In a bid to revive tourism growth, the People’s Committee of Lao Cai province has announced a stimulus package themed “Sapa Summer 2020.” Under this programme, visitors will enjoy discounts of up to 60 percent off ticket prices, accommodation and services. All participants have committed to maintaining the quality of services.

This large-scale tourism stimulus programme is expected to help the local tourism industry resume after a period of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With this stimulus programme, Lao Cai province aims at attracting around 2.5 million tourist arrivals, including 300,000 foreigners in 2020.

The province plans to activate the Lao Cai tourism stimulus program “Sapa Summer 2020” with the participation of 82 travel and tourism service units in the locality.

The package is comprehensive, with a wide range of promotions, incentives, discounts from 10 percent to 60 percent on tickets to tourist attractions, travel services, accommodation and dining service of the highest quality. 100 percent of participants in the stimulus package pledged not to change their service quality within the programme.

Focused areas under the province’s tourism stimulus package is Sapa National Tourism Site, Lao Cai city and Bac Ha district.

Lao Cai province also plans to organise several intriguing activities in the remaining months of 2020 to attract tourists, including Sapa Rose and Wine Festival 2020, Traditional Bac Ha Horse Race, Bac Ha Plum Festival, Bac Ha White Plateau Festival, Vietnam Mountain Marathon in Sapa, Quintessence of Lao Cai Festival in Lao Cai city and Y Ty Autumn Festival in Bat Xat district.

According to Nguyen Thanh Tung, a representative of Interbuslines travel agent, following the Government’s approval on resuming the operation of tourist sites and the programme ‘Vietnamese people travel in Vietnam” by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the company introduced many promotional campaigns, including giving out ‘zero’ price one-way travel ticket to tourists from Hanoi to Sapa from April 28 to the end of May.

The company plans to continue giving out more 1,000 zero price one-way travel tickets and a voucher to any tourists using Interbuslines’ services. Still, the company strives to protect visitors’ health by presenting face masks to travellers.

Lao Cai province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism have maintained a weekly report mechanism with local tourism firms and organisations, through which they gather recommendations and requests of the firms and organisations to submit to the provincial People’s Committee for tackling their issues.

The Department has actively informed local travel firms on the latest information and guidelines from the Prime Minister and the provincial People’s Committee to ensure rights and benefits of the firms and their labourers.

The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Lao Cai province has devised a proposal on reducing fees imposed on those affected by COVID-19. The proposal has been submitted to the local Department of Finance so the Department could include it in a report sending to Lao Cai provincial People’s Committee.

The Sapa tourism market has been mostly suspended due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The number of visitors to Sapa dropped by 50 percent in March and 100 percent in April.

Nguyen Dinh Dung, Deputy Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Lao Cai province said small-sized tourism firms and accommodations are among the most vulnerable subjects during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most travel firms in Lao Cai province are small enterprises. The number of tourism firms to be dissolved by the end of 2020 is projected to account for more than 30% of tourism firms in Lao Cai province./.