|Newly-built Ha Noi -Lao Cai Expressway helps bringing more tourists to Sapa Township. — Photo travelsapa.com
LAO CAI (VNS) — Hotels in Sapa Township, Bac Ha District and Lao Cai City were fully booked during the first half of the year, according to local authorities.
With regard to food, local specialities were sold out due to a dramatic increase in the number of visitors after the Ha Noi-Lao Cai Expressway was opened to traffic late last year, the local authority of northern Lao Cai Province has reported.
Lu Van Khuyen, head of the Culture and Information Department of Sapa township, a well-known tourist destination in the north, said the number of tourists arriving in the township in the first half of the year had increased by 30 per cent against the same period last year.
As a result, the local tourism sector was running at full throttle, Khuyen said. Hotel rooms were fully booked, while local culinary specialities such as salmon and sturgeon had always been in great demand, he said.
Trinh Xuan Truong, Chairman of Sapa District's People's Committee, said the shortage of hotel rooms and local food specialities had occurred despite the local authority predicting that the number of tourists visiting Sapa and other well-known tourist destinations in the province would increase when the expressway was opened.
This was a good signal to boost food cultivation for the locals, he said.
In Bac Ha District, which is famous for its Sunday market, where thousands of members of ethnic minority groups gather, the number of tourist arrivals has increased by 20 to 30 per cent, which has brought higher profits to the tourism sector and allied businesses.
To meet the tourists' demands, the local authority recently introduced a night bazaar that opens on weekends. The district has also launched tourism promotion campaigns and started trekking tours to ethnic minority villages high in the mountains.
To promote tourism and benefit from the Ha Noi-Lao Cai Expressway, Lao Cai Province needs to do much more, the local authority said.
Besides building and upgrading hotels and improving services, the province will draw up plans to expand orchards of select fruits and open more fodder farms to ensure a safe and abundant food supply, it said. — VNS