Building and operating tourist establishments following ASEAN standards

(TITC) – Lao Cai is the first province in the country to receive the ASEAN homestay award (for the group of home accommodation establishments for the Giay ethnic people in Ta Van commune, Sa Pa town and the group of home accommodation establishments for the Tay ethnic people in Ta Chai commune, Bac Ha district).

Ta Chai commune currently has 17 homestays, concentrated mainly in Na Lo and Na Kim villages. The homestays are all traditional stilt houses of the Tay people. At the homestay, experiential activities are regularly organised, giving visitors interesting discoveries about the customs and traditions of local people, such as cooking with family, baking, gardening, growing vegetables, fishing…


Besides, Ta Chai commune also preserves and develops its unique culture, rich in Tay ethnic identity. Every village has a traditional Xoe dance team. Every year, Xoe dance teams participate in performances for festivals organised by communes and districts. Xoe dance teams also perform for tourists at homestays, thereby preserving the traditional dance of the nation and people earning additional income.

In the first 6 months of 2023, accommodation establishments in Ta Chai welcomed more than 2 thousand visitor arrivals, an increase of more than 700 visitor arrivals compared to the same period in 2022.

​Mr. Dang Van Kien, Vice Chairman of Ta Chai Commune People’s Committee said, to build and operate the brand that won the ASEAN homestay cluster award, Ta Chai commune mobilised the political system to participate and mobilise people to preserve traditional stilt houses. Ta Chai commune encourages households that need to develop into accommodation facilities, embellish and remodel them to suit and meet the requirements of homestay services. Every year, the commune directs inspections of compliance with State regulations on tourism in villages and accommodation service establishments, creating confidence for tourists when coming to Ta Chai.

Within the framework of the Southeast Asia Tourism Forum – ATF 2023 in Indonesia, the homestay cluster in Nghia Do commune (Bao Yen) and Chi Spa under the Silk Path Grand Resort & Spa Sa Pa resort hotel are two units of Lao Cai were awarded the ASEAN Homestay Award and the ASEAN Spa Service Award, bringing the total number of ASEAN award-winning tourism units in Lao Cai to 4 establishments.

As one of two establishments receiving awards in 2023, to achieve the above results, Nghia Do commune especially focuses on propagating and promoting the potential of community tourism in the area. The commune has mobilised 28 households with suitable location, space, and facilities based on the criteria “Clean house, beautiful garden” to register to build homestays, and at the same time assigned members of the Party Executive Committee Commune ministries, officials and civil servants supervise and urge the housing renovation process, complete the criteria and select 5 pilot families in 4 villages with different locations. Along with that, the commune coordinated with the district Social Policy Bank to support households with loans to invest in homestay construction. To ensure consistency in operations and service quality, the homestay cluster also established an operating team to directly grasp information about tourist groups wishing to use homestay services in the commune. Team members are responsible for coordinating guests to homestays in the cluster, creating jobs and equal income for households.

In particular, the homestay cluster has established a culinary team, including members knowledgeable about traditional cuisine and skilled in processing and presenting dishes to serve the demands of tourists. The culinary team supports homestays when welcoming groups of 30 people or more.


All households have switched from purely agricultural activities to tourism, so their skills in service business are still limited and not professional. However, the locality has made great efforts and proposed specific solutions to operate the homestay cluster most effectively, said Mr. Luong Cao The, Vice Chairman of Nghia Do Commune People’s Committee.

Accordingly, Nghia Do commune has promoted propaganda and raised awareness and understanding of the role and benefits of homestay services to people; Organise a “beautiful homestay” contest, select homestays that meet standards according to the Vietnam Tourism Occupational Skills Standards (VTOS) and ASEAN standards as a model for other homestays; maintain Then singing clubs, groups, and village performance teams to diversify promotional activities and experiences for tourists.

From the models of Ta Chai and Nghia Do, it can be seen that the construction and operation of ASEAN award-winning facilities is essential for tourism development. Therefore, the Department of Tourism organised a workshop to disseminate and apply the common competency standards in ASEAN in the tourism industry.

Mr. Tran Son Binh, Deputy Director of the Provincial Department of Tourism said, from the experience of award-winning establishments, in the coming time, Lao Cai will continue to invest in facilities, techniques and support services to serve tourism development that meets ASEAN criteria, and at the same time multiply extended to other facilities.

Tourism Information Technology Center

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