A project focused on developing rice straw-woven products aimed at tourists was recently set in place by the Scientific Union for Sustainable Tourism Development (STD).
In July, the STD collaborated with the Duong Lam Commune women's union and the relic management unit in introducing the potential of straw-woven products such as roosters, dolls, hats and boots to local residents.
Union President Nguyen Thu Hanh said: "To date, village products have been of a very poor standard. It has been our task to instruct residents in how to develop and design quality souvenirs woven from straw, both popularising the destination and helping in locals increase their incomes."
Duong Thi Lan, vice chairwoman of the commune women's union, expressed her support for the project, saying that local people used to have the tendency of burning straw and so polluting the environment.
"Duong Lam has its own materials and market. Everyone here is extremely keen on making things work out and finding sufficient sponsorship to benefit the maximum amount of people."
After being recognised as a national architectural relic in 2005, Duong Lam Commune has drawn many tourists, who have found buying keepsakes a rather arduous task.
According to veteran tour guide Pham Hoang Tuan, most visitors are attracted by the laterite architecture and ancient houses, there being no typical tourism product except for typical north Vietnamese cuisine.
Relic management deputy chief Nguyen Trong An, agreeing with Tuan, said that monotonous products have served as a barrier to the ancient village becoming one of the most attractive tourism spots in the country./.