Representatives from six northern mountainous provinces gathered in Tuyen Quang province on Nov. 21 to discuss how to tap their potential in tourism.

The provinces, which in the past formed the famous revolutionary base of Viet Bac, boast many beautiful sceneries, diverse ecological systems and culture as well as rich historical relics, Nguyen Van Tuan, Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said at the workshop on tourism development.

Besides such famous relics of the resistance war as Tan Trao, Dinh Hoa, Pac Bo cave or Le Nin stream, the region also has the Ba Be lake which has made its name as one of the two largest natural fresh water lakes in the world, or the Dong Van Plateau, a global geological park.

Viet Bac is also home of ethnic minority groups with unique cultures.

Tuan urged local authorities to closely work in developing tourist products and making a joint tourism programme in order to attract more tourists.

The six provinces, namely Ha Giang, Bac Kan , Cao Bang, Thai Nguyen, Lang Son and Tuyen Quang, need to focus on sustainable tourism development in combined with natural preservation and local cultural promotion, he added.
At the workshop, tourism management agencies from the six provinces agreed on a joint action programme until 2015 which aims to develop joint tourist products, promote tourism connectivity in the zone and facilitate cooperation between their tourism companies.

In 2009, provinces in Viet Bac zone received more than 4.5 million tourists, including over 520,000 foreigners, earning 1.7 trillion VND, according to statistics.

The zone expects to over 4.6 million arrivals this year, including 539,000 foreigners, earning nearly 1.9 trillion VND./.