Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Festival is a festival held in Buon Ma Thuot City, in Dak Lak. This is a major festival in the Central Highlands. The Prime Minister recognized the festival as a national level festival. Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Festival is held regularly every two years, usually at the beginning of the year. The festival is organized to promote the image of Buon Ma Thuot (Dak Lak) which is a mythical land and has a rich national identity. In addition, the festival is held to honor the provincial specialty, coffee plant. Coffee plant occupies a crucial and unique position in plant structure of the province. Here, the plant accounts for 60% of coffee production in Vietnam. It brings prosperity to the land. This festival was organized since 2005 in program on promoting the image of Buon Ma Thuot, the coffee capital. Apart from activities of processes, formulas, production and processing of coffee, many exciting cultural activities and sports are open in this place. There are many special activities such as fairs, exhibition of coffee and other Vietnamese brand products, barista competitions, and coffee travel itinerary, etc.
Dak Lak Province has the largest area and products of coffee, with production area 182,343ha and annual harvest of over 400,000 tons, accounting for 40% of national output. Annual coffee export turnover of provincial accounts for over 80% export of the province to 80 countries and territories around the world. The coffee industry always plays an important role in economic – social development of the province. Apart from being held in Buon Ma Thuot, Dak Lak, Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Festival is one of Vietnamese festivals which are organized every two years. Besides, the coffee festival is open in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to promote widely the brand of Vietnamese coffee in general and Buon Ma Thuot coffee in particular. Currently, Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Festival underwent four times of organization and appealed a large number of both domestic and international investors and counterparts. In 2005, the festival was held to introduce products related to coffee from production, processing to enjoying, and even featuring characteristics of tourism. So, it is usually introduced in the tourism program of Dak Lak. In 2008, the festival saw a collaboration with many artists and artisans of other provinces. The festival took place with interesting performances of Gong ensembles, walking on stilts, and parade of elephant with the purpose of bettering the understanding about culture in Central Highlands and the beauty of coffee.
The main contents of the Vietnamese festival include unique and outstanding activities. First, the organization opens exhibitions of coffee and other Vietnamese brands. These exhibitions are often open at Biet Dien Museum, in Buon Ma Thuot City. These exhibitions are regarded as opening space in combination with coffee culture and natural space, which creates great attraction in the festival. In addition, street parade takes place during the festival. The street festival is characterized by parades of flower floats, dragon-dancing shows, elephants walking with coffee symbol, Gong performance, and other cultural performances. These activities attract a large number of people and artists. In this festival, seminar on coffee brand development often takes place with the participation of representatives from other countries, and ambassadors of reputable coffee producers, and international associations in Asia. Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Festival is one of festivals in Vietnam having competitions for local farmers in order to improve their skills and spirit of coffee production, such as barista competition and competition among farmers. Interestingly, coffee travel itinerary is one of the most outstanding features in the festival. There are many tours for visitors to travel and explore areas of planting coffee, factories, and processing zones. Visitors have an opportunity to witness the progress of producing and processing coffee, along with contemplating the pure beauty of the highland scenery.
Through festivals held over years, Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Festival attracts more visitors and gathers many domestic and foreign enterprises to join. The first festival attracted over 300,000 visitors, gathered 106 domestic and foreign enterprises with 400 booths. The second one had a larger scale, attracted over 350,000 visitors, and gathered 145 enterprises with over 450 booths. In 2011, the third Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Festival continued to promote Vietnam coffee industry to a new height, creating a common playing-ground for the world coffee industry. The festival is one of Vietnam festivals receiving the interest and support from ministries of Industry and Trade, Foreign Affairs, Culture – Sports – Tourism, and Agriculture – Rural Development. The festival becomes more important event of Vietnam coffee industry on an international level, gradually gaining foothold and confirming the position of Vietnam coffee brand in the world market.