Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved a significant investment plan for the northern mountain town of Sa Pa, one Vietnam’s major tourist attractions.
Located on an altitude of 1,600 meters, Sa Pa is set to become a world-class resort town , according to the government website.
The new "Sa Pa Tourism Area" will divide the town and the surrounding area into nine sections.
At present, the a total area of 363 hectares (897 acres) has a population of roughly 13,000 people.
The planned sections will include a new urban area, a resort area, the Ham Rong Mountains, an agritourism area, an ecotourism area, O Quy Ho Urban Area, an agricultural area, forests and Hoang Lien National Park.
Sa Pa sits 38 kilometers (24 miles) from Lao Cai Town and 333 km (208 miles) from Hanoi. It is located on the Hoang Lien Son range which includes Indochina’s highest peak, Fansipan.
The northwest town attracted 800,000 tourists in the first half of this year, a 25 percent increase over last year. More than 1.26 million tourists visited Sa Pa last year generating more than VND2.5 trillion (US$118 million) in revenue.
In related news, Prime Minister Dung approved a plan on Friday to preserve the “special national relic” that sits as a monument to the Yen The Insurrection in the northern province of Bac Giang.
The plan covers four districts and 23 relics which commemorate the 25-year-long revolt led by De Tham that broke out in 1887 against the French colonial government and the Nguyen Dynasty.