Tapping Son La Tourism Potential

2:44:32 PM | 3/12/2014

With its huge advantages, the tourism sector of Son La province is defined as a key economic sector. Currently, the province is building plans and resolutions to unlock local tourism advantages. Two major conferences scheduled to take place in December will help businesses better understand tourism potential and investment opportunities in Son La.
To learn about the tourism potential of Son La province, Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Tran Bao Quyen, Deputy Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Son La province. Thu Huyen reports.
What are Son La province’s plans to develop this tourism potential, especially Moc Chau will be recognised as a national relic?
The Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People's Committee of Son La defined that Son La province in general and Moc Chau in particular had a lot of famous places for tourism development. Therefore, in 2013 the Standing Committee of the Son La Provincial Party Committee issued Resolution 19 on tourism development to 2020, with a vision to 2030, and assigned the Provincial People's Committee to build action programmes to enforce the Resolution 19.
In 2014, the Son La Provincial People's Committee designated the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to work out two plans: Adjusting the Son La tourism master planning to 2020, with a vision to 2030, and making Son La hydropower reservoir planning. To implement the direction of the Prime Minister, Son La province worked with the Planning Institute under the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) to build the Moc Chau national tourism site plan to submit to the Prime Minister for approval. According to the plan, a ceremony will be held in early December 2014 to announce the Moc Chau national relic. After completing the above content, the Provincial People's Committee assigned the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to cooperate with the Management Board of Moc Chau Tourism Site to build investment attraction plans for Moc Chau and Van Ho areas. Currently, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Department of Planning and Investment have worked with the Asian Development bank (ADB) on this issue.
To unlock the potential of Son La in relation with the Northwest region, how will Son La boost its strengths to avoid similarities with others?
Son La has the potential for nature tourism development in Moc Chau and Son La Hydropower Reservoir and has the potential for cultural development with 12 ethnic groups carrying distinctive identities. These are major strengths that mountainous provinces usually utilise to develop tourism. Besides, Son La has some well-branded tourism products like Moc Chau milk or Shan Tuyet tea. The province also built four community-based tourism villages where tourists will find rudimentary products used daily by local people.
To promote its existing potential, how will Son La overcome its difficulties in building tourism products and facilitating more tourism investors to go to Son La?
Human resources of the Son La tourism sector are currently insufficient. Apart from the two plans and the decision of the Prime Minister, the most important thing that Son La province must do is to tap its potential. For this reason, the upcoming two conferences - Conference on Investment Promotion to Northern Provinces and Dialogue between Son La and Enterprises - will help businesses understand more about tourism potential and investment opportunities in the province.
When Moc Chau is recognised as a national relic, the province will have certain mechanisms for businesses to invest in Moc Chau, develop infrastructure and develop tourism.