Tourism programme goes through Viet Bac heritage sites hinh anh 1A performance of Thai Nguyen province at the opening ceremony of the programme (Source: VNA)
The seventh tourism programme “Through Viet Bac Heritage Sites” officially opened in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang on October 9.

The festival brings together six provinces in the Viet Bac region, including Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Bac Kan, Lang Son, Thai Nguyen and Cao Bang.

Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Le Khanh Hai praised the region’s natural beauties and its cultural and historical heritage sites, which have strong links to the country’s history.

He appreciated the success of the festival in boosting development cooperation and promoting tourism in the region after six times of organisation.

From October 7, many cultural and sport activities have been held within the framework of the programme, including an exhibition showcasing typical tourism products of the six participating localities, a photo display, and a Viet Bac cultural market.

Visitors also had chance to take part in folk games such as stick pushing, tug of war, crossbow shooting and Con throwing (throwing a cloth ball through a ring).

The highlight of the event was a raft racing on the Gam River in Bac Me district, Ha Giang province which encourages traditional values and introduces lake tourism services to travellers.

On October 10, a conference reviewing tourism cooperation of the six provinces over the past six years took place as part of the programme, also offering an opportunity for local authorities to design a strategy to promote tourism and socio-economic development in the region.

Deputy Director General of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Ngo Hoai Chung suggested the localities build sustainable development strategies with focus on addressing basic issues like environmental pollution, sanitation, and food safety.

They should choose their own tourism products to serve visitors, and better human resources working in this field, he added.

The localities were also urged to establish a group of tour guides who are the natives to provide information about local land, people, culture and heritage sites for tourists, he noted.

In 2014, these provinces welcomed over 6.5 million tourists, including 410,000 foreigners, earning a total of 4.5 trillion VND (202.5 million USD). By the end of last year, they boasted more than 1,100 accommodations for holidaymakers.-VNA