CALL FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST
Support to strengthening tourism destination management in Son La and Lao Cai provinces, northwest Vietnam
The Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) Program is a flagship initiative funded the Australian Government that seeks to support improved economic opportunities and social-economic development for ethnic minority women in Son La and Lao Cai provinces in northwest Vietnam.
Tourism represents a potentially significant sector through which to access economic benefits for ethnic minority women in the region as well as through which to enhance their opportunities for enhanced social and decision making opportunity and capability. The program works with a wide array of public, private and community stakeholders in an effort to stimulate lasting women’s economic empowerment through sustainable tourism sector development.
Building on the experience and lessons learned from Phase 1, GREAT Phase 2 is working with public, private and community partners to pilot and strengthen more cohesive and effective approaches to destination management in the northwest of Vietnam. The ambition of GREAT and its partners is to enhance sector stewardship in selected, high priority destinations; promote strategic investment by both public and private stakeholders; and stimulate the development of more inclusive and responsible tourism capable of providing resilient incomes and employment for ethnic minority women and communities in the northwest.
N.B. This initiative will also be informed by a planned Tourism Demand Survey that will seek to better understand consumer needs and trends and which will inform destination prioritisation, development and management priorities.
Working closely with tourism sector stakeholders, GREAT’s objective is to test, develop and operationalise more effective multi-stakeholder partnerships in destination management in Son La and Lao Cai. This is an ambitious agenda that warrants both a cohesive approach across both provinces and extensive facilitatory support to a diverse array of tourism sector stakeholders. Consequently, we are looking for a partner with both the expertise and experience to help coordinate this effort – bringing stakeholders together to conceptualise, design and test innovative and effective destination management approaches, coach key sector partners in their operationalisation, and adapt approaches and mechanisms on the basis of lessons learned in both provinces.
This intervention addresses critical yet challenges issues in the development of tourism in Son La and Lao Cai provinces. GREAT is, therefore, seeking Expressions of Interest from both qualified and innovative organizations to support the development of a program of interventions designed to build capacity for and support the delivery of improved destination management in Son La and Lao Cai provinces. The successful Offerer will work with GREAT and its key partners in Son La Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Lao Cai Department of Tourism in developing a high quality and value for money intervention design and subsequently supporting the implementation of that design.
Interventions will align with the approved Gender Responsive and Inclusive Tourism Strategy (attached, separately) and draft Theory of Change (ToC) for Destination Management Intervention (also attached, separately). The ToC may be further strengthened as part of the design process.
Interventions will encompass, but not necessarily be limited to, the following areas:
- Improved destination stewardship through strengthening the capacity, processes and mechanisms through which provincial and district stakeholders (public and private) establish dialogue and inform improved destination management policy formulation and decision making.
- Strategic investment by both public and private (businesses and communities) sector stakeholders in the development and promotion of quality destination products, services and opportunities; and
- Resilient destination development in the form of long-term planning and development of more inclusive (locally sourced) tourism supply chains and more responsible tourism models and ‘offers’ to support a more resilient tourism sector in northwest Vietnam.
Sustainability and scale are key objectives for the program. Interventions will prioritise efforts to institutionalising improved linkages, relationships, mechanisms, processes and systems between destination management stakeholders. The goal of the program will be to test and develop improved destination management models for replication by local stakeholders across both provinces.
TASK 1. Co-design of a destination management intervention in Son La and Lao Cai provinces.
Working closely with GREAT and its partners in Son La Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Lao Cai Department of Tourism, the Offeror will develop a detailed and costed project design for submission to GREAT’s Investment Committee for approval.
The design will elaborate a set of pilot activities in up to 4 Districts (to be selected according to tourism potential and local stakeholder commitment) with the aim of building more coordinated, strategic and forward looking tourism planning and development around priority destination assets. The design will identify and elaborate (multiple) relevant partnerships with public, private, community and service provider stakeholders whose collaboration will be critical to delivering improved and effective destination management. The design will detail and cost activities, outputs and outcomes for the intervention as a whole any individual partnerships within the intervention. The design will also include appropriate (adaptive) management, oversight and quality assurance mechanisms.
