Việt Nam has targeted turning tourism into the spearhead economic sector of the northwest region by 2030. — Photo vov.vn
HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam has targeted turning tourism into the spearhead economic sector of the northwest region by 2030, deputy head of the Northwest Steering Committee Hầu A Lềnh said yesterday.
At a conference on developing tourism into the leading economic sector of the region in the next 13 years, Lềnh said it was necessary for local authorities to pour large investment in tourism services, create jobs and reduce poverty for local residents.
Many delegates said that tourism development in the northwest was restricted and had not tapped its potential. Although ethnic minority culture was rich and unique, the region still faced difficulties such as poor socio-economic infrastructure and transport links.
They also mentioned a disturbing fact that in recent years, many tourist destinations in the region had faced environmental pollution due to littering. Overcharging and cheating visitors had affected the image of the region.
Vũ Thế Bình, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Tourism Association said that most important factor to develop tourism in the northwest was co-ordination.
He said locals seemed to stay out of tourism services as the benefits to them from tourism was limited, adding that community tourism was good for the region’s tourism, but had not been exploited effectively.
In addition, a shortage of skilled human resources for local tourism was an important issue. The region could not build a sustainable market due to this weakness, he added.
To improve regional tourism, Ngô Hoài Trung, deputy head of Vietnam Tourism Administration suggested six solutions, including improving people’s awareness on the importance of boosting tourism, improving the quality of tourism resources, increasing the quality of services, promoting the regional tourism potential, building tourism indicators suitable with the reality of regional tourism and ensuring sustainable development for tourism.
Lềnh of the Northwest Steering Committee said the committee would co-ordinate with localities to develop tourism development strategies and tourism products for each locality.
In addition, apart from improving transport infrastructure to tourist sites, it is necessary to strengthen environmental management and ensure security for visitors.
Many delegates suggested promoting regional tourism to attract more domestic and international tourists and encourage and support the development of natural and eco-friendly tourism such as ecotourism, village tourism and adventure tourism.
Lềnh said the committee would listen to the opinions of delegates and propose tourism development policies to the Government.
Quảng Ninh curbs ugly tourism
Quảng Ninh is determined to clean up its tourism environment and to strictly punish travel agencies involved in selling products to Chinese tourists at inflated prices, the provincial Party Secretary Nguyễn Văn Đọc has said.
A separate checkpoint of tour operators has been established in Móng Cái City and a regular task force has been set up at Tuần Châu International Cruise Ship Port to handle violations.
The move was made after local press reported the violations of some tour operators, who designed tours for Chinese people to shops for Chinese shoppers only with greatly inflated higher prices.
Phạm Thị Oanh, head of the city’s Culture and Information said that Chinese demand to visit Việt Nam through Móng Cái international border gate has strongly increased. In the first quarter of this year, the total number of tourists was estimated to be 523,550 people, an increase of 8.2 per cent compared to the same period of last year.
Thus, many travel companies launched low price tours, which took visitors to souvenir shops for Chinese people only. These shops would pay commissions to travel companies. Vietnamese people would be refused entry to the shops to keep them secret.
The turnover of these shops remained unknown so far, she said.
Nguyễn Văn Sơn, director of Thắng Lợi International Tourism Company said he supported agencies’ crackdown on the businesses as it would create healthy competition among businesses.
Between March 16 and April 1, as many as 15 Chinese-only shops, mostly selling rubber mattresses and bedding, were forced to cease operation. Of them, one shop was fined VNĐ400 million (US$17,850) for listing prices in foreign currency. – VNS