village model. For example, Phu Vinh village (Bamboo and Rattan) and Van Phuc village (silk), received a high score in this category as these types of products are also produced in villages from other neighboring countries.

  23. Lack of External Support
  24. We were basically interested in selecting villages which were not already receiving a lot of technical support from other NGO's and international organizations. For example, Bat Trang has already received a lot of external training and support and therefore received a low score in this category. The more external support a village has, the less the score. Similarly, the less support a village has translates into a higher score.

  25. Number of Households involved in Production
  26. This category focuses on the number of village households involved in the production process, and the more households involved means that there is greater potential for employment of community members and also for labor from outside the village. As a result, Don Ho village which has only 2 families involved in traditional painting received a low score in this category.

  27. Future Direction
  28. This category assesses the future direction of the village. For example does the village community have a master plan? Do they have a clear direction with regards to the development of their handicraft products? (e.g. plans to establish a training center, showroom, etc.).