The Northern Highlands is one of the poorest areas of Viet Nam and includes the three poorest provinces in the country and another three provinces that are ranked 5th, 7th and 8th in terms of poverty levels and tourism development will contribute to poverty reduction. A large share of the population consists of ethnic minorities. The local authorities realize the opportunities tourism can bring to marginalized communities, particularly ethnic minorities and together to promote the North West region as a sustainable tourism destination, providing an authentic travel experience based on its dramatic natural landscape and cultural diversity and heritage that will provide economic benefits.
Northwestern region attracted over 10 million visitors in 2012 thanks to a tourism development cooperation programme by eight provinces.
The figure was released during a conference in Hanoi on April 20 to introduce the provinces’ tourism potential and call for investment.
The eight provinces involved in the programme are Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Son La, Hoa Binh, Phu Tho, Ha Giang, Lai Chau and Dien Bien. The programme aims to reduce poverty in the localities by promoting tourism.
Initiated in 2008, the programme has generated positive results. The number of visitors to the localities has increased. Last year, the figure rose seven percent over the previous year. The programme has improved living conditions for local residents, especially those from ethnic minority groups.
Experts said that the eight northwestern provinces have abundant tourism potential.
Each locality is designing its own tourism promotion projects to attract more investment and creating their own tourism brand names. They have also agreed to support each other to boost development in the region.
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