Lao Cai tourism - memorable values

2020 and 2021 are the two years when the Covid-19 pandemic has severely affected the "smokeless industry" of Lao Cai, which has been thriving in recent years. In 2020, tourism activities had to be constantly suspended, causing tourism businesses to struggle. By the end of the year, the number of tourists to Lao Cai only reached 2.2 million, equivalent to 43.1% compared to 2019.

In 2021, successive waves of Covid-19 pandemic occurred, causing tourism activities to be almost paralyzed during the summer and autumn. Having faced with many difficulties, many businesses operating in this field had to cut down their human resources as much as possible and liquidate part of their assets to restructure their business models. Even many hotels and restaurants had to put up for sale to cut losses and restructure debts, most direct and indirect workers had to quit and find new jobs. Tourism activities also decreased to the level of "bottoming out". It was not until the end of 2021, when the pandemic was basically under control and the policy on pandemic prevention and control changed, Lao Cai tourism has begun to show signs of recovery and gradually prospered. In 2021, the number of tourists to Lao Cai reached 1.4 million, entirely domestic tourists.

In the difficulties, Lao Cai tourism industry could not standstill by looking at the rich and potential "assets" of "exposed to difficulties and limitations" but has soon grasped the trend of safe tourism, resort, and health care… to design products that suit the needs of tourists. The establishments have also actively transformed their business models in line with the tourism habits of domestic tourists when there are no international tourists.

Ethnic cultural identity is the core foundation of Lao Cai tourism.

Assessing the value of Lao Cai tourism industry after 2 years of overcoming difficulties, Mr. Ha Van Thang, Director of the Department of Tourism affirmed: The success of Lao Cai tourism in the past time is that the tourism industry has never given announcement of closure. Along with that, many activities and events have been organized successfully, safely and effectively. We continue to maintain the brand "Lao Cai - safe destination" and tourism activities are actively recovering, adapting to the new situation.

Sharing the same opinion with the Director of Department of Tourism of Lao Cai province, Associate Professor, Dr. Pham Trung Luong, tourism planning expert, assessed that: In the period of 2016 - 2019, Lao Cai tourism has made rapid and strong development steps, becoming "the motive force" of the Northwest region in particular and the Northern Midlands and Mountains in general. Lao Cai cannot stand aside from the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the province has had timely and flexible solutions to keep up with the changes of tourism trends, especially the trend of safe tourism. Therefore, Lao Cai is still the locality that receives a large number of domestic tourists in the context of tourism activities in many localities "bottoming out".

Overcoming the difficult period, Lao Cai tourism has showed strong signs of recovery in the first months of 2022. Especially, after the Government allowed the full reopening, Lao Cai has welcomed the first international tourists. In the first quarter of 2022, tourist sites, routes and attractions in the province have welcomed 589,315 tourists, the total revenue from tourism is estimated at nearly 2,100 billion dong, increase by 3% over the same period in 2021. Although the number of new tourists has reached about 14.7% of the year plan but this is the signal that the "smokeless industry" is gradually recovering.

The number of tourists is increasing rapidly again, Lao Cai province continues to renew its thinking, vision and orientation for tourism development for the next period. Sticking to the goal of bringing tourism development to become a breakthrough and strategic field for the period 2020 - 2025, the province has established the Department of Tourism to strengthen this economic sector, as well as improve State management capacity of tourism in the region.

“Looking from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the achievements, the tourism industry of Lao Cai province continues to insist on the viewpoint of developing safe, rich and sustainable tourism, affirming the Lao Cai brand as the "Natural, safe, attractive and distinctive tourism destination" - Mr. Ha Van Thang said.

The tourism industry focuses on building “natural, safe, attractive and distinctive tourism destination.”

The Lao Cai tourism industry is giving priority to reviewing tourism resources, building the strategic framework for tourism development to 2025, with a vision to 2030 and 2050, and proposing solutions to implement short-term and long-term goals and tasks. With the goal of bringing tourism into the breakthrough field by 2025, the tourism industry focuses on improving the quality and perfecting existing tourism products; disbursing to support tourism recovery and development; implementing sub-projects under national target programs; promoting regional linkages, cooperating with major travel agencies to attract tourists to Lao Cai; focusing on demand stimulation and recovering tourism in the Covid-19 pandemic post period; promoting training and coaching to make up for the shortage of tourism workers...

Firmly overcoming the difficult period, sticking to the strategic direction and vision, seizing opportunities for recovery, Lao Cai tourism industry is expected to grow rapidly, soon completing the goal of bringing tourism into the breakthrough field in the period of 2020 - 2025, contributing to the rapid, strong and steady development of the province, continuing to be the top developing province of the Northern Midlands and Mountains, creating the premise for Lao Cai to become the moderately developed province in the country by 2030 and become the developed province in the country by 2045.

According to LCDT

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