For recent years, traditional trade village – based tourism in Vietnam has become more and more appealing to tourists, especially foreign ones. Long-standing values, handicraft creation techniques and direct involvement in the production process are among those inspire tourists to discover. This is also tourism promotion and development policy of many nations in the world.
Unique tourism product
Traditional trade villages in Vietnam were born a very long time ago and have undergone development together with historical events of the nation. A lot of famous trade villages have well maintained their values ever since establishment, such as Bat Trang ceramic village (in Gia Lam, Hanoi); Phu Lang ceramic village (in Phu Lang commune, Que Vo district, Bac Ninh province); Dong Ky wood carving village; Dong Ho folk painting village (in Thuan Thanh district, Bac Ninh province); Nga Son mat village (in Thanh Hoa province); Non Nuoc stone carving village (in Da Nang); Chau Khe jewelry making village (in Chau Khe); Dong Xam silver carving village; Van Phuc silk village (in Ha Dong district, Hanoi) and Binh Duong pottery village, etc.
According to statistics, there are some 3,000 trade villages nationwide, two thirds of which are in the North of Vietnam. Almost all the trade villages are located along traffic routes, which serve as an advantage in attracting tourists.

The number of tourists to traditional villages has increased significantly and accounts for a relatively large proportion in the total number of tourists. Bat Trang ceramic village (in Gia Lam district, Hanoi) not only attracts domestic tourists but also foreign ones. According to the Market Management Board of Bat Trang ceramic market, the market receives between 25 and 30 thousand domestic tourists monthly and five to six thousand international arrivals. Chu Dau ceramic village in Hai Duong province is a famous tourist site as well. The place has been defined as a tourist destination in the province’s tourism map.
Tourism and traditional handicraft in Vietnam is a unique combination. Lots of foreign tourists agree that this combination model is rare in other regional nations, apart from Chiang Mai, Thailand. This is a strength of Vietnam’s tourism which is awaiting exploitation.
New tourism trend
The development of traditional trade villages in Vietnam is not only meaningful in terms of economic growth but also plays an important role in protecting and preserving cultural values of the nation. Being aware of such importance, Vietnam has promulgated many policies to stimulate this tourism model. Interconnection and tour organisation among neighbouring trade villages is paid special attention to. Accordingly, tourism enterprises will organize tours to several trade villages located in the vicinity of each other. Tourists will therefore be offered chances to visit more than one village in one tour. Cost will be reduced and more and more tourists will be attracted this way.

Furthermore, the incorporation of unique cultural products of trade villages into the tourism market is a feasible marketing approach. This will help create a double effect, i.e. tourism is developed while products made by trade villages are consumed. Tourists not only enjoy the beautiful landscape of the villages but they will also visit the production site and even participate in part of the production process. For instance, tourists themselves can make pottery products when visiting Bat Trang ceramic village or weave bamboo or rattan products when coming to Phu Vinh village, etc. It would be a mistake if the programme “One day being a resident in the Ancient City” favoured by lots of foreign tourists paying a visit to Hoi An (Quang Nam province) is not mentioned here. Participating in this programme, tourists have chances from making a lantern, hoeing the land to plant vegetables as a farmer to preparing food from farming products grown in the famous vegetable village, Tra Que. The programme leaves a really good impression on many tourists.
Particularly, in several recent years, the restoration of festivals in trade villages has been interested in. Tourists will visit the temples where the ancestors of trade villages are worshipped and the villages as well.
Trade village – based tourism is a channel which is making lots of profit and attracting lots of tourists, especially foreign ones. In a near future, this trend will get popular and prosper.