The meeting was aimed at providing a summary of cooperation activities to facilitate the development of responsible tourism by the EU-ESRT Programme in the 8 North Western Provinces (Dien Bien, Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Hoa Binh, Lai Chau, Son La and Phu Tho) in the period 2011 - 2015. It was also an opportunity for realizing challenges in the cooperation process and raising proposals to increase the cooperation effectiveness, heading towards upcoming activities.
The period 2011 - 2015 witnessed intensive cooperation activities of the EU-ESRT Programme in the 8 North Western Provinces, including establishment of the Destination Management Organization, development of the public-private partnership, support of tourism product development, promotion of regional destinations and training and capacity strengthening.
At the meeting, Le Van Tien - Head of the Technical Working Group summarized the cooperation of 8 provinces in 2015. With the support of the EU-ESRT Programme, the North Western Provinces have taken initiative of cooperation in many areas, most notably the formulation of policy and mechanism of regional tourism management and development, development of tourism products, tourism promotion and marketing, cooperation for regional tourism human resources development.
Reviewing the cooperation of 8 provinces in the last period, ESRT experts pointed out that the issues related to tourism product development, marketing and promotion, development of human and financial resources and destination management were considered as major challenges causing impact to the regional cooperation in the coming time.
It was also recommended to establish as soon as possible working groups in three areas: tourism product development, marketing and human resource development in two sub-regions (the Da River sub-region and Red River sub-region) with a mechanism of public-private partnership. Parallelly, it was also necessary to develop as soon as possible a mechanism for raising and operating the Tourism Operations Fund and to develop a roadmap for applying e-marketing and maintaining the official website of the 8 North Western Provinces.
At the meeting, Vu Quoc Tri, Director of ESRT Programme and Mary McKeon, ESRT Team Leader also handed over technical reports on Tourism Product Development in the two sub-regions to the leaders of 8 provincial Departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism.