Tapping the Northwest’s tourism potential

15:22 | 31/01/2017 Travel

(VEN) - Tourism is considered one of the driving forces for socioeconomic development in the northwestern region. In 2017, the Lao Cai - Northwest National Tourism Year themed “Colors of the Northwest” is expected to provide many golden opportunities for the region’s tourism sector to take off.  

tapping the northwests tourism potential

Tourism should be developed pertaining to traditional culture preservation

Bringing the potential into play

Northwestern Vietnam is endowed with picturesque, unique landscapes, including such wonderful destinations as the Dong Van Stone Plateau and Ma Pi Leng Pass in Ha Giang Province, terraced fields in Mu Cang Chai and Hoang Su Phi of Yen Bai Province, Fansipan Mountain in Lao Cai Province, Pha Din Pass (located between Son La Province and Dien Bien Province), and O Quy Ho Pass (connecting two Northern provinces of Lao Cai and Lai Chau).

Besides, the Northwest is typically featured with unique traditional cultures of 32 ethnic minorities (the Tay, Nung, Thai, Muong, and Mong, among others) living in the region.

Although the potential is huge, over the past many years, the number of visitors to the region has remained modest, accounting for only 5-7 percent of the country’s total. Guest’s average staying time is less than 1.5 days; tourism revenue of the region therefore remains humble. The statistics show that, just 300 plus accommodation establishments in the region have been certified and ranked with an occupancy rate of approximately 60 percent. There are 34 outbound travel companies in the region. Local tourist infrastructure remains inadequate, resulting in a low economic efficiency. Tourism therefore makes a small contribution to the region’s economic structure.

It is recommended by tourism companies that region’s government should make great efforts to encourage cooperation between businesses. This is the best way to bring into play the region’s tourism potential and make the Northwest more attractive to visitors.

National Tourism Year 2017

The National Tourism Year 2017 with 22 main events and 33 support activities will take place throughout the Northwestern region. It is expected to provide golden opportunities for the region’s tourism industry to take off. The event will considerably promote cooperation in tourism development among eight Northwestern provinces, between the region and the whole country as well as with foreign countries and territories.

To better satisfy visitors, Northwestern provinces will introduce unique tourist offerings including Northwestern community and terraced field tours, traditional agricultural festivals, community cultural activities, traditional market days, spiritual tours along Da and Hong Rivers, mountain climbing tours, and tours exploring operation roads in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu.

As the host of the National Tourism Year 2017, Lao Cai Province is expected to welcome 2.4 million visitors next year. Meanwhile, other Northwestern provinces are expected to attract 10 million visitors by 2020. The provincial People’s Committee has prepared a plan for the National Tourism Year, putting in the agenda major and international standard events, as well as connecting tourism activities of Northwestern provinces, said Director of the Lao Cai Province Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Ha Van Thang.

A goal for the Northwestern region by 2020 is to welcome 2.3 million foreign visitors, 14 million domestic tourists with total

revenue of VND22 trillion, and increase the number of accommodation facilities to 1,900 with 40,000 rooms.

Hoa Quynh