The country’s tourism industry will focus on the much-loved resort town of Sa Pa and neighboring peaks.
National tourism officials held a ceremony in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai on Saturday to usher in tourism year 2017 under the slogan “Colors of the Northwest.”
Nguyen Van Binh, head of the Steering Committee for the Northwestern Region, said Lao Cai Province expects tourism “breakthroughs” this year.
Binh said the region should develop tourism products on par with its potential and fix problems such as poor hygiene and underdeveloped infrastructure.
The province is home to the much-loved resort town of Sa Pa and the 1,850-meter Ham Rong Peak, which gained fame in 2015 when the Huffington Post described it as one of the eight places in the world to watch the most beautiful sunsets.
Lao Cai received nearly 2.8 million visitors in 2016, including 750,000 foreigners. The province hopes to welcome four million this year.
Bordered by Laos and China, the mountains of northern Vietnam are well-known for their sensational scenery and culture, not just in Lao Cai but also in beloved places like Dong Van, Moc Chau and Mu Cang Chai.
The remote area was overlooked for a time, but has gradually become a rising star thanks to accolades from foreign sources like Rough Guides and TripAdvisor. The latter named Sa Pa one of 43 best vacation choices for 2017, based on user ratings.
Forbes magazine also recommended Vietnam’s northern mountains as one of 21 low-cost travel destinations for 2017, a place travelers can capture amazing shots of rice terraces, towering mountains, twisting roads and ethnic minority communities.