With the growth target of 15-17 million international visitors in 2018 that the government assigned the travel industry, it is an opportunity for every destination in the country.
According to SCMP, in the context of Vietnam’s tourism it is expected to grow 30% compared with the number of nearly 13 million times in the year 2017, the people of the poorest regions are also willing to engage in this race.
One of them is Zu, a Black H’mong woman coming from Ta Van village in the Northwest. Every day, Zu takes nearly 6 hours to walk to rice paddies.
Zu got married at the age of 16 and soon gave birth to a baby. Now 24 years old, Zu is the mother of two children. Zu often leads tourists trekking through the villages of the Dao, located near the town of Sa Pa. Potentially, Zu is a strong woman with an undauntable spirit of business starting as the rocky mountains where her family built the house.
Sapa viewed from above. Photo: Shutterstock.
I learned English from the visitors, mostly. It took me six months to communicate successfully, “Zu said as she led the group through a small bamboo forest off the edge of Ta Van village.
The new language helps her as a guide. “Before, I sold towels and bags as the other women in the village, but there were so many people doing it, so I did not make much money, I was tired of hiking, but this job is better for family, “Zu shared.
Sa Pa, a small town in the highlands, in Zu’s consciousness now appears as an unfinished construction site. There are often workmen in daily clothes screaming for each other to hold a piece of wood or pass around a few bricks. As seesaw game, they are playing on the extremely high scaffolding, which can be unloaded at least a year, opening up a new horizon with large hotels in brilliant light of neons.
Of the 500 lodgings with 6,000 rooms in Sa Pa town, there are about 154 homestays in Ta Van and other villages. In 2017, Lao Cai received over 3 million visitors. Provincial authorities predict that by 2020, only Sa Pa will welcome the same number of tourists.
With Zu, this opens up a great opportunity. “I sometimes go to town looking for work,” she said of herself as one of the women in the colorful embroidered H’Mong Den or Red Dao, being clinging to tourists around the square to offer to buy souvenirs or trekking.
On many occasions, Zu persuaded her guests to stay at her home for one or two nights, to earn extra in salary of guidance. But her house is cramped, crowded (including her husband, her parents –in- law), sometimes animals have strayed in.
Zu recognizes that her house is so unique to the foreigners “I’m saving money to build a nice homestay, with more modern rooms and facilities,” Zu said.
Vietnam tourism has been identified as a key economic sector by 2020. According to the Foreign Investment Department, Vietnam has attracted about $ 33.1 billion in foreign capital in 2017, growing more than 80% . Much of this capital flows into coastal provinces such as Da Nang or Nha Trang, with warm climate and stretching beach to create resort paradises.
A hawker offered tourists to buy sunglasses in Nha Trang. Photo: AFP.
If you drive along Danang beach, you can see the huge concrete blocks will soon turn into the resorts of the famous brands. For only Danang, foreign businesses have poured $ 3.6 billion into the beaches in 2017.
Go north, you will come to a world-famous wonder – Halong Bay. Among the hundreds of limestone islands and wooden boats floating around the bay are the green jungle on the largest island named Cat Ba.
At the northern tip of Cat Ba Island is the tourist streets. There are the rows of hotels, shops, restaurants along the beach with signboards such as “free Wifi”, “western food”, “golden time” … Among high rise buildings is a homestay with a new refurbished restaurant of Thang Pham.
In 2011, Thang graduated from the Tourism Department of Hai Phong University. After many years as a tour guide, he decided it was time to stop, put his energies and effort to the small homestay on his island.
According to Thang, tourism brings great benefits to Cat Ba, but the way people do travel business is not good. “We still have a lot of waste outside the bay, no waste disposal areas and talented people do not want to work on the island.” But I have lived and worked here for over seven years, I believe that Cat Ba is even better than Halong Bay” homestay’s boss said.
Thang knows that the island will change very quickly in the next few years, especially in the center of the town where his homestay is located, overlooking the beach’s cramped location.
A yacht floating between the limestone islands of Halong Bay. Photo: AFP.
Sharing to Zuzanna Kamusinski who is a reporter of SCMP, watching a promotional video released in April 2017. It lasts 5 minutes to introduce the plan of a cable car system crossing 21 km long beach line connecting Cat Hai town with Cat Ba. This huge project includes three golf yards, an amusement park and more items to explore the tourism potential of the surrounding areas.
Some parts of the island will lose their natural beauty, but many will come here, especially domestic visitors. Everyone will have more opportunities to do business, ” in unfinished words he had to go out to welcome guests. Homestay boss must always ensure a satisfying result for his guests with his service, due to constant competition. Thang’s efforts are shown through a series of five-star reviews of his homestay on various booking websites.
At 6 o’clock on the evening of Thursday, after taking the new guests to the room, Thang was busy in the kitchen to prepare dinner. Hundreds of miles to the northwest, Zu was cooking for the family after a long day of trekking
With both Thang and Zu, 2017 is a good year. As many other travelers in Vietnam, they are listening to the waves of the market to take the opportunity to sail to the sea. When the water rises, the boat will be sailed, 2018 will be the brightest and busiest year of the Vietnamese tourism industry.