|Dinh Van Nhu’s homestay in Gian Bi hamlet, Da Nang city. (Photo: VOV)
Dinh Van Nhu’s homestay in Gian Bi hamlet covers an area of about 1,000m2. It has some springs and brooks and is surrounded by forests and mountains. The homestay is a stilt house that can accommodate 30 people. The first floor includes a reception hall and dining hall. The second floor has numerous sleeping rooms. The interior decoration is in the Co Tu style with wood, bamboo, and stone furnishings.
When the homestay project began, the Co Tu people in Ta Lang and Gian Bi hamlet established a community-based tourism group of 45 members, who make woven and brocaded products for sale, organize trekking tours, serve traditional dishes, and perform folk art.
Bui Thi Luoi, a brocade weaver in Gian Bi hamlet, says their lives used to be very difficult. Since the homestay opened, they have earned extra income from selling brocade shirts, wallets, bags, and other items.
“When the homestay has guests, we come here to demonstrate weaving and brocade techniques, perform dances, and play gong music to earn extra cash. The homestay model has revitalized and promoted our traditions,” Luoi said.
In 2009 Da Nang city selected Hoa Vang district to pilot community-based tourism. Dinh Van Nhu, Head of the community-based eco-tourism group, said the administration put up 17,500 USD and he borrowed a little more to start the homestay project.
|Tourists to Gian Bi hamlet can swim in the nearby river. (Photo: VOV)
Tourists get to experience the life of the Co Tu by helping them make rafts, row down the Cu De river, weave papooses, catch fish, and made brocaded items.
At night they gather around a campfire to enjoy gong performances and folk singing. The homestay has welcomed more than 1,000 visitors, according to Dinh Van Nhu.
“The homestay helps local people earn extra income. Members of the art troupe earn 4 USD per performance. The cooks earn 8 USD per person per meal. We’ve had few visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, but now that Hoa Bac commune has tourism experience, we’ll continue with a second phase to generate more jobs,” said Nhu.
Da Nang authorities have adopted policies to help community-based tourism groups and has organized handicraft classes in Hoa Vang district.
“Da Nang’s Tourism Department and People’s Committee have invested in tourist services and promotion to attract visitors. We have surveyed and designed new tourist itineraries," said Tan Van Vuong, Vice Director of Da Nang’s Tourism Department.
"The community-based tourism model generates jobs and increases incomes for villagers. Tourists live in the homestay, explore the surroundings, and experience the local lifestyle.”