The opening ceremony of the 2017 National Tourism Year (Source: VNA)
Lao Cai (VNA) – The 2017 National Tourism Year was opened in  Lao Cai city, the northwestern mountainous province of Lao Cai on February 11.

The opening ceremony was attended by representatives from the Party and Government, local officials and cultural counsellors from Laos, Thailand, China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.

With the theme of “Northwest colours”, the National Tourism Year offers a good chance for regional localities to introduce and promote their tourism potential and strengths, thus attracting more and more domestic and international visitors. It also serves a bridge to boost tourism cooperation among localities nationwide.

In his opening speech, Nguyen Van Binh, head the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission and the Steering Committee for the Northwestern Region, highlighted the significance of the event, saying that it aims to start a wide range of activities towards realising the target of turning tourism into a spearhead economic sector of the nation.

He expressed his belief that tourism in the region in particular and Vietnam in general will make breakthrough developments in 2017.

However, he noted that tourism development in Vietnam is still yet to match the potential and advantages, citing limitations in the quality of tourism products, human resources, infrastructure and environmental sanitation.

To raise Vietnamese tourism’s competitiveness, he called for the determination and engagement of the whole political system in solving difficulties facing the sector and facilitating tourism development.

Dang Xuan Phong, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, stressed that the region always welcomes visitors from Vietnam and other parts of the world, saying that he believes the targets of the 2017 National Tourism Year will be realised successfully, promoting sustainable tourism development in the region and affirming its position in the country’s tourism map.

After the opening ceremony, visitors enjoyed an art performance by 100 artists with traditional songs and dances featuring diverse cultural identities of more than 30 ethnic groups in the northwestern region.

The northwest region comprises eight provinces, namely Dien Bien, Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Hoa Binh, Lai Chau, Son La and Phu Tho.-VNA