TASK 2. Project implementation facilitation and management
Once approved, the Destination Management intervention will be co-led by an expert team provided by the successful Offeror with the support of GREAT staff in Hanoi and provinces. In line with the draft Theory of Change, the goal of the intervention will be sustained, systemic change in the approach taken by tourism stakeholders toward high quality destination management in the target provinces.
The scope of activities under each component will be defined and agreed as part of the design process, but might be expected to include some or all of the following:
Improved destination stewardship
- Convening and building public-private relationships and dialogue
- Technical assistance to establishment of dialogue mechanisms and provincial and district levels
- Mobilising private tour operator and other stakeholder interest in key destination development
- Advocating for, and demonstrating, the value addition of collaborative destination planning and management
- Technical assistance for improved policy formulation and decision making
- Technical assistance to public and private stakeholders in identifying, assessing and developing investment plans for key destination assets
- Advice and technical assistance to the development of high quality, coordinated marketing and promotion planning and campaigns
- Supporting and guiding the lobbying of public and private stakeholders in order to mobilise increased investment in tourism
Resilient destination development
- Research and evidence building to support the business case for more responsible tourism strategies and the development of more inclusive supply chains in the tourism sector
- Technical assistance in identifying, developing and promoting more responsible tourism product development and branding
- Technical assistance in identifying, developing and promoting more inclusive supply chain integration into tourism product development and branding
Project and partnership management
- Ongoing operational management and administration of the intervention and partnerships within it, including partnership monitoring, management and adaptation, regular performance monitoring and reporting (to GREAT, PMUs and DFAT)
TASK 3. Learning and replication
Lesson learning from pilot activities will be critical both in informing the refinement of destination management model(s) and promoting successful approaches and models to a wider stakeholder audience within and beyond Son La and Lao Cai. This task will entail structured lesson learning, assimilation and sharing targeted at district, provincial and private sector partners in order to stimulate wider uptake and replication of successful models and tactics.
The scope of activities under this task might include:
- Model monitoring, lesson learning and exchange activities and events within and between participating districts and provinces
- Pro-active support to public and private partners in consolidating and scaling proven models and methods for improved destination management in other districts across Son La and Lao Cai
- Lesson harvesting and promotion to government and private sector stakeholders in the tourism sectors
The Intervention is expected to entail two phases – the first (piloting phase) over a 2-year period with a second (scale-up Phase) of a further 2-years subject to performance and lessons learned.
Instructions for Expression of Interest
Offerors should organize their EOIs as follows:
1. Cover Letter
The EOI cover letter should be signed by an authorized representative.
2. Expression of Interest
The EOI must be written in English or Vietnamese. There should be a maximum of 10 pages to include the following:
a. Firm Information
- Provide the name, address and firm contact
- Summary of firm/proposed expert capabilities and relevant past experience in tourism and destination management in particular. The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate the following expertise:
- Knowledge and understanding of tourism and tourism diversity in Son La and Lai Cai
- Experience of supporting public and private sector stakeholders in destination management in Vietnam
- Experience and networks with tourism operators working in Son La, Lao Cai and/or northwest Vietnam
- Experience of community-based tourism and linking community tourism businesses with wider tourism supply chains
- Experience of successful destination management partnerships in Vietnam and the region will be an advantage
b. Technical Approach
- Proposed implementation approach and methodology to include:
- Understanding of the overall assignment and approach to the destination management task, including any potential challenges and mitigating strategies
- Proposed methodology for stakeholder consultation and project design
- Proposed approach to stakeholder awareness raising, relationship building and partnership development
- Proposed core team and respective expertise to support the intervention
3. Financial Proposal
As part of the EOI we expect candidates to provide the following key financial estimates:
- Fee rates of proposed candidates
- Estimated Level of Effort (LoE) envisaged to complete all tasks
A detailed budget will be negotiated with the successful candidate on the basis of these parameters.
Interested organizations are invited to send EOIs to email@example.com later than 5 pm Hanoi time, 12 May 2023. Please indicate in the subject “Tourism destination management support”.
We are also open to questions until 5pm Hanoi time, 4 May 2023.
EOIs will be assessed as they are received. We thank all applicants, however, only those making the shortlist will be contacted.
Cowater is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people with a disability, and people from minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply. We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.
For more opportunities, please visit our website at https://equality.aus4vietnam.org/careers or facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Aus4EqualityGREAT/