The expanded northwestern provinces, namely Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Hoa Binh, Son La, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Phu Tho and Ha Giang, earned a combined nearly VND23 trillion (US$989 million) from the tourism sector, up 26% year-on-year and exceeding the set target by 9%. According to the steering board for the tourism cooperation programme in eight expanded northwestern provinces, the localities focused on developing special tourism products and paid attention to tourism promotion through exhibitions and communication work. They sent delegations to the Vietnam-Northern Laos tourism promotion conference in the Lao province of Luang Prabang and carried out tourism cooperation activities in Laos’ northern provinces. In 2019, the board aims to step up tourism connectivity and promotion, as well as human resources development in service of the sector. Special attention will be paid to cooperation in tourism product development between the eight provinces by organising a photo contest, developing waterway tourism connecting Hoa Binh with Son La, Dien Bien and Lai Chau through Da River, and implementing cooperation documents signed with Laos’ northern provinces. They provinces will continue to participate in international travel fairs and promote northwestern culture in Hanoi, while organising training courses for tourism workers.