Six Northern Provinces Join Hands for Tourism Development

9:49:40 AM | 7/5/2021

Tourism development, coordinated by six northern provinces of Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Thai Nguyen and Lang Son, is a major content of the 12th Viet Bac Heritage Program - Thai Nguyen 2021. The workshop on this effect is designed to find solutions to develop northern tourism and make the northern mountainous region or Viet Bac an attractive destination for tourists.

The northern mountainous region has many charming heritages with the sacred atmosphere of mountains and valleys and distinctive intangible heritages: Then singing - a distinctive musical genre and a special combination of the spiritual and cultural life of the Tay people in Thai Nguyen province; Fire Dance Festival of the Pa Then people, folk songs of the Nung people in Lang Son province; khen (pan-pipe) dancing of the Mong people in Tuyen Quang, Cao Bang and Ha Giang provinces. Given regional tourism advantages, the northern mountainous region has become an attractive destination for tourists.

In the past 10 years of tourism cooperation conducted by northern mountainous provinces in the spirit of “activeness - equality - efficiency - mutual benefit”, the tourism industry has obtained encouraging results and linked tour routes to attract more tourists to the localities, estimated to rise by over 165 annually. However, tourism development cooperation in the northern mountainous region is still weak, not fully tapped.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Mai, Director of Thai Nguyen Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said, the six northern mountainous provinces have made efforts to carry out coordinated promotion and create products under the "Viet Bac Heritage Program” for years. This cooperation initially produced good results, evidenced by a steady rise in tourist arrivals and higher tourism revenue for localities. However, after two rounds of deployment, the quality of program outcomes has not met the demand of international customers and high-class tourists. The cooperation between provinces and businesses is not close enough to create interconnected tourism products of the region. The tour market is being developed locally rather than regionally. Tourists typically go to provinces separately rather than in a single trip.

“I want to see the improved quality of tourism services of Thai Nguyen province in particular and Viet Bac provinces in general by adding new catalyst products and interconnected tours that meet tourists’ demands and bring tourism revenue for Viet Bac provinces. Tours may last 3-4 days for trips to all six provinces or 2-3 days for trips to two provinces,” she expressed.

Mr. Ha Van Sieu, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said that although Viet Bac tourism has made positive progress, certain limitations still need to be addressed. Development conditions have been improved but many difficulties are standing in the way. It is necessary to focus on overcoming traffic and connecting destinations. Investors are still not ready to invest in outstanding tourism products. Local governments need to have more open mechanisms to invite investors to launch new tourism products and services.

To develop Viet Bac tourism, the tourism industry of Vietnam in general and of northern mountainous provinces need to focus on key tasks to tap potential and develop sustainable domestic tourism, he said. In particular, safety is always the first priority in tourism services, especially according to health guidance from relevant health authorities and VNAT. The sustainable capacity of tourism companies needs to be further strengthened by coordinated services, high-quality human resources, innovations, modern technologies and digital transformation. It is essential to strengthen connectivity and coordination of businesses and localities to boost tourism promotion, improve service quality, and create more attractive tourism product packages for tourists.

Businesses and destinations essentially understand tourist needs and trends in order to innovate and diversify tourism products to match the domestic tourist market, and carry out appropriate stimulus promotion programs, not only focusing on prices but also enhancing the value of products and services provided. They need to boost communications on effective tourism messages like “Vietnam tourism - Safe and charming" and "Vietnamese people travel Vietnam", where safety, reasonable prices and guaranteed service quality are emphasized. VNAT is always ready to support localities in tourism development, Mr. Sieu said.

 By Giang Tu, Vietnam Business Forum