Kon Tum Province: Rich potential in cultural tourism development

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- Kon Tum Province located in the Central Highlands is land with a chronicle in history, possessing an unique and diverse cultural identity of many ethnic groups living under one roof. Coming to Kon Tum Province is coming to the vestiges of ancestors from the archaeological site of Lung Leng, the superb roofs of communal house (Nha Rong), folk songs carried epic stories at night by the fire, with songs, traditional Xoang dances in the sound of gongs echoing the mountains and forests, etc. These beauties are a valuable resource of the tourism value of Kon Tum Province.

The attractiveness of Kon Tum tourism will certainly be nothing without the cultural values which are diverse, rich and unique. It is cultural resource with 26 revolutionary historical, cultural, scenic and landscape sites that have been ranked as provincial, national and special national relics. It is an intangible cultural resource with over 200 intangible cultural heritage properties still being maintained in villages and hamlets in the province. Particularly, the Central Highlands Gong Cultural Space is a valuable cultural heritage of the ethnic minorities living in the Central Highlands in general and of the ethnic minorities living in Kon Tum in particular, attracting a large number of visitors. Currently, there are 379 gong teams in the province. Every year, localities open classes to teach gong performance so the number of people who know how to play gongs is gradually increasing.

Many villages in the province have well preserved original stilt houses. Here, with its community life and unique cultural activities, still preserves more than 23 traditional festivals of ethnic minorities. Several rituals and festivals have been restored and maintained by the local ethnic minorities in the province. On these occasions, in the vibrant sound of gongs, the villagers join the Xoang rhythm, enjoy the taste of Can wine and unique and attractive dishes from mountains and forests such as: grilled chicken, Lam sticky rice, yellow ant salad, etc.   

According to the World Tourism Organisation, over 80% of visitors travel for the purpose of admiring unique and different cultural values. Therefore, with this plentiful, diverse, precious and lively cultural resource, it is certain that once visitors experience and participate, they will feel interesting and attractive. In particular, the community-based tourism model enhances the attractiveness, stimulates cultural exploration to understand and admire the unique, extraordinary and delicate cultural beauty of the local ethnic groups.

In order to develop this valuable resource, recently, the province has been focusing on implementing resolutions on the development of culture and people of Kon Tum. Therefore, with the history of nearly 110 years of establishment and development, along with socio-economic development, maintaining national defence and security, the cultural values are safely kept, preserved, promoted and become a beautiful tradition, suitable for new conditions, meeting the general development requirements of the province.

The cultural beauty of Kon K’tu community-based tourism village. Photo: NP

Particularly, currently, in many hamlets and villages, people have learned to promote cultural resources to develop community-based tourism, associating tourism development with conservation and promotion of cultural values. People of villages such as Kon Ktu (Dak Ro Wa Commune, Kon Tum City), Kon Pring Village (Mang Den Town, Kon Plong District), Dak Rang Village (Dak Duc Commune, Ngoc Hoi District), Kon Brap Du Village (Tan Lap Commune, Kon Ray District)... have established gong and traditional Xoang dance teams to perform when visitors come to visit, directly weave brocade at communal houses for visitors to experience and sell woven products. They also know how to preserve and develop community-based tourism services, produce souvenirs and specialty products under the Kon Tum brand to retain visitors. Like in Dak Rang Village, people establish a culinary group, a reception group, a tour guide, a performance group, a handicraft production group, etc. to serve visitors methodically.

People pay attention to preserving and promoting traditional cultural values. Photo: NP

As in Kon K'tu Village, the primitive stilt houses of the Ba Na people have been preserved for generations. The peaceful residential life with the daily routines and activities of Kon K'tu villagers by the riverside, daily activities of brocade weaving, farming, etc. are really interesting for tourists.

By taking good advantage of this rich, diverse and unique cultural values, the warmth and friendliness of this land and people of Kon Tum, it is definitely attracting a large number of tourists. Moreover, these values will be more sustainable, preserved, promoted, and enhanced when associated with tourism development, contributing to improving the lives of the people here and improving the spiritual life,  and promote economic and social development of the province.

Tourism Information Technology Center