NON NUOC CAO BANG UGGp -A TWO YEAR ROAD MAP MOVING TOWARD PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE TOURIM DEVELOPMENT

Tuesday - 28/07/2020 11:25
       Non nuoc Cao Bang geopark has ben designated as a UNESCO global geopark from April 2018, the development of Non nuoc Cao Bang geopark following the UNESCO’s criteria has been assisting Cao Bang province to formulate a proper approach to tourism development as well as step by step propose a comprehensive measure to deal with the shortcomings of the tourism sector of Cao Bang province. UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development.(UNESCO, 2004). From 2018 up to now, Non nuoc Cao Bang UNESCO global geopark has been consulting the People’s committee of Cao Bang province to implement atourism development strategy based on the principle of conservation, equality, environmental friendliness and participation.
It can be said that Cao Bang tourism is at the fisrtand second stage of its development cycle for a tourism destination (Exploration and finding). This is a great advantageof the province while others nationaland internationaldestinations have lost. Therefore, it is important to promote the development cycle of a tourism destination through a proper approach right from the beginning of its life cycle to bring in sustainable develop or at least “stability” for the tourism sector of Cao Bang. In other words, the development of Cao Bang tourism destination is demonstrating a mixture of other elementsat the first stages of a development cycle of a tourism destination which includes the stages 1-exploration, stage 2-finding and stage 3-development. For the moment, it seems that the tourism sector of Cao Bang has been being developed without a code-of – conducts for individuals and enterprises to follow.From August 2018, the Management board of Non nuoc Cao Bang geopark has beenresearching to developon sustainable strategyto improve the responsibility and engagement ofrelevant stakeholders in tourism development, focusing on some key activities:
        Environmental protection:
Waste is a universalproblem not only in Cao Bang but also other provinces in Viet Nam as well as countries aroundthe world. From 2018 up to now, inthe 3 experience routesof Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp, the wastemanagement responsibility has been shared and participated by local authorities and nearby communities. Moreover, visitors have been gradually become aware of throwing rubbish in the bins and contributed to environmental protection efforts at the heritage sites. In the next phase, this activitywill be implemented with broaderparticipants, such as: local authorities at all levels, tour operators, youth union, food producers together with the development and locatingsome environmental protection slogans at tourists’ sites; andgranting ecological friendly logoto qualified partners. The main objective of this activity is to the classification of waste on site, and to process organic waste to reduce the volume of waste to the landfills. This is one of the key activities toward developing afriendlytourism environment to leave an exceptional experiencefor visitors to Cao Bang. 
Ảnh 45
Kolia tea farm in the west route of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp.
      Development and improvement quality of geopark partner network:
      From 2018 up to now, the Geopark has developed a network of more than 20 partners including: Homestays, restaurants, hotels, travel agencies and traditional craft villages. Currently, these partners are pioneers in implementing the regulations on service quality, price, sanitation, preservation oftradition craft village and architecture, indigenous knowledge. In order to implement the sustainabletourism development strategy in the coming time, the geopark will focus on widening partner network, training for partners, granting ecologically friendlylogo to qualified partnerscommitting to implementing the code of conducts ofsustainable tourism.Partners will, then, sign an agreement with other partnersand commit to promote and support other partners. For example: The restaurant partnerswill commit to cooperate and support other partners such as: commitment to use products from other partners specializing on farming or raising livestock, or using services from the partners who are local traditionalarts teamto perform at the restaurant, or recommending qualified transportation services of other partners,etc.. The goal of this activity is to build a network of service providers to provide quality services demonstrating strong commitment toenvironmental protection, and a close cooperation among the geopark partners.
      Local culture and knowledge preservation:
     Preserving and promoting cultural heritage, indigenousknowledge and developing tourism have a closeand interactive relationship with each other for mutual developing promotion. It can be said that the tourism development might enable visitors to know about cultural values ​​in each locality. On the other hand, if tourism only exploits these values but does not pay attention to preservecultural heritages and indigenousknowledge, cultural values ​​can easily be downgraded or deformed. So far, the Management Board of Non nuoc Cao Bang Geopark has collaborated with a number of partners to promote and integrate traditional arts performance atrestaurants and hotels.In addition, Management Board has collaborated with related agencies to conduct an inventory of legends and stories to serve tourists at heritage sites. To improve the effectiveness of preservation and promotion the traditional culture and indigenous knowledge ​​for tourism development,in the near future,the Geopark Management Board will cooperatewith the districts to conduct survey on reviewing the traditional art forms, religious practice and indigenousknowledge for documentation;establish traditional art performance teams; conducttraining on to performance skills; promote the agreement signing with other geopark’s partners such as restaurants, homestays and tourist destinations.
        
