Eight Tay Bac (northwestern mountainous) provinces enjoyed a year-on-year rise of 11.8% in the number of visitors in 2016 thanks to their close cooperation in tourism promotion. Last year, the localities, comprising Phu Tho, Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Son La, Yen Bai, Ha Giang and Hoa Binh, welcomed nearly 18 million visitors, including 1.2 million foreigners. At a conference held in Phu Tho on January 9 to review the localities’ tourism partnership in 2016, participants noted that the affiliation showed good results in terms of policies, expansion of products, promotion and development of human resources for the tourism sector. However, they held that in the coming time, the localities should organise more regular exchanges to boost tourism towards exploiting their similarities and promote each locality’s unique. They sought measures to further diversify tourism products and develop strong products of each locality, while stressing the need for higher quality human resources for the sector as more than 60 employees in the regional tourism are untrained. In 2017, the eight localities will work closely to implement the Visit Viet Nam Year – Tay Bac-Lao Cai 2017, while holding a Tay Bac tourism fair and join international events. They will also focus on building a waterway tour on the Da River. On the occasion, the culture departments, tourism promotion centres and travel associations of the eight localities signed a cooperation programme for 2017.