Started to implement in the year 2008, with the help of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Lao Cai province has been building the project "for a sustainable tourism" in Sapa district. The purpose of the project is to train and to raise the awareness of the community, particularly the ethnic minorities of Sapa, about tourism business. After four years of implementation, the project "For a sustainable tourism" is really a tourism development that fit the conditions of the Sapa highlands.
The project has been firstly deployed in Cat Cat and Sin Chai villages, San Sa Ho ward with the participation of 4 households. The households are instructed how to organize the reception, to arrange the accommodation for tourists, to let tourists explore the customs, join the labor activities of local people. The households are supported for training in communication skills, in housing sanitary and in the establishment of art performance teams, ready to perform for guests in need. Besides, the project also encourages households in the village to conserve and develop of some industries, traditional crafts, such as weaving, embroidery and brocade garments, forging, casting and the other productions of handicraft. In a short time, the number of tourists, especially foreign tourists has increased quickly. Homestay system has been well developed in Ta Van commune, initial with three households, there have now been over 30 ones.
After four years of implementation, so far, forms of community tourism in Lao Cai has expanded to 13 communes in the district of Sapa and Bac Ha with 120 accommodation establishments, boarding. At these localities, people invested in the construction of new accommodation facilities, a number of major renovation or household use his floor accommodation with the average area 100 m2/ho, ensuring the service from 15 - 30 guests. Received the support of the project "Support for sustainable tourism", 31 households Ban Ho (Sapa) have been improved, investment in facilities to meet the demand for food, the guest's stay. Community tourism has helped many households in Ban Ho income each year from 40 - 50 million. According to the IUCN, more than 70% of international tourists to Sapa needs to the villages of the ethnic minorities. It shows that community-based tourism development is actually a lot of potential.
However, community-based tourism activities are also certain restrictions, such as not extend the length of stay of visitors, due to the paucity of content, form and the lack of unique tourism products. To enrich the tourist product and avoid invasive in terms of cultural, trade, Sapa and Bac Ha is directing the social, professional bodies promoting propaganda for the people to continue to conserve, reconstruction of the traditional cultural beauty. Besides, the increased movement of people to protect the ecological environment, natural landscape to sustainable tourism development.