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Value of vegetarian cuisine for tourism tapped

TTH.VN - Talking about Hue cuisine, tourists always give compliments, a special highlight of which is Hue vegetarian cuisine. Tapping the value of vegetarian cuisine for tourism is partly an opening to promote tourism and partly a contribution to preserving and promoting the value of Hue vegetarian cuisine.

The Dream of a “Vietnamese Kitchen”Awarding certificates to Thua Thien Hue’s typical dishesYoung people choosing vegetarian food

 Many people and tourists come to experience and enjoy vegetarian cuisine at the Vegetarian Food Festival - Hue Festival 2024

Widely-loved vegetarian cuisine

Reaching Hue right in the Hue International Arts Festival Week, Mr. Ngo Hoai An, a tourist from Binh Dinh, is looking forward to the vegetarian food festival. He said, “I enjoy a lot of Hue cuisine. Indeed, every dish is delicious, but my favorite is vegetarian cuisine. Hue's vegetarian food can be said to be so diverse and appealing that it cannot be found anywhere else. Reaching the festival is not only to enjoy food with your taste but also to admire the richness and diversity in the cuisine and ingenuity in arrangement and decoration by the talented chefs."

In the space shaded by green trees close to the bank of the romantic Perfume River, the recent Vegetarian Food Festival - Hue Festival 2024 has brought residents and tourists the enjoyable experiences of Hue vegetarian cuisine with 36 booths and 78 vegetarian dishes from 43 units including hotels, restaurants and pagodas in the province.

Ms. Nguyen Tran An Nhien, a tourist at the festival, shared, "Only when I came to Hue did I realize that vegetarian cuisine is a unique culinary culture. Not only does vegetarianism aim at practicing kindness and nurturing compassion, but it also contributes to protecting the environment and limiting the impact of climate change. Only through experience can these things be grasped and felt."

The option of vegetarian cuisine has tended to rise in recent years. According to the research results and analyses by the scientists, vegetarian food has enough nutrients. Therefore, eating vegetarian properly has advantages in terms of body and mind health, prevents many diseases, and contributes to environmental protection, etc. Besides vegetarians who follow traditions, parental preferences, and moral or religious beliefs, many residents and visitors love vegetarianism on account of their concerns over health and environmental protection.

Currently, Hue City has dozens of large and small restaurants and eateries serving vegetarian dishes. In addition to serving the vegetarian culinary needs of local people, vegetarian cuisine is a tourist product of Hue, which draws many tourists.

According to a study by a group of experts on culinary culture in Hue, vegetarianism has become a growing trend. The proportion of vegetarians in Vietnam accounts for nearly 10% of the population and is gradually rising; especially in Hue, this proportion is greater. They are vegetarian not necessarily on account of religious beliefs, or what they pray for, but because vegetarian food helps change their taste and is good for their health.

Effective tapping for tourism

Hue is known as the "cradle" of Buddhism in our country. A statistical result shows that Hue has about 108 pagodas and more than 300 Buddhist temples. Many Hue people are Buddhists and have a long-standing vegetarian tradition, so vegetarian cuisine has developed into a unique and distinct culinary culture of the ancient capital’s people.

Hue is also the land that tourists reach for spiritual tourism and healing tourism. Tapping the value of vegetarian cuisine for tourism is not only an opportunity to promote tourism but also a contribution to preserving and promoting the value of Hue vegetarian cuisine.

There is no denying that Hue has many vegetarian restaurants and eateries serving tourists. But from the perspective of tourism products, to draw and serve tourists, vegetarian cuisine has not yet truly been an attractive tourism product of Hue. According to tourism experts, Hue needs to build thematic tours in combination with pilgrimage, worshiping Hue pagodas, and clean, green cuisine, thereby allowing tourists to experience vegetarian specialties and diversify local vegetarian cuisine products.

Mr. Le Tan, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Culinary Culture Association, said that the 4 factors make the success and spread of Vietnamese culinary culture:  historical value and the farming value chain to the dining table, human factors (researchers, artisans), and spread and communication. The first 3 factors Hue has enough, but in terms of spread, Hue media has not yet done well. The problem is how everyone can hear, know, find, and see the quintessence of Hue's vegetarian culinary culture. As a land with many pagodas and Buddhist families, it is recommended to organize vegetarian culinary programs under the moon on full moon days, or at other suitable times.

Also according to many experts, Hue needs to regularly organize events with exchanges about Hue vegetarian cuisine between artisans and customers to draw more tourists. Particularly, Hue needs to soon build a vegetarian food street model in favorable areas to promote its vegetarian culinary identity as a highlight to draw tourists.

Director of the Department of Tourism Nguyen Van Phuc said that the tourism sector and relevant units are jointly carrying out many activities to promote Hue culinary culture, digitize 3D cuisine, and organize culinary festivals including vegetarian cuisine. In the short run, the sector will continue to have more activities to tap and enhance Hue cuisine and Hue vegetarian cuisine associated with tourism activities more methodically.

Story and photo: HUU PHUC
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