Connecting Tourism - Culture, Culture - Tourism

02/07/2021 10736 0
Ben Tre is a river area, covered by 4 lower branches of the Mekong river forming 3 islets (Minh islets, Bao islets and An Hoa islets). As a province located in the Mekong Delta region (the Mekong Delta), however, Ben Tre still has its own characteristics of the garden culture of the Coconut land that cannot be found in other places

Ben Tre is a river area, covered by 4 lower branches of the Mekong river forming 3 islets (Minh islets, Bao islets and An Hoa islets). As a province located in the Mekong Delta region (the Mekong Delta), however, Ben Tre still has its own characteristics of the garden culture of the Coconut land that cannot be found in other places. For general development of the tourism, the importance of cultural tourism is highly considered, as this is a typical type of tourism with many advantages, regardless of time or weather, and so on. Cultural tourism and cultures in tourism not only creates an attraction for each destination, but also helps to bring local culture closer to friends of all ethnic groups in our country and all over the world.

River eco-tourism of Ben Tre Coconut Land is endowed by nature with an abundant and rich tourism resource, full of potential; Besides recreational tourism, source tourism, experience tourism in the coconut forest, mangrove experience, sea tourism, homestay community tourism, etc., cultural tourism increasingly attracts tourists; especially foreign visitors. For visitors who are interested in researching and discovering the culture and customs of the indigenous people of the destination, cultural tourism is the "key" for them to open that door. Cultural tourism is a strength, the main product line of Vietnam's tourism that the Government has identified in the Strategy for Vietnam's tourism development to 2020, with a vision to 2030.

View of Chau Minh Holy See belonging to Tien Thien sect of Vietnam Caodaism - A spiritual tourist destination in Chau Thanh district - Ben Tre (Photo: XTDL)

Regarding the cultural heritage of Ben Tre, although there are few festivals, the "mere" relics have their own unique characteristics and can also attract the attention of groups of tourists to visit, and study, or for other group of visitors, they are still able to learn more about the local culture during their journey.

Ben Tre currently has 44 provincial historical and cultural relics; 17 national monuments, including 02 special national monuments, especially Dong Khoi relic - Dinh Thuy commune, Mo Cay Nam district and Tomb relic and memorial area of ​​patriotic poet Nguyen Dinh Chieu - An Duc commune, Ba Tri district. The monuments and cultural architectural works are associated with famous people in history such as Vo Truong Toan, Truong Vinh Ky, Phan Van Tri, Phan Thanh Gian, Nguyen Thi Dinh, Dong Van Cong, and Lanh Quan Quang (Tan Ke), Warlord Nguyen Ngoc Thang, and many cultural and architectural monuments such as communal house, Pagoda, Temple, and so on. These sights are also of interest to tourists and are also included by travel agencies in their tours for more and more tourists of all kins. 

Trays of sticky rices, cakes, flowers, and fruits are offered on the occasion of Phan Van Tri's death anniversary (Photo: XTDL)

Festival with the humanistic culture of the homeland are important parts of tourism that have attracted many tourists. Those are the traditional festivals of the people of Coconut land such as: Nghinh Ong Festival in Binh Thang commune, Binh Dai district (every June) and Thanh Hai commune in Thanh Phu district (every January) for fishermen to pray for a bountiful harvest in offshore fishing trips; The traditional festival of Ben Tre Culture from July 1 to July 3 every year, this is the birth and death date of Teacher Chieu (Nguyen Dinh Chieu is a patriotic poet, a physician of the people, a teacher of today's generation); Dong Khoi Traditional Festival January 17, 1960, every year, January 17 is taken as a festival to review the heroic traditions of the people of Ben Tre in the cause of national liberation; Delicious and safe fruit festival (the 5th day of the lunar calendar) every year to honor artisans and farmers who have produced many varieties of seedlings and fruit products of the Cai Mon – Cho Lach Fruit Kingdom; In addition, there are many festivals bearing the culture of the Southwest Delta region such as the worshiping at Temples and Pagoda, and so on.

The local traditional hundred-year-old craft villages, such as Phu Le wine village (Phu Le commune, Ba Tri district), Knit craft village (Phuoc Tuy commune, Ba Tri district), ornamental flower and seedling village (Cai Mon - Cho Lach), coconut candy making village (Ben Tre and Mo Cay cities), broom bundle craft village (My Hung commune, Thanh Phu district), mat weaving village (An Hiep commune, Chau Thanh district), Son Doc rice paper village, shrimp-chips (Giong Trom district) or coconut cake making (Dai Dien commune, Thanh Phu district) and so on. All these craft villages have shown the typical culture of Ben Tre in the past centuries that the ancestors have passed on and preserved to present. These products are also souvenirs for visitors coming to Ben Tre. 

Such rich and diverse destinations of Tourism – Culture, you have to "go into details", it requires constant improvement of the quality of service to satisfy the needs of tourists. Accordingly, it is necessary to focus on tourism products associated with cultural heritages, historical sites, traditional craft villages; focus on the strengths of the localities in building the tourism brand "Water Ecology of the Coconut Land". Therefore! The development of community tourism and homestay tourism is a strong development trend of Ben Tre in the coming time to bring culture in people's lives to tourists from all over the world. Visitors will be able to approach and learn about the local culture; participate in farming, gardening, catching fish, growing vegetables, and so on, attending temple and communal worship days; enjoy the folk games of the garden reproduced at the attractions, and so on.

Currently, cultural tourism products are still monotonous; professionalism is not high; management and tour guide teams at the destination is in short and many inadequacies exist, and so on; lack of support services to increase spending and prolong the stay of tourists; staff have not yet shown local cultural forms such as ba ba shirts, bandanas wrapped around the neck while canoeing or singing Southern amateur songs; has not shown the characteristics of woman in coconut land Dong Khoi like the image of a soldier of the long-haired army that has been famous everywhere, has not yet shown the typical culture of the homeland to be imprinted in the hearts of tourists and so on. When it comes to culture and tourism, preserving local culture, natural landscapes, and the good environment in tourism in accordance with climate change in the current period is also a matter of common concern, that requires the contribution of the community, tourists when coming to Ben Tre's hometown. The limitations will be gradually handled in order to create the attractiveness of Coconut Land tourism in the eyes of tourists; as the products of cultural institutions that create comparative advantages in the rare uniqueness of the homeland. 

Fishermen and tourists following fishing boats participated in Nghinh Ong Festival at the estuary of Binh Thang commune - Binh Dai district (Photo: MT)

Implementing the spirit of Resolution 08/NQ-TW dated January 16, 2017 of the Ministry of Politics on turning tourism into a spearhead economic sector by 2020, requires the joint participation of all levels, sectors, businesses as well as hands joining and agreement to contribute to tourism, not only tourism staff. Ben Tre is currently developing strongly the type of community tourism (homestay) to meet the needs of tourists in learning about the local life and culture, and Ben Tre is a place full of development potential. The harmonious combination between tourism and culture requires further attention, proper recognition from tourism staff and the social community in general; Especially, tourism managers and other related industries need to be aware of the importance of cultural tourism in the strategy of sustainable tourism development, so that we can fully exploit the potential of this type of special tourism.  

The type of cultural tourism and cultural expression in tourism is the stimulation of the pride of the homeland in each citizen and visitor; increases respect and understanding of past and present cultures, and promotes learning and inquiry. Therefore, the association between culture and tourism and tourism with culture is considered the foundation for sustainable tourism development. Cultural tourism development needs to become a resource and favorable conditions for the conservation and promotion of local cultural values./.

Lê Luông

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