Ảnh 46
Organic vegestable farming in Hong Việt, Hoa An
     Environmental friendly agriculture production and tourism:
     Agricultural tourism is a developing market segment and a commercial activity on a farm, anagricultural cooperative that is organized to enable visitors to experience, or to learn about agricultureor actively participate into agricultural activities. As a result of these additional activities on the farm, farmers and other partner will have more income apart from the agricultural production. The main purpose of promoting the development of agricultural tourism is that this is the most effective form of tourism to promote a broad participation of local communities and increase incomes or generate more income for farmers. Particularly, nowadaysmore and more people are interested in getting to know about the origin of the food they areconsuming.From 2018, the Geopark Management Board has collaborated with partners to develop organic vegetable productionmodels such as in Kolia (Nguyen Binh) and in Hong Viet (HoaAn). In the near future,the Geopark Management Board will cooperatewith districts in the geopark area to review households and cooperatives that are currently implementing or interested in applyingenvironmentally friendlyagricultural production  associated with tourism development.In the coming time, the Geopark Management Board will conduct training on implementation of this model; awarding certificates to qualifeid partner; promoting signingagreement for these stakeholders with other related partners such as travel agencies, homestays, restaurants, hotels and schools.
        
Ảnh 47
The geological site in the Western route of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp
          Diversification tourism products
          In the context of limited tourism product and lack of diversification, the Management board of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp in consultation with UNESCO experts’  advised the province to develop3 experienceroutes for visitors:Route 1 – Experience history and freedom  (Hoa An and Ha Quang districts); Route 2-Experience PhiaOac-The mountains of transformations; Route 3- Experience traditional culture in a wonderland. Visitors to these routeswill not only have opportunities to experience the spectacular landscapesof Cao Bang but also learn more about the traditional cultural-historical values, traditional craft villages, geological heritage, and services from qualified partners of the geopark. The system of well-invested infrastructure at the heritage site such as parking, information and directionalpanels, ensured environmenthaveso farhelped visitors experience the differencecompared with the populartourismproducts in the province.In addition, Management Board of Non nuoc Cao Bang geopark has been also researchingto consultthe province to develop more tourism products based on the province's strengths such as: agricultural tourism, eco-tourism & nature; adventureous travel&water and mountain sports and MICE.
        
Ảnh 48
ToT trainning for teachers implementing the "Geopark ambassador club".
         Education for future generation of country:
       One of the goals of the UNESCO Global Geopark lable is to educate communities, especially the young generationon the importance of the preservation of heritages types such as: geology, intangible and tangible culture, natural landscapes, and biodiversity, thereby, contributing to preservation and protection these values ​​for tourism development.Since the recognition as a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2018, Cao Bang Geopark Management Board has consulted the province to geopark education in school, epecially through the "Geopark ambassador club" model that aims to improve the effectiveness of geoparkeducation activities and to provide students with the necessary knowledge about culture,history, geography, biology, and environmental protection. It also aims at helping students to be aware and proud of the heritagesinthe place where they were born. Then they will contributeto the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and UNESCO’s criteria,especially the Objective No. 16 Global Agenda with a vision to 2030 “UNESCO Global Geopark actively educates Community and visitors of all ages. The Global Geopark is a vivid classroom for students,researchers, and an environment that encourages the promotion of sustainable development,sustainable lifestyles, and pride of cultural diversity”.
        The development of the UNESCO global geopark is a new task not only in Cao Bang, but Viet Nam, therefore, there are difficulties and weak legal framework support for and during the development of the geopark in Cao Bang. However, the development based on criteria of UNESCO for a UGGp has brought about positive results in developing the tourism sector of Cao Bang and assisting Cao Bang province in defining a specific road map for tourism development that is suitable to condition of the province and mobilizing tourism resources effectively, environmentally friendly and protecting these resources for future generations.

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