The event was co-organised by the Party Central Committee's Commission for Economic Affairs, the Northwestern Steering Committee and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in coordination with Lao Cai provincial People's Committee.
Reports at the seminar show that the Northwest consists of six provinces: Hoa Binh, Son La, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Lao Cai and Yen Bai, a home to many ethnic minorities bearing a unique cultural identity with beautiful nature and a diverse climate. It has great potential to develop typical tourism products to attract tourists both in and outside the country.
For the Northwest, linkage is a good trend, with many localities having been actively involved in developing tourism, resulting in several effective linkage models, such as the connection among three provinces of Lao Cai - Yen Bai - Phu Tho in their joints programme for tourism development via historical sites; or the link between the six provinces of Viet Bac (Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Thai Nguyen, Tuyen Quang, Ha Giang and Lang Son) and the eight extended northwestern provinces (Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Son La, Hoa Binh, Phu Tho , Ha Giang, Lai Chau and Dien Bien) to build tours through the poorest villages across the region, contributing to poverty reduction for locals through travel activities.
The promotion of linkage cooperation would facilitate Northwest tourism development: on the basis of bringing into play the potentials and strengths of each locality. However, until now, the region is still a low-developed region regarding tourism development, despite its richness in potential and diversification in tourist resources with low competitiveness compared with other tourist areas across the country.
Tourism economic efficiency is modest, accounting for a small proportion in the regional economic structure. Tourism infrastructure is still under developed, while tourism activities are fragmented with simple products and without brand name to attract domestic and foreign markets.
In order to efficiently exploit the potential of tourism in the northwestern region, delegates at the workshop suggested promoting linkage for typical tourism products in each locality and forming a closed tourism chain with quality assurance and safety.
Politburo Member Nguyen Van Binh urged the Northwest to further study the building of specific tourism products and at the same time strengthen the linkage with other regions and sub-regions with similar conditions in terms of space and connection routes.
Binh, who is also the Head of the Party Central Committee's Commission for Economic Affairs cum Head of the Northwestern Steering Committee, stressed the need for implementing bilateral links in two provinces or multilateral linkages in various provinces with large tourism centres such as Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City, to create momentum for development.
He suggested focusing on developing interregional and inter-provincial tourism products, such as the spiritual tour along the Red River or the Noi Bai - Lao Cai Expressway; traveling through Moc Chau plateau (Son La) - Bac Ha market (Lao Cai) - Xin Man (Ha Giang); and exploring the Mu Cang Chai terraced fields (Yen Bai) and Sa Pa (Lao Cai).
Particular attention should also be paid to building a system of community-based tourist spots and ecological tourism areas in each province, Binh said, noting that when linking, it is necessary to orient and select resources and cultural nuances of each locality in order to build unique tourism products to avoid duplicated products.
On this occasion, 11 tourism and travel businesses that have excellent achievements in developing tourism in the northwestern region were honoured by the Northwestern Steering Committee. At the event, tourism enterprises, tour operators and the northwestern provinces signed cooperation programmes for tourism development.