The PATA Foundation has supported a Community Tourism Training Project in the remote communities of Taphin and Lao Chai near Sapa in Northern Vietnam since 2009. The recent fund has allowed the project to continue its work in Lao Chai focused on an exit strategy underpinned by a programme of activities that will foster critical partnerships between the community and tour operators.
Over the last 8 months the project has competed three training trips to the village of Lao Chai, facilitated the continued development of a tourism network centered on Lao Chai village, as well as produced and launched three new videos that share the work of the project and cultural assets of the Black Hmong.
Presently there are 15 new homestays in various stages of development in Lao Chai whose creation are directly related to the project. Eight homestays are in current operation in Lao Chai and are receiving some sort of regular visitation.
CBT Vietnam continues to share the successes of the project and the stories from the village through film and social media. Three new videos have been produced and launched contributing to the over 50,000 views on the project’s YouTube channel. In addition, the films have been played in 16 international film festivals in 12 countries, earning 6 major awards.
Lao Chai’s capacity to welcome visitors and build business partnerships continues to develop. The small tourism business entrepreneurs that are emerging from the village continue to demonstrate their knowledge of tourism and product development, and are eager to show their culture and community to visitors.