As mentioned in "The Vision of Handicraft and Tourism Development in Vietnam", the feasibility study team envisaged a sustainable handicraft and tourism development. Capacity building is imperative to create the fundamental platform of sustainable handicraft and tourism development by raising awareness among local village people and giving skill training to the workers. Without further training and education, even the carefully planned projects or pragrammes will encounter difficulties with regards to sustainability. The following is the overall recommendations to CLMV countries:
1) Having workshops and seminars to raise awareness among village people:
- It is important to raise awareness about the concept of handicraft and development among the village people in a simple way, including preservation of traditional culture with the help of universities.
- This workshop helped the participants to realize the possibility in the domestic market. It is important for the villagers to know the uncontrolled factors of the international market including SARS and national disasters which will easily influence the tourism industry.
- The villagers need to be aware about the important of demonstrating a good and friendly manner towards tourists; also good village sanitation is also important.
2) Skills Training:
- Knowledge of marketing and design strategy, such as identifying the target market should be provided to households and artisans.
- Skill training on technique will be effective both to preserve the technique and to improve the quality.
- Skill training on souvenir products will be important to develop new designs.
3)Developing products and quality control:
- The village needs to establish the brand name and logos for the village products to give the standards to products. A village association should determine who can use the trade mark in order to preserve the quality / reputation of the products. University students can also help to facilitate this process.
- In order to raise the quality, the villagers need to learn about the quality control systems.
4) Field study
- The village should invite the representatives from tour companies and also foreign experts can provide the basic steps of infrastructure development.
- Provide the villagers the field trip to other villages;
1)they will have an experience of other villages,
2) they will learn what are the points on "handicraft and tourism development".
5)Making linkages and networking:
- Linkages among the central government, local authorities and universities are necessary.
- More linkages need to be developed with the universities nearby. University faculties such as Tourism, Business, and Fine Arts / Design can provide a good degree of technical support.
- More linkages need to be developed with the Tourism Agencies to make them aware of the tourism potential of the craft villages. It is recommended that more tour operators be invited to the target villages and make a linkage with them.
- More linkages need to be developed with the Hotel industry, in terms of the use of local products in the hotels and also to promote tour packages for their guests.
6)Detailed recommendations on tour programme development:
- It is highly recommended to use the local products in the villages. The tourist office or the restaurants in the village could initiate the movement.
- The village needs to build a bus stop or a big parking lot for a big tour to come, car parking, and show room, in order to fulfill the requirement for the international level, which might require a large investment.
- The village also needs to provide good hygiene.
- The village needs to provide certain services to the tour; clean toilets, some space for resting, showing the production making process, renting service for the umbrella and bicycles at the tourist information center.
- The villagers need to display the products and sell them on the spot since the customers would prefer to buy products from the village directly.
- The village atmosphere is an important factor in tourism, and it is recommended to grow the raw material in the village to give the tourists some good portrait.
- "Circulate utility system of resources" should be reconsidered in the community.
More efforts should be made to develop the e-commerce capabilities of the craft village producers.
7)The suggested tourism
As suggested by tour operators, it is important to develop a master plan. According to the result of questionnaire from tour companies, the tour operators are more interested in creating a quick tour, such as one day-trip, to the villages which have good atmosphere and good quality of handicrafts, and combining with other destinations. It is practical to start with the quick and easy one-day tour for the customers and tour operators to know about the village. The villages will receive more income through the tours and start to get used to receiving the guests from outside.
However, if the focus is too emphasized on the economic development, the villages tend to lose the good and quiet village atmosphere, their cultural values, traditional techniques, quality of products, raw materials, and good skilled workers, as mission team have seen in some well-developed craft villages near Hanoi in the 1st mission. As defined in the section 1.3, it is noted to be aware of preservation of traditional values and cultures in the process of development.
The feasibility study team, therefore, propose to envisage a long-stay tourism, in which the tourists stay and spend time with the villagers, as developing the quick tour to start with. This is also a process of strengthening the popular knowledge and culture the community has long held. Together with the villagers, the visitors pay respect to the ancestors and the spirits that surround them in the morning. They go fishing, using the local tools, such as baskets and creels, made of bamboo or rattan. They enjoy the local food and try to make handicrafts in the evening, listening to the sounds of nature and thus experiencing the totality of village life. This type of tourism is difficult to be implemented from the first hand, but it is highly recommended for the tour planner to foresee the type of tourism when developing new tours to craft villages.
These are the outputs of the Feasibility Study on the Development of Tourism related Handicraft Industries Along the West-East Corridor shared and discussed in the workshop. It is desirable to share the outcomes in other CLMV countries for the continuous efforts on development of tourism related handicraft industries in the region.