Dien Bien tourism's aspiration to 'soar'

WVR - Dien Bien identifies tourism development as a long-term, system-wide task, with involvement encouraged from businesses and the local community.

Resolution No. 03-NQ/TU, issued on May 7, 2021, by the Dien Bien Provincial Party Committee, alongside the Dien Bien Province Plan for 2021-2030 with a vision towards 2050, states: The development of tourism as a key economic sector. The province has made it clear that “Developing tourism is a continuous, long-term task and the responsibility of the entire political system; encouraging businesses and local communities to participate in tourism development…”

Dien Bien tourism's aspiration to 'soar'
Stunning beauty of Dien Bien. (Photo: VGP)

Strategic vision in planning

With a clear stance, the Dien Bien Province Plan identifies tourism development as the responsibility of the entire political system, at all levels and sectors, under the tight leadership and direction of party committees; encouraging businesses and local communities to engage in tourism development. The province aims for sustainable tourism development, focusing on leveraging potential and advantages, preserving and promoting the historical and cultural values of ethnic groups, linking development with efficient natural resource management, environmental protection, proactive climate change adaptation, and ensuring national defense and security.

According to Mr. Tran Quoc Cuong, Member of the Party Central Committee, Secretary of the Dien Bien Provincial Party Committee, Dien Bien’s tourism will capitalize on its “latecomer” advantage to create distinctiveness, thereby enhancing its competitive capacity in the integration process with regional and national tourism. To realize this ambition, the province is determined to develop tourism professionally, with quality and efficiency; promoting the application of science, technology, and information technology in promotion and marketing, creating new tourism products; focusing on human resource development; and enhancing domestic and international cooperation. Additionally, the province aims to develop a comprehensive range of services, from budget to luxury tourism, serving domestic and international tourists, generating long-term and stable revenue, ensuring a harmonious benefit balance among the people, businesses, and the state.

With a strategic vision in planning, Dien Bien Province aims to develop tourism as a key economic sector based on three main pillars: historical-spiritual culture tourism; ecological, natural landscape exploration tourism; and wellness, recreational tourism. The province has set specific targets for each phase, such as: by 2025, welcoming over 1.45 million tourists, including 300,000 international visitors, with an average growth rate of 15% per year. The total tourism revenue in 2025 is expected to reach over 2.380 trillion VND, contributing about 10% to the province’s average GRDP, with an average tourist stay of 3 days.

By 2030, Dien Bien aims to attract over 2.65 million tourists, including 600,000 international visitors, with an average growth rate of 15% per year. The total tourism revenue by 2030 is expected to exceed 5,000 billion VND, with an average annual increase of over 14%. The average tourist stay is expected to reach 3.5 days, a 0.5-day increase compared to the 2021-2025 period. By 2050, Dien Bien aims to welcome over 7 million tourists, including over 1.2 million international visitors. The total tourism revenue is expected to reach 50,000 billion VND, contributing over 15% to the province’s average GRDP and directly and indirectly creating jobs for over 155,000 workers.

According to the Plan, Dien Bien will focus on attracting investment in several breakthrough tourism development projects such as: developing the Dien Bien Phu Battlefield National Special Historical Site into one of Vietnam’s most attractive cultural and historical tourism sites with international stature; the Dien Bien Phu - Pa Khoang National Tourism Area project aimed at becoming a national tourism area - an attractive destination that leverages ecological, landscape, cultural, and historical potential; the international Viet - Laos - China (A Pa Chai) tourism area, aiming to exploit the uniqueness of the “three-border landmark” to develop into an international tourism area with entertainment, sports, golf, conference, and seminar products; and the Uva - Ho Hong Sart hot spring tourism area with products like Thai-style Onsen, golf courses, Thai-style hotels, Thai ethnic ancestral temples, and sustainable agriculture.

Dien Bien tourism's aspiration to 'soar'
An overview of Dien Bien Phu. (Photo: VNA)

Ambition to “take off”

In 2023, Dien Bien Province welcomed 1 million tourists for the first time, an increase of nearly 25% compared to 2022; total tourism revenue is estimated at 1.750 trillion VND. Notably, at the end of 2023, the investment project to expand Dien Bien Airport was completed and became operational. The operation of large aircraft flights connecting Dien Bien with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s two major political and economic centers, has given the province a competitive edge over other Northwest provinces.

In 2024, Dien Bien is honored to host the National Tourism Year 2024. Mr. Le Thanh Do, Chairman of the Dien Bien Provincial People’s Committee, affirms that the event is of great significance to the mountainous province of Dien Bien. The activities of the Tourism Year will contribute

Dien Bien plans to attract investment into breakthrough projects to transform local tourism, developing historical sites, and natural tourist zones into internationally recognized destinations. They also aim to create cross-border tourist areas with unique attractions and sustainable agricultural models to promoting the province’s socio-economic development. It is an opportunity for the locality to actively call for and promote investment, with the expectation of comprehensive renewal and breakthrough in socio-economic development, continuing to improve the material and spiritual life of the people.

Especially after the announcement of the Dien Bien Province Plan for 2021 - 2030 with a vision to 2050, the province organized the national scientific seminar “Dien Bien: Leveraging Potential and Advantages for Sustainable Tourism Development,” co-chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha. At the seminar, managers, scientists, experts, and business leaders analyzed and assessed the province’s tourism potential, sharing valuable experiences, creative methods, and proposals to contribute to the sustainable development of Dien Bien’s tourism sector.

Dien Bien tourism's aspiration to 'soar'
Foreign tourists enjoy grinding corn with a stone mortar at the Hoa Ban Festival. (Photo: Dien Bien Phu newsapaper)

According to the Dien Bien Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, from February 8-18 (29th of the last lunar month to the 9th of the first lunar month of the Giap Thin year), the number of tourists in the province increased 3.8 times compared to the same period in 2023. During the Tet holiday in 2024, the province welcomed nearly 84,000 tourists. Total tourism revenue reached nearly 150 billion VND, a 3.84-fold increase compared to the same period in 2023. From March 13-18, during the opening activities of the National Tourism Year - Dien Bien and the 2024 Ban Flower Festival, the locality welcomed 80,300 tourists, with total tourism revenue reaching 140 billion VND. These are positive signs, creating confidence and motivation for Dien Bien’s tourism industry to achieve the goal of welcoming 1.3 million tourists in 2024, with total estimated revenue of about 2.200 trillion VND; the average tourist stay exceeding 3 days.

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha believes that developing tourism according to the newly approved Plan will highlight the hidden values and beauty of Dien Bien’s tourism. Implementing the Plan, Dien Bien needs specific directions to create distinctiveness from unique tourism products, seek and call for investors, plan investments in culture to create major attractions for local tourism, thus appearing on the world tourism map and becoming an attractive destination for both domestic and international tourists.

Furthermore, the province needs to quickly digitize and apply information technology to promote tourism, creating a new space for tourism development; strengthen links and cooperation with other localities to form a chain of destinations. In this, Dien Bien Phu must be the highlight to attract tourists to the Northwest region.

Secretary of the Dien Bien Provincial Party Committee Tran Quoc Cuong affirms that with a strategic vision, high spirit, and responsibility in tourism planning, a new era with many breakthrough development opportunities is promised. Mr. Tran Quoc Cuong is confident that with the potential, strengths, and unique advantages, combined with the determination of party committees and governments at all levels, along with the strength of the great national unity of ethnic groups in the area, Dien Bien’s tourism sector will firmly take off and reach far.

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