Founded by a group of female entrepreneurs, Kotam ecological tourist site in Dak Lak province is a successful model of integrating and safeguarding the local natural landscape and the promotion of traditional cultural values of ethnic minority groups.
Kotam tourist site: An example of integrating ecological tourism and local cultural identity (Photo: Vietnam Pictorial)
Located nine kilometres from the centre of Buon Ma Thuot city, Kontam tourist site is an attractive destination for tourists, particularly at weekends and public holidays.
Covering a total area of 17 hectares and hosting magnificent hills, mountains, waterfalls, springs, valleys, and accommodation facilities imbued with the typical culture and architecture of the E De ethnic group, Kotam welcomes more than 400,000 tourists every year.
According to Deputy Director of Dak Lak provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Dang Gia Duan, the launch of the Kontam tourist site has contributed to preserving and promoting the distinct culture of the Central Highlanders while reducing poverty and generating income for local ethnic minority people.
The successful tourism model was made possible thanks to a joint effors of a group of five female entrepreneurs five years ago. They are Nguyen Thi Ngoc Anh, Nguyen Thi Hue, Nguyen Thi Phuc Minh, Vu Thi Xoan and Doan Uyen Thao, directors of five companies operating in trading, processing and exporting agricultural products, honey and mechanical equipment.
The quintet are also enthusiastic members of the Dak Lak Female Entrepreneurs club, headed by Nguyen Thi Ngoc Anh, which has actively participated in charity activities in the locality.
They came up with the idea of building a model which can help locals reduce poverty in a sustainable way. The Kotam ecological site was born, surrounded by the E De ethnic people’s villages, including Pak, Kotam, Krong A, and Krong B.
As the owner of Quang Anh Trade Ltd. Co, one of the top companies with the highest revenues in Dak Lak, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Anh was appointed the Director of the Kontam Community-based Tourism Joint Stock Company.
Not long after its launch, the Kontam company had attracted 35 members from the Dak Lak Female Entrepreneursclub , who poured a large investment into the construction of the tourist site.
According to Ngoc Anh, from the beginning, the project team has kept in mind that the ultimate goal of the project is to protect the environment and pristine beauty of the natural landscape while honouring the cultural identity of the Central Highlanders.
Therefore, the traditional long stilt houses of the E De ethnic people were constructed at the site and all staff members at the site wear an E De ethnic brocade uniform.
Thanks to its amazing scenery and landscapes, Kotam quickly became an alluring tourist complex for visitors from across the country.
Nguyen Thi Hue, a member of the Board of Directors of Kotam Community-based Tourism Joint Stock Company, said that the tourist site has the huge advantage of food self-sufficiency, providing tourists with a fresh and clean source of vegetables, meat, and fruit.
Visitors to the site can taste the delicious indigenous dishes of the Central Highlanders, including papaya flowers cooked with fish, grilled snakehead fish, pork grilled in bamboo tubes, and chicken salad with banana flowers.
When the COVID-19 pandemic saw complicated developments in the province, Kotam staff members donated quintals of vegetables to those working at the front lines against the pandemic.
In an effort to welcome back vacationers in the post-COVID-19 period, the tourist site has coordinated with training facilities on tourism services, hotels and restaurants to improve the skills of staff members.
Promotional activities have also been launched to further advertise the site to travel agencies and tourist companies.
Built with both enthusiasm and love for the homeland of the five female entrepreneurs, the Kotam tourist site has contributed to upholding traditional culture as well as boosting socio-economic development in Dak Lak province.