Last updated: Friday, March 22, 2019


Sapa Still Has Much to Do to Become an Int’l Destination

Posted: Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Sapa is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the north of Vietnam. With natural landscape and cultural values, the town of mist still has much to do to become an international tourist destination of Vietnam.

A much-loved destination
According to the Lao Cai Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, many prestigious international organisations regard Sapa as one of 10 most attractive tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, one of 50 most beautiful places in Asia, and one of Top 2 most beautiful and famous destinations in Vietnam. Travel and Leisure Magazine based in the United States praised terraced fields in Sapa as one of seven most spectacular terraced terraces in the world. Sapa Trail is also known as one of the 10 most beautiful trails in the world and O Quy Ho Pass is dubbed the “king of all passes in the northwest.”

In addition, Sapa is home to many ethnic minorities such as the H'mong, Tay and Dao Do with unique cultural features. Not only having different customs, ranging from costumes to rituals, distinctive cuisines also catch the fancy of tourists far and wide.

According to surveys, over 92 per cent of respondents felt satisfied or very satisfied. Particularly, 88 per cent of international tourists and 65 per cent of domestic tourists were pleased with natural landscape. 68 per cent of international visitors and 49 per cent of domestic visitors delighted with atmosphere. 56 per cent of international travellers were contented with accommodations and travel services.

Kim So Eun, a Korean tourist, said, “The scenery in Sapa is very beautiful. I find the life of ethnic people very interesting. Specially, people here speak English very well, so I can easily ask for information and purchase goods as well as other services.”

American Stephen Harris said, “Tourism services in Sapa are quite good, I am impressed by the cool climate and the European-like architecture but the village life of ethnic people is unique in the world. Many of my friends who already came here said Sapa was very friendly and has a lot of stunning landscapes.”

According to the Lao Cai Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, as of November 2017, Sapa welcomed 1.46 million visitors, of which foreigners accounted for 30 per cent and expected to serve 2 million visitors in 2017.

Towards a world-class tourist destination
Rich potential enables Sapa to develop many types of tourism, ranging from community tourism, cultural tourism and leisure to ecotourism and adventure tourism. This is a great platform for Sapa to develop and build many attractive tourist products for diverse interests and needs of all visitors.

Mr Pham Tien Dung, General Secretary of Unesco Hanoi Travel Club, “In Sapa, tourists can choose among many different tourism forms such as leisure, adventure, sightseeing and discovery. However, tours are not really prominent and attention-grabbing to visitors. Hence, to develop Sapa tourism, we need to build tourism products which are not only unique but also amazing, impressive and stirring.

At present, Sapa has many motels, hotels and homestay facilities but very few of them are qualified for big events like MICE. For that reason, the city needs to attract more investors to improve infrastructure quality, build world-class accommodations and develop interesting entertainment products.

Tour guides in Sapa are very good at English but their tourism knowledge is a minus. They are locals and they deeply understand local values. They need extra training to better convey their understanding of local values to tourists.

In addition, Sapa needs to promote tourism cooperation with neighbouring localities and tourist attractions to form tour routes and boost cooperation in tourism marketing.

With abundant and rich tourism potential and positive feedbacks from tourists, Sapa only needs a specific and consistent development plan to become a world-class national tourist attraction in the near term and contribute to tourism development in particular and economic development of Vietnam in general.

Giang Tu

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