Vietnam seeks ways to earn more from tourists

Vietnam should learn from the tourism industry of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore or China, says Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue. 

How do these countries persuade tourists to spend their last penny while foreign tourists do not return to Vietnam, Hue asked at a recent conference discussinga draft plan on tourism development to 2020.
According to the plan, by 2020 tourism would become a key economic industry of Vietnam. The industry will be able to compete with other countries and become a developed industry in the next 10 years.

In the next five years, Vietnam expects to attract 14-15 million visitors and have 600,000 hotel rooms. The industry will contribute about 9-10% of Vietnam’s GDP, with annual growth rate of 14-15%, and create 3.5 million jobs, including more than 1 million direct jobs.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said international visitors to Vietnam were most afraid of overpricing and being bothered by vendors, poor transport infrastructure and pollution.

Hue said Vietnam should learn from its neighbors like Thailand, Malaysia or Singapore. "The tourism industry needs to make a fresh start for a new era," he said.

Dang Viet Dung, Vice Chairman of Da Nang, pointed out a series of weaknesses of the local tourism industry: poor products, poor promotion activities and lack of connection in tourism development between localities.

Dung said tourism development must have the participation of the people and the whole society.
Privatising tourism activities is needed, but Nguyen Xuan Binh, Vice Chairman of Hai Phong city, worried about the waste of state money to organize festivals, which do not attract tourists.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said that the tourism industry must identify its products and reform promotion activities.

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue asked the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to renew the tourism development draft plan based on the following view: seeing tourism as an economic sector, not only a service sector; and obeying the principles and laws of the market. Tourism must make a profit andnot rely on State subsidies.

Hue also noted that the plan must emphasize the building of tourism centers and unique tourism products.

Pha Le / vietnamnet