The expanded Northwestern provinces, namely Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Hoa Binh, Son La, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Phu Tho and Ha Giang, earned a combined nearly VND 23 trillion (USD 989 million) from the tourism sector, up 26 percent year-on-year and exceeding the set target by 9 percent.

According to the steering board for the tourism cooperation program in eight expanded Northwestern provinces, the localities focused on developing special tourism products and paid attention to tourism promotion through exhibitions and communication work.

Terraced rice fields in Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai province

They sent delegations to the Vietnam-Northern Laos tourism promotion conference in the Lao province of Luang Prabang and carried out tourism cooperation activities in Laos’ Northern provinces.

However, the development pace has yet to match their potential and advantages, the board said, pointing out limitations in technical infrastructure, transport and human resources, along with unattractive inter-regional tourism products.

Besides, the region has failed to attract large-scale projects to create breakthroughs for the local tourism sector, while cooperation programs have not brought about good outcomes, the board added.

In 2019, the board aims to step up tourism connectivity and promotion, as well as human resources development in service of the sector.

Special attention will be paid to cooperation in tourism product development between the eight provinces by organizing a photo contest, developing waterway tourism connecting Hoa Binh with Son La, Dien Bien and Lai Chau through the Da (Black) River, and implementing cooperation documents signed with Laos’ northern provinces.

They provinces will continue to participate in international travel fairs and promote northwestern culture in Hanoi, while organizing training courses for tourism workers.

Source: VNA