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Lao Cai develops community tourism

Several tourist destinations in Lao Cai Province such as Cat Cat, Sin Chai, Ban Den, Trung Do, Ta Chai, Na Hoi, and Ban Pho have become more familiar to domestic and international travelers thanks to provincial community tourism development.
Right directions for tourism development
Recognizing the benefit from developing community tourism, Lao Cai’s tourism industry piloted a rural community tourism model in villages of Cat Cat and Sin Chai in San Sa Ho Commune, Sapa District in 1998, which has gradually improved the lives of local people.
However, the most significant changes in provincial community tourism have been seen since Lao Cai received funds from the Spanish Government via a project to strengthening Vietnam’s tourism industry as part of implementing the national tourism development strategy for the 2011-2020 period, with vision toward 2030, focusing on social responsibility policy. Lao Cai is one of the provinces benefiting from the project in terms of training tourism staff and local women in developing community tourism, supporting green tourism building, and founding Mong panpipe club in Sapa. These activities have positively contributed to developing provincial community tourism and economy.
Lao Cai has so far set up 13 community tourism destinations which are mainly located in the districts of Sapa and Bac Ha. According to Lao Cai’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the number of homestays has increased from 30 in 2010 up to about 100 at present. By participating in community tourism, local people can find more jobs and generate more incomes, helping themselves and their families out of poverty and partly improving their lives. The annual average revenue per homestay running household in Ta Van Commune may reach VND25-27 million and VND35-40 million in Trung Do Commune.
Along with raising income for the local, the project also helped raising local people’s awareness of restoration, preservation, maintenance of local traditional culture, lifestyles, and production methods so as to create unique competitiveness for provincial tourism products keeping visitors staying for longer time in the province.
Continuing to develop sustainable community tourism
Lao Cai aimed at developing sustainable community tourism development. So, during the 2013-2017 period, Lao Cai is to focus its investment in planning for tourism infrastructure and product development in Ta Van Giay Village in Ta Van Commune, Sapa District; Trung Do Village in Bao Nhai Commune, Bac Ha District; and Lao Chai Village in Y Ty Commune, Bat Xat District.
Currently, the Ta Van Giay destination is the best choice for domestic and international tourists for weekend stay, where various special tourism products are offered including ethnic food and drinks, homestay, and folk games.
The Trung Do Village, characterized by rivers stretching from Lung Khau Nhin Commune, Muong Khuong District, through Ban Me Commune, Si Ma Cai District to Communes of Coc Ly and Bao Nhai, Bac Ha District, can develop special tourism products such as boat trip on Chay river, spiritual trip to Trung Do Temple, visiting house on stilts and listening to Tay folk tunes.
Particularly, Lao Chai Village hopes to bring visitors pristine and simple beauty of terraced fields, spectacular waterfalls, domestic hydraulic rice mortars; unique architecture of soil walled houses, and traditional ethnic dishes.
According to tourism experts, tours to villages of Ta Van Giay, Trung Do, and Lao Chai will further boost Lao Cai’s community tourism and attract more domestic and international visitors into the province.

Vietnam Travel Company, Vietnam Travel Agency




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