The PATA Foundation / Capilano University initiatives build from a successful five-year (2002 – 2007) CIDA-funded community tourism training project completed in two villages of the Sapa region by Capilano University and Hanoi Open University. The projects help maintain critical momentum of capacity building in two remarkable communities – Ta Phin and Lao Chai – so that the benefits of increased tourist visitation are distributed widely in the villages and that the tourist experience is made positive for the visitor and host alike. Training areas will focus on:
- General tourism knowledge for all members of the community;
- Community tourism planning for local authorities and community stakeholders;
- Entrepreneurship for local youth and women;
- Business development, marketing, and network building for small business owners and entrepreneurs;
- Environmental stewardship for children, and;
- Homestay development for the Lao Chai Hmong community.
The expected outcomes of the project will be a wider range of tourism products and experiences in the villages while maintaining the cultural integrity of the community. These may include a wider array of artisan products, enhanced appreciation of value and quality control of village specific products, more and improved home-stay opportunities, enhanced quality and range of guiding services, spa and wellness products, improved quality and diversity of food and beverage services, and event and festival products. An emerging goal for the village of Taphin is the creation of a community house to showcase products and services and the positive spirit of the community to visitors from around the world.