Together with Hue ’s historical sites, festivals and community tourist events are attracting even greater numbers of visitors to the central province than ever.

As of July this year, Thua Thien-Hue welcomed almost 1.3 million tourists, a year on year rise of 10.7 percent, earning a revenue of 1.065 trillion USD, up by 26.19 percent.

In the first six months of 2012, the province also saw a sharp increase in the number of maritime visitors arriving from China, Spain, the UK, US and Canada, recording 30,000 arrivals, a 3.6 percent rise over the same period last year.

The 2012 Hue Festival alone, which took place from April 7-15 attracted more than 180,000 tourists, including 80,000 from overseas, up by 62 percent from the same period of 2011 and 54.2 percent from 2010.

In 2012 National Tourism Year, along with a number of festivals, Thua Thien-Hue has also initiated several projects that promote sustainable development. The provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in conjunction with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have recently carried out a project called ‘developing community tourism.’ It was originally launched at the Thanh Toan tile-roofed bridge in Thuy Thanh commune, Huong Thuy town, which has become a popular destination with domestic and international tourists, especially during the Hue Festival.

Another project, themed, ‘tourism with poor people,’ has also been developing well in Thua Thien-Hue. This model was first used in rural and mountainous areas where the local people survive on very low incomes and their standards of living are extremely inadequate. At the Huyen Tran Cultural Centre, the Huong Giang Tourism Joint Stock Company has been working with the Netherland Development Organisation (SVN) to use this model to link people on low incomes up with the centre’s tourism activities.

This creates more jobs, raises local people’s incomes and changes their awareness of the importance of promoting local culture and communities as well as giving tourists a wider selection of different products.

Visitors can also enjoy a home-stay in ‘nha ruong’, which are one hundred years old and built with numerous beams and pillars, in Phuoc Tich village in Phong Hoa commune, Phong Dien district. There, they can stay with local people and have the opportunity of learning how to make the commune’s famous cakes and jams, which are very popular with French and Japanese tourists.-VNA