Momentum for Tourism Development

3:54:34 PM | 5/12/2015

"Resolution 92 is of historical significance to the tourism sector and is a foundation for the sector to overcome difficulties and motivate breakthrough development in the future,” said Nguyen Van Tuan, General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
Many existing obstacles
According to experts and tour operators, compared with other countries in the region, visa procedures in Vietnam are complicated. Visa exemption is only applied to some countries, while it is applied widely in other countries. When tourists choose between two destinations, they will naturally prefer the one with easier or no visa or procedures when they go on holiday.
Another difficulty is transportation. Vietnam Airlines does not have many direct flight routes to major airports in the world. The establishment of direct flights will help travellers to reduce waiting time when they move between destinations.
Marketing fund for tourism in Vietnam is still limited. While Vietnam invests about US$1.5 million a year on marketing, countries like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia will use up to US$100 million. Besides, the professionalism in marketing activities is still low.
Furthermore, Vietnam’s tourism has not yet positioned its national brand for destinations like Thailand with Phuket, Pattaya, Bangkok and Chiang Mai; Cambodia with Angkor; and Egypt with the Pyramids. To enhance competitiveness, Vietnam should focus on investing in one or two representative destinations to introduce to the world like Ha Long Bay, Hoi An Ancient Town and Hue Royal City.
The perception of society and authorities in tourism remains limited. Tourism is a general economic sector with a high level of sector and local interconnections. Tourism development cannot be separated from the development of other industries. Tourism resources are abundant in many localities across the country but they are not tourist products without infrastructure, technical facilities and service systems. Besides, it is necessary to change the thinking about destination management and cooperation in tourism development.
Creating development momentums
The new context requires the tourism industry to identify and overcome shortcomings to find the way for tourism development. Resolution 92 is expected to be a driving force and synergic strength for the tourism sector to overcome existing problems, create a consensus at all levels, sectors and society to realise objectives set out in the Vietnam Tourism Development Strategy to 2020, with a vision to 2030, to tap the country’s potential.
Resolution 92 focuses on cross-sector macro issues and innovative solutions, and specifies responsibilities of ministries, branches and localities in the process of implementation. The resolution also proposes important solutions to raise social awareness in tourism development.
The resolution also identifies measures to enhance State support for tourism development. Remarkably, the Government agrees in principle to build the "Tourism Development Fund” based on socialisation sources, assigns relevant agencies to formulate schemes to submit to the Prime Minister in 2015, and develop preference mechanisms to attract investment, form some key national tourist destinations with international competitiveness to create motivations for tourism development. Local authorities are proposed applying special mechanisms on land, investments capital and strategic investor selection for tourism development in line with local conditions and characteristics.
The resolution also specifies measures to create favourable conditions to ensure security and safety in order to attract tourists and develop tourism, including waiving visa, streamlining visa procedures, opening more direct flight routes, expanding international tourism market, diversifying and improving tourism product quality and encouraging domestic market development.
It is necessary to review legal regulations on investment incentives for hotel, travelling, ecotourism and community tourism development and reduce taxes on land use and land rentals for hotel and services investment.
The resolution specifies more strengthened State management on tourism from central to local levels, including the early amendments to the Law on Tourism, consolidate and improve State management on local tourism; and raise State management on security and order in tourism sites.
Giang Tu