by Việt Hoàng
Authorities in the northern province of Lai Châu are promoting policies for community-based tourism to develop the local economy and create jobs.
According to Trần Tiến Dũng, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, the area boasts wild natural landscapes, fresh air and cool temperatures all year round.
People of different ethnic groups sing and dance to welcome guests in Lai Châu. — VNA/VNS Photos Việt Hoàng
“Diversified cultural identities offer great potential to develop tourism, including community-based tourism,” he said.
“In the past few years, the province has invested the local budget and called on people and private investors to develop community-based tourism,” he said.
Terraced rice fields in Sin Suối Hồ Village, Phong Thổ District.
Since implementing Project No 316 on developing Lai Châu tourism from 2016-2020, the province has given priority to developing key tourism products like community-based tourism with historical and cultural landscapes in Lai Châu City, Phong Thổ District and Tam Đường District.
So far, community-based tourism products in the area have served thousands of tourists.
People visit the Nà Khương water wheels in Tam Đường District.
Between 2017 and 2019, the total number of visitors to Lai Châu reached 350,000. Each foreign guest spent on average 1.6 days in the area, while domestic visitors stayed for 1.75 days. Total income from tourism reached VNĐ450 billion (US$19,364,000).
There are eleven community-based tourism projects with 30 families offering homestay services in the province.
Locals cook food for guests.
Sin Suồi Hồ Village has 113 households, ten of whom offering homestay services.
In the past, visitors coming to the village to see enjoy the scenery and local food on day trips.
"Now, tourists can immerse in daily life like farming and gardening,” Dũng said.
Visitors enjoy the scenery in Tam Đường District.
Each month, hundreds of tourists visit the village, most of whom are foreigners.
“Visitors can stay here for weeks and months to experience farming, fruit picking, making dumplings and weaving cloth,” said local resident Hảng Thị Sú.
“Visitors are warmly welcomed into our homes, where they share rooms with us to learn about our customs and lives,” she said.
“We always work with different areas to spread State and local policies on developing tourism, especially enhancing people’s knowledge about protecting the environment at tourism spots,” said Trần Mạnh Hùng, deputy director of the Lai Châu Culture, Sports and Tourism Department.
“We have also organised tourism training classes for locals,” he said.
In the next few months, the department will co-operate with other agencies to develop tourism in a sustainable way with community-based tourism as the key.
“The province will help locals to preserve their traditional cultures, build clean toilets and develop traditional handicraft production,” said Dũng. — VNS