Optimizing the potential of the Geopark for tourism development

Thursday - 05/10/2023 05:50
Geo-tourism is a new concept of tourism, opening a new era of responsibility towards society and environmentally friendly tourism for Viet Nam. Geoparks enhance a model of conserving outstanding geohertiage in association with promoting educational, socio-economic development opportunities.
Cao Bang possesses variety of geological and geomorphological value.

 “Geotourism” (Geological tourism) is a kind of tourism which focuses on geological-related features such as: geomorphology, landscapes, rock formation (intrusive, crystalized and sedimentary rocks, etc) and the processes by which these geological values were formed (erosion, volcanic eruption or glacier, etc.).

In 2011, at the International Congress of Geotourism, under the auspices of UNESCO, took place in the Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark (Portugal), the concept of geo-tourism was widened: “as tourism which sustains and enhances the identity of a territory, taking into consideration its geology, environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents”.

 According to this definition, geological values are only part of resources (cultural, social and natural resources) of geo-tourism, which is of the most significant and the skeleton for the development of this kind of tourism. This is a kind of sustainable and educative tourism offering benefits to local population. Accordingly, Geoparks are considered a kind of resources and the territories for the most effective implementation of geo-tourism.

Non nuoc Cao Bang Geopark encompasses potential for geo-tourism development.

For Cao Bang Province, since the recognition of the Non nuoc Cao Bang UNESCO Global Geopark, this label is not only important to Cao Bang Province but it also promote local heritage values into heritage values of human kind. Developing geo-tourism is a key approach in the local development strategy for achieving sustainable development goals. At the same time, this is an interesting tourism product prioritized by tourists when coming to Cao Bang.

Non nuoc Cao Bang Geopark is considered a land of caves, a territory where visitors can explore the history of the Earth through the remaining. Fossils, ocean sediments, volcanic rocks and minerals, etc, especially, karst landscapes are excellent evidences for the evolution of the Earth.  Up to present, scientists have discovered, evaluated and ranked over 130 unique geosites with diverse terrains and karst landscapes such as: karst towers, karst cones, valleys, caves, and the underground interconnected lake-river-cave system, etc, presenting a full cycle of karst evolution in the Northern tropical area. The Geopark is also a territory of many other geological heritage including Paleozoic fossils, boundaries between stratigraphic units, faults, and minerals formed in this area.
Non nuoc Cao Bang Geopark has more than 200 caves, of which 50 caves can be exploited for tourism. Coming to “the wonderland” is coming to among the most beautiful caves in Viet Nam with spectacular speolethemes, such as Nguom Ngao cave (Trung Khanh District), Doi cave (Ha Lang District), etc. and Thang Hen underground lake-river-cave system (Trung Khanh). This is a land of rich cultural and historical values with 215 historical and historical relics, among which are 3 Special National monuments including Pac Bo Special National monument – the place where President Ho Chi Minh returned to Viet Nam after 30 years abroad to lead the Vietnamese revolutionary movement; Tran Hung Dao forest Special National Monument – the place where General Vo Nguyen Giap established the Vietnamese Propaganda Liberation Army, the precursor of present-day Vietnamese Army, in 1944; Border Campaign Victory 1950; and many well-known scenic spots such as Pac Bo cave, Lenin stream, Ban Gioc waterfall, Phja Oac-Phja Den national park, ect. along with traditional music of ethnic minority groups in the province.

“Trinh Tuong” houses constructed by interesting techniques (houses with thick walls made of earth) of the Dao Tien (Cao Bang).

All factors mentioned above make up a unique tourism type which has becoming the first choice of tourists when coming to Cao Bang. Focusing on geo-tourism will no place pressure on the infrastructure investment; on the other hand, the province will have more time to develop a thorough master plan on tourism development strategy, gradually open the potential market, affirming Cao Bang tourism brand nationwide and internationally. Especially, with the UNESCO Global Geopark designation, Non nuoc Cao Bang Geopark proves its typical geological, geomorphological, cultural anf biodiversity heritage of international significance for geo-tourism development.

According to Mr. Guy Martini, Chairperson of UNESCO Global Geoparks Council, the development of Non nuoc Cao Bang UNESCO Global Geopark will contribute into the implementation of socio-economic development goals of the province. In which, geo-tourism development is a new tendency, which is suitable with attractive geological values of Cao Bang. At the same time, it will connect other fields of society, culture, education, transportation, agriculture and environment, which is the most effective solution for the economic development in mountainous areas.

Traditional craft villages have been preserved and promoted by ethnic minority groups in Cao Bang.

Geo-tourism is a new field, however, it has been playing an important role in the development of tourism sector. Tourism has been quickly developed in Non nuoc Cao Bang UNESCO Global Geopark in recent time and will witness a fast growth once international tourists know about the diver national and cultural heritage values of the country. This growth will definitely offer many opportunities for the local economic development, and bring challenges for heritage conservation. On the whole, tourism sector in general and geo-tourism in particular have to be managed according to the same regulations on sustainable development, which means advances in economic development have to be associated with environment protection. With newly emerged ideas, geo-tourism can bring advantages for the development of Cao Bang tourism sector.

Author: Nguyet Anh

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