Lao Cai aims to welcome 5 mln visitors this year hinh anh 1Terraced rice fields in Muong Hoa Valley, Lao Cai seen from a cable car to Fansipan Mount. (Photo: VNA)

Lao Cai (VNA) - The northern province of Lao Cai, home to the popular holiday town of Sa Pa, has set a target of welcoming 5 million visitors this year and earning more than 16 trillion VND (696.17 million USD) in tourism revenue.

To realise the target, it will bolster digital transformation in the sector and restructure the market and tourism products in keeping with conserving the local cultural identity.

The province will exert efforts to attract more domestic holidaymakers.

Sa Pa has long been among the country’s leading destinations. Of note, young people accounted for more than 70 percent of tourist arrivals to the town in 2020, according to Vice Chairman of Lao Cai Tourism Association Le Anh Dai.

Lao Cai also aims to devise 130 new tourism products to meet demand from tourists and encourage them to return in the future.

The province has been one of the pioneering localities in digital transformation in tourism. Local authorities joined hands with Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) to roll out a customised smart eco-tourism, which is accessible at and on a mobile app.

The portal has had more than 1 million visits since its launch.

Lao Cai’s tourism sector bore the brunt of the ill-effects of the pandemic and welcomed just 2.2 million visitors last year, down by more than half against 2019./.