In March, the CBT Vietnam team facilitated a Stakeholder Workshop in Sapa (Lao Cai, Vietnam). The Stakeholder Workshop saw members from the Taphin community join with private sector tourism companies and tour guides, as well as local government. The goals of the workshop were to:

  • Review the activities and outcomes of the current project;
  • Evaluate the successes of the last two years and identify what are ongoing; challenges;
  • Enhance partnerships between tour companies and village businesses;
  • And, to determine priorities for strong tourism conditions as we move forward.

The workshop that lasted just over a half-day was held at Sapa’s Tourism Information Centre. The Taphin community was well represented with new and experienced homestay owners, local Sapa tour guides, and past street vendours. From private sector, Buffalo ToursSisters’ Tours, and Footprint Vietnam Travel from Hanoi, as well as tour operators from the Sapa region (Cat Cat View hotel, Pinocchio hotel, Duc Minh, and Hoang Anh) participated in the dialogue. Sapa O’Chau and Vietnam’sResponsible Travel Club rounded out the stakeholder groups representing local tourism NGOs. Sapa Sport, Trade and Tourism, Sapa Tourism Information Centre, and local government was also in attendance.

Among the results of the workshop was healthy dialogue about how to cultivate community / private sector cooperation and forming positive working partnerships. Everyone had the opportunity to voice their opinion on how to move forward towards creating better community based tourism in Taphin village and the Sapa region.

At the end of the meeting, all the participants signed a Letter of Intent symbolic of their commitment to working together. The declaration between the village members of Taphin and non-village tourism operators is step towards fostering mutually beneficial business partnerships that provide visitors to the village with quality, authentic experiences.

The tourism training project has been going on for two years. Capilano University has been facilitating tourism training in the area for nearly a decade. The Canadian university, in partnership with the PATA Foundation, believe that this is the best way forward in creating a more sustainable form of tourism development in the Sapa villages.

Source: CBTVietnam