Tourism has been chosen to be developed as a key industry
In the WEF (World Economic Forum) report on 2017 tourism competitiveness index, Vietnam ranks 34th out of 136 countries in terms of tourism natural resources, 30th in cultural resources and 37th in human resources.
“These are pretty high rankings, but when combined with other factors, the overall competitive index for Vietnam is only the 67th position,” said Luong Hoai Nam, who has many years of experience in the aviation industry and is involved in Gotadi.com.
In 2011-2016, the number of domestic travelers increased from 30 million to 62 million, exceeding the target set for 2025 (58 million travelers). The number of foreign travelers increased from 6 million to 10 million, equal to the figure set for 2020.
During that time, the total revenue from travelers increased from VND130 trillion to VND400 trillion. The tourism revenue in 2016 increased by 26 times if compared with 2000. The tourism industry generated 2.8 million jobs (2015), accounting for 5.2 percent of total labor force.
|The tourism revenue in 2016 increased by 26 times if compared with 2000. The tourism industry generated 2.8 million jobs (2015), accounting for 5.2 percent of total labor force.|
Nevertheless, according to Nam, with 10 million foreign travelers, Vietnam is still lagging far behind other regional countries. 32.6 million foreign travelers came to Thailand in 2016, 26.8 million to Malaysia and 16.4 million to Singapore.
Cambodia, a country with a population of 15 million, one-sixth of Vietnam’s, received 5 million foreign travelers in 2016, half of the number of foreign travelers to Vietnam.
The modest achievements are blamed on the ‘bottlenecks’ which have existed for many years in policies related to tourism development.
The level of international openness in tourism (mainly visas) ranks 73rd; attention to tourism development ranks 101st; IT platform 80th; clean and safe environment 82nd; sustainable development 129th; business environment 68th; airport infrastructure 61st; ground traffic 71st; tourist service infrastructure 113rd; and safety and security for visitors 57th.
Nam suggested applying a number of solutions to develop tourism as a key industry.
One of his noteworthy ideas is the establishment of a ministry in charge of tourism development. Vietnam now has VNAT (Vietnam National Administration of Tourism), which is a department belonging to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
If this cannot be done, the VNAT should be put under the control of an economy-related ministry, such as the ministry of industry and trade.
Tourism has been chosen to be developed as a key industry. The targets which were previously set for 2030 have become the goals needed by 2020.