Sapa deserted in tourist season
Sapa Vietnam, a famous tourist site in northern Vietnam, has never been so quiet as these days, though it is the tourist season.
An employee of a local travel company said since the recent floods, few tourists have gone to Sapa. The Lao Cai Tourism Information Centre has had to cancel shows on Saturday evenings.
At Silver Waterfall, we saw few foreign tourists. Nguyen Van Duc, a sightseeing ticket seller, said he had sold only seven tickets from the morning to noon on August 16. Ham Rong, another tourist attraction in Sapa, welcomed only 30 tourists that day.
Nguyen Thanh Dat, a receptionist at the 3-star Victoria Sapa Hotel, said his hotel lost around 50-60% of guests compared to the period before the historic flood on August 9. However, Dat was very optimistic, saying that Sapa would be crowded again in late August.
Le Duc Luan, Deputy Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Lao Cai province, said the tourism sector didn’t timely inform the media of the resumption of tourism services in Lao Cai in general and Sapa in particular when transport was resumed on August 14.
Luan said foreign visitors are worried about personal security while local tourists are afraid of post-natural calamity consequences.
“Next week Sapa will surely be crowded again, especially at the weekend and National Day holiday,” Luan said.
Sapa is a favourite destination of European tourists for its beautiful landscapes and the unique cultural identities of ethnic minority groups living there.
(Source: VNS, URL:http://english.vietnamnet.vn/travel/2008/08/799262/)
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