|Local colour: A market selling craft and goods made by ethnic people in the northern province of Lao Cai. Eight northern highlands provinces (including Dien Bien, Hoa Binh, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Phu Tho, Son La, Yen Bai and Ha Giang) are implementing various programmes to boost tourism in the area. — VNS File Photo
HA NOI (VNS)— A photo contest on tourism in the northern highland region, to promote the beauty of its nature and people, will be launched in September.
The contest, open to Vietnamese and foreign photographers, is part of activities to promote tourism in the eight northern provinces, said Lao Cai Department of Tourism director Tran Huu Son at a workshop on Saturday.
The project was launched in 2008 with support from the EU-funded Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Programme.
It aims to improve travel products, develop the tourism industry and to help the locals eliminate poverty.
"The northern highland provinces have cultural heritage, outstanding landscape and history that are endless resources for tourism," Son said.
"I see the collaboration between eight provinces as a wonderful initiative to develop the regional economy and help the people improve their lives."
Leaders of the provinces introduced projects to open more tours such as homestay tourism in Hoa Binh's Ai Village, ecological tourism in Dien Bien's Pa Thom Cave and tours to craft villages in Lao Cai's Sa Pa Town.
The photo contest will be held in September to celebrate the Mu Cang Chai Terraced Fields Festival in Yen Bai.
A contest to honour excellent tour guides will be held in March next year, on the occasion of Dien Bien Culture Tourism Week.
Towards National Tourism Year, Eight Northern Highland Provinces in 2017, many other programmes to promote tourism will be carried out.
The responsible tourism project focuses on policy support, destination management and training.
In addition, the project will also carry out sustainable tourism development projects, hold tourism activities among ethnic groups for special tourism destinations. These activities aim to meet the demand of visitors to discover and travel as well as to raise living standards for local people.
The eight northern highland provinces are Dien Bien, Hoa Binh, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Phu Tho, Son La, Yen Bai, and Ha Giang. — VNS