Supporting the development of partners network of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp in 2020

Tuesday - 21/12/2021 15:50

UNESCO global geopark is one of titles awarded by UNESCO, which promote the cultural, historical and geological –preserved and environmental based development, while using these resources for sustainable tourism development. A UGGp also aims at inclusive and community based development with the participation of local communities.

Although Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp was recognized by UNESCO as a UGGp, Non nuoc Cao Bang still needs to further the tasks on developing the geopark according to the 06 recommendations of UNESCO after the evaluation mission. Particularly, in 2020 the Management board of Non nuoc Cao Bang geopark needs to further support and buid capacity for the the network of geopark partners.

homestay o phja thap
Homestay partner in Phja Thap incense making village.

The criteria number V of UNESCO for a UGGp states that “UNESCO Global Geoparks should actively involve local communities and indigenous peoples as key stakeholders in the Geopark. In partnership with local communities, a co-management plan needs to be drafted and implemented that provides for the social and economic needs of local populations, protects the landscape in which they live and conserves their cultural identity. It is recommended that all relevant local and regional actors and authorities be represented in the management of a UNESCO Global Geopark. Local and indigenous knowledge, practice and management systems should be included, alongside science, in the planning and management of the area”.

Till now, Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp has developed a network of 20 partners including restaurants, accommodation service providers, tour operators and traditional handycraft villages in the three experience routes of the geopark. The position of these partners were carefully analysed and selected to create the best conditions for the experience of visitors. In order to improve the effectiveness and quality of services provided by these partners, the Management board plan to carry out the following tasks:

The participants at the International Conference on “Sustainable tourism development through UNESCO global geopark model” experienced the geopark partners.
The participants at the International Conference on “Sustainable tourism development through UNESCO global geopark model” experienced the geopark partners.

Supporting the image promotion for geopark partners: in 2020, the Management board continues to finalize and complement the promotional materials of the geopark such as the Guiding books and leaflets of the three routes, the heritage maps and promotional panels to the geopark partners to help and guide the experience of visitors to Non nuoc Cao Bang geopark. The geopark also schedules to organize promotional events for partners of geopark such as inviting the shortlisted Miss Non nuoc Cao Bang candidates to join the photo or video shooting to promote these partners, then cooperate with the Institude of Geo-science and Mineral resources to organize the Conference on proclaiming and awarding certificates to qualified partners.

In addition, the geopark plans to foster the online promotion for geopark partners. Currently there are about 30000 visits/month searching for information on heritage sites, and this is the only bilingual websites which is attracting lots of foreign visit per month. Therefore, this is one of tools to support the development of potentials and advantages of Cao Bang province and services of geopark partners.

Continue to cooperate with related agencies to bring the tour operators who used to operate or are operating tours or have interest to operate tours in Cao Bang to experience service of service providers. 

 Finalizing the set of criteria for geopark partners for service quality improvement: in 2020 the Management board of Non nuoc Cao Bang schedules to cooperate with UNESCO expert and Geopark network of Viet Nam to finalize these criteria then applying for the geopark partners including restaurants, hotels and homestays. These criteria are adopted from the existing laws of Viet Nam government such as the Circular 30/2012 dated December 5th 2012 of the Ministry of Health, and Circular 88 of the Ministry of Cultures, sports and tourism combined with the criteria of UNESCO for the geopark partners.

A set of specific criteria will help improve quality of services of geopark partners and ease the management as well as the monitoring and evaluation of the Management board of Non nuoc Cao Bang geopark and to propose or provide timely support to the geopark partners. In addition, these criteria will build trust with service users and make them feel reliable and comfortable when using the services of geopark partners.

Capacity building for geopark partners: in 2019 the Management board of Non nuoc Cao Bang organized training courses to raise awareness for tourism service providers. In 2020, the Management board of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp continues to consult the Department of Cultures, sports and tourism and People’s committee of Cao Bang province to carry out activities to support geopark partners so that they can provide good quality services such as the thematic training on English, M&E, reception, etc. The training courses aims at building geopark partners as gepark ambassadors to introduce the geopark and its heritage sites to visitors.

 Though the development of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp needs to follow and meet certain criteria of UNESCO, particularly the criteria v on the participation of local communities and geopark partners. These criteria are useful for the promotion and raising responsibilities of local communities in preserving and promoting these cultural, historical, geological heritages, landscapes and encouraging local communities’ involvement in doing responsible tourism in the geopark territory.

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