"No money, no photo" a bad image when traveling to Sapa
"No money, no photo," or, "no money, no talk" are common phrases that tourists hear from some beggars in Sapa, in the streets and alleys of Sapa. They also seem to be a put-off to potential travellers.
When the tourism industry has been growing quickly in server recent years, there have been some issues that potentially damage the prestige of the destination. "No money, no photo," and "no money, no talk" are common phrases that tourists hear from some beggars in Sapa, in the streets and alleys of Sapa. They also seem to be a put-off to potential travellers.
There has been an increasing number of children on the street selling trinkets or asking for handouts from foreign tourists. Even though the tourism industry has brought increased economic development to the region, the image of Sapa's wild beauty, at least in the eyes of many tourists, has become overshadowed by aggressive selling tactics, many of them carried out by children and erased the sense of friendliness and hospitality.It has long been a tradition for the minorities in the area to bring out their goods for sale in the town.
H'mong souvenirs attract visitors, but they are often overwhelmed by children asking for money for photos that the tourists have already taken. Often, if there is no exchange of money, a traveller may be made to feel obviously unwelcome. Many of these children are surprisingly fluent in English and other foreign languages, which they have not learned in schools, which are quite sparse in the area, but through interaction with foreigners.
The market adjacent from the town cathedral is a place where groups of tourist are often hoarded by people wanting to sell their wares. The other side One souvenir sales woman commented, "I'm selling these trinkets to earn enough money so that my two children don't have to do this." Another woman said, "We are only here to sell our products. We don't mean to be impolite at all." However the aggressiveness of the salesmanship has put many off.
Asked about local habits, Dr. Tran Huu Son, Director of Lao Cai Province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, admitted, “This a definite concern, and should be carefully addressed. On the other hand the benefits seen by the local people by the development of tourism is quite evident and is not something to be ignored. It is only right that the people of Sapa benefit from the tourist trade.
The challenge is to come up with reforms that keep up with that development." He added that, over the last 25 years, the benefits of tourism in the region were largely seen by people who were not ethnic minorities, adding that it has also been the cause of a larger divide between rich and poor. Long-term sight for tourism development Home-stay services development has initially brought benefits to people in Cat Cat, Ta Phin, Lao Chai, Ta Van, Ban Ho and Ban Den villages specifically.
According to Dr. Son, Vietnam should learn from experiences in tourism development from foreign countries. People in Sapa should not abandon agricultural work, he said, adding that the profits from tourism should be more equally distributed. He cited parts of Africa, where up to 70% of tourism revenue is shared. He gave a specific example of a tour where visitors was taken to Ta Phin by a tour guide.
They were offered locally-made brocades, but because the guide was not paid a commission they received ones made in China instead. He said that this is a good indication of how tourists interests should be kept a top priority when it comes to the industry's development.
The authority of Sapa District has put into place measures that would mitigate the bad impacts of tourism and urbanisation there, which could affect all tourism industry of the area. It is hoped that these measures will preserve the cultural integrity of the town itself.
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