12:26 | 22/07/2015 Society
(VEN) - Eight northwest provinces continued to attract visitors and tourism investment despite difficulties faced by other provinces and cities in the country.
According to Director of the Lao Cai Province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tran Huu Son, eight northwest provinces including Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Phu Tho, Hoa Binh, Son La, Dien Bien, Lai Chau and Ha Giang signed a tourism development cooperation agreement in 2008 with the intention of boosting tourism in the region based on leveraging of local tourism potential. Over the past six years of tourism development cooperation, all these provinces have achieved positive results in terms of tourism including setting up a framework program for tourism development cooperation in the 2010-2015 period, with a focus on cooperation in tourism administration, product development, human training, and promotion.
Reports on the implementation of the tourism development cooperation program in the eight provinces last year show that these provinces recorded 14,394,100 tourists, including 988,043 international visitors, an 18.2 percent increase over 2013, and VND7.83 trillion in tourism revenue, a 22.5 percent increase. As of the end of 2014, these provinces had 1,671 tourism accommodations, a 12.4 percent increase over 2013.
One of the causes for this success was that all eight northwest provinces decided to thoroughly implement the tourism development cooperation program, with a focus on the development of tourism training, product and regional links. Lao Cai, as the head of the group, was successful in promoting inter-provincial tourism via posting tourism images, updating promotional activities on regional tourism websites and participating in international travel expos.
These provinces boast new tours in the Hoang Lien National Park and along the Red River passing via Phu Tho, Yen Bai and Lao Cai, and several tourism investment projects including the Dam Hau Resort in Yen Bai and the Sun Group’s Fansipan Sapa entertainment and resort complex in Lao Cai.
According to Don Taylor, an expert from the European Union funded Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism (ESRT) Capacity Development Program, the Hanoi-Lao Cai Expressway which was recently put into use plays an important role in tourism development for localities alongside it as it helps shorten travel time.
This year, all eight provinces aim to deploy joint activities within the framework of the program for tourism development cooperation in the 2014-2015 period, focusing on the development of specific tourism products, human resources and promotion activities, and on the establishment of a regional tourism development fund.
The eight northwest provinces are preparing for the National Tourism Year 2017 event to be held in Lao Cai and also a Regional Tourism Development Plan for the 2015-2020 Period with a Vision towards 2030, with a focus on regional specific tourism products.