Ba Vi, a semi-mountainous district of Hanoi, is home to three ethnic groups, including Kinh, Muong, and Yao, living together and creating a diverse and unique cultural identity. This place is also considered the capital’s green lung, thanks to its thick forest with the majestic natural landscape.
These are the primary advantages for Ba Vi to further the development of the tourism sector.
|Ba Vi has great potential for luxury tourism development. Photo: Nguyen Thanh
Ba Vi’s potential and advantages for tourism development
Mountains account for 42% of Ba Vi’s area, the center being the Ba Vi Mountain range, whose highest peak is 4,252 feet and whose flora and fauna are rich and rare.
Surrounding the mountain are hundreds of streams and lakes, such as Ao Vua waterfall and stream, Khoang Xanh Waterfall, Mo Waterfall, Tien Stream, and Suoi Hai Lake, with beautiful landscapes. In particular, Thuan My hot mineral springs are ideal for leisure, medical, and wellness tourism all year round.
Ba Vi has 91 listed relics, including one remarkable national relic, 40 national relics, and 50 city-level relics. Around Ba Vi Mountain, there are also numerous temples devoted to Son Tinh - the leading saint among the Four Immortals - such as Thuong (upper) Temple, Trung (middle) Temple, Ha (lower) Temple, Tay Dang Communal House (Northern Palace), Va Temple (Eastern Palace) in Son Tay Town, Bo Temple in Tan Linh Commune (Southern Palace), among others.
Sharing with The Hanoi Times, Nguyen Quyet, the CEO of AHA Media and Events JSC.Co said that thanks to its proximity to Hanoi downtown and various beautiful landscapes, Ba Vi is an attractive travel destination for many Hanoian tourists.
“Our clients from schools and offices in the inner city usually choose Ba Vi to organize their team buildings and educational picnics or have a wellness vacation,” he stated.
“Apart from enjoying the beautiful scenery of Ba Vi Mountains and forests, visitors can also experience some newly unveiled tourism products, including wellness services, hot spring baths, and traditional leaf bathing of Yao ethnic people, among others,” he added.
|Children enjoy outdoor activities at Thien Son-Suoi Nga tourist areas. Photo: Medi Thien Son- Suoi Nga
In addition, Ba Vi has many traditional festivals every spring, especially the Tan Vien Son Thanh Festival, held at Thuong, Trung, and Ha temples on the 14th and 15th days of the first lunar month, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors. This area is also an ancient land with many cultural and historical relics and diverse religious activities imbued with the unique identity of each ethnic group.
Innovation to attract more visitors
According to Le Khac Nhu, Head of the Culture and Traditional Affairs Section of Ba Vi District, the locality is now trying to turn tourism into a spearhead economic sector.
“Ba Vi is determined to make tourism a key economic sector, intending to welcome 4.5 million visitors and earn a revenue of VND500 billion or US$20 million in 2025,” he said.
Do Manh Hung, Chairman of Ba Vi District People's Committee, shared that to foster the development of the tourism industry, apart from diversifying the services and accelerating tourism promotion, the locality is now focusing on speeding up the construction of transport and service infrastructures.
“In recent years, the People’s Committees of Ba Vi District and Hanoi City have allocated a large proportion of their budgets in building Ba Vi’s infrastructure, roads, communication systems, water supply, and drainage to facilitate tourism development,” he said.
Currently, the Yen Bai - Tan Linh Road has been upgraded, and so have Van Hoa Commune’s roads to Khoang Xanh-Suoi Tien and Thien Son-Suoi Nga tourist areas, with a total investment of VND45 billion or $1.8 million.
Meanwhile, provincial highway No. 414 to the Ao Vua tourist area and 28 base transceiver stations are being upgraded, with total investments of VND48 billion or $1.9 million and over VND17 billion or $660,590, respectively.
The marvelous season of marigold flowers in Ba Vi Mountain. Photo: Khanh Huy
“The authorities of Ba Vi District have urged investors, units, associations, and travel service businesses to increase investment, cooperation, and coordination to welcome more tourists to the locality, toward the goal of making ‘Ba Vi- A Green and Safe Tourist Attraction’ in 2022,” Hung added.
According to Ba Vi District People’s Committee statistics, the number of tourists to the district has increased steadily in recent years. Just before the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, Ba Vi welcomed 3.2 million visits, and tourism revenue reached VND403 billion or $16.1 million.
Due to the pandemic’s impact, the number of arrivals decreased significantly to only 725,000 in 2021. In the first six months of 2022, Ba Vi received 1.075 million visits with an estimated revenue of VND172 billion or nearly $6.9 million, up 110.9% over the same period in 2021.
By the end of this year, Ba Vi is aiming for 2.07 million arrivals and total revenue of VND320.8 billion or over $12.8 million, up 185% and 190% compared to 2021, respectively.
Several branded tourist spots and areas have been established in the district, including BRG Kings Island Golf Resort, Thac Da, Ao Vua, Suoi Hai Lake, Khoang Xanh-Suoi Tien, and Thien Son-Suoi Nga tourist areas, Ba Vi National Park, name a few. There are also 105 tourism businesses and 80 tourist accommodation establishments, with about 500 direct employees, of whom 10% have university degrees, 8% have college degrees, and 19% hold intermediate degrees.