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Kayaking in Da Bac provides new business venture

Kayaking in Da Bac has become a popular recreation activity for tourists. However, it’s also an important business model for ethnic minority groups participating in our community-based tourism (CBT) project.

Mr De and Mrs Luot live in a small hamlet called Ke on the banks of the Da River in northern Vietnam. Many people in Ke struggle to earn a reliable income. Their remote location means there is a lack of employment, infrastructure, and government services. But through the CBT project, Mr De and Mrs Luot have created new ways to make a living.

Kayaking in Da Bac attracts tourists

CBT is a socially and environmentally responsible form of tourism that empowers ethnic minorities in poor and remote regions of Vietnam to increase their income while preserving their unique cultures. Locals have started a range of businesses to cater to both domestic and international tourists, such as homestays, guided tours, traditional music and dance performances, and herbal baths.

Mr De and Mrs Luot attended advanced classes in business and household economics as part of the CBT project. With these skills, they started a business raising bees and chickens to serve tourists at homestays in Ke.

When they saw the impact of tourism in their community, Mr De and Mrs Luot decided to start a kayak rental business as well.

“Realising the opportunities to improve our household economic situation, we decided to buy five kayaks and one boat for tourists,” said Mrs Luot.

Mr De and Mrs Luot cleaning their kayaks on the banks of the Da River

Mr and Mrs Kayak

Kayaking in Da Bac has taken off and the rental business is now thriving. The locals in Ke hamlet have even started calling the couple ‘Mr and Mrs Kayak’.

“My family income has doubled,” said Mr De. “However, the biggest change is my family and local community have switched from self-sufficient to market-oriented production. We know how to recognise market demands and improve our products accordingly, and we know how to make use of CBT opportunities to develop our business.”

This project is supported by Irish Aid and by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

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My family income has doubled. We know how to recognise market demands and improve our products accordingly.

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