|Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam speaks at the high-level tourism forum ‘Recovery and Development Solutions for Sustainable International Tourism’ held on Thursday on the sidelines of the 16th International Travel Expo HCM City. VNS Photo Thu Hằng
HCM CITY — Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam has ordered local authorities to accelerate the implementation of relief packages to support struggling labourers, and small and household businesses in the tourism industry.
Speaking at the tourism forum ‘Recovery and Development Solutions for Sustainable International Tourism’ held on Thursday, Đam said that domestic and foreign tourism in Việt Nam has seen a positive rebound since mid-March when the country fully opened international tourism.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism must review policies and mechanisms to put the tourism industry on a more sustainable path after two years of stagnation due to the global pandemic, Đam said.
The ministry needs to work with businesses and associations to propose breakthrough solutions to promote tourism as one of the nation's top economic activities, he said.
Tourism businesses also need to get involved in the training of human resources, he said.
The linkage between businesses, associations, local authorities and countries in the region on the basis of mutual benefit should be strengthened.
Development of green tourism and digital transformation are essential solutions to the sustainable development of the tourism industry, he said.
Zoritsa Urosevic, the World Tourism Organisation Executive Director, said, "Việt Nam is taking clear steps to accelerate the recovery of tourism.
“Through the Việt Nam tourism development strategy, the Government is committed to using new technology in tourism. It will also introduce new policies and mechanisms for finance, credit, and tax to support the recovery and development of our sector between now and 2030.
“The restart of domestic tourism across Việt Nam also brings hope for many people. Tourism can create jobs, support businesses and drive the economy forward. Looking further ahead, we have a chance to work together to shape a better tourism sector that leaves no one behind,” she said.
Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism of Cambodia, said, "The ASEAN Tourism Ministers, ASEAN Partners and the leaders of the World Tourism Organisation and the ASEAN Tourism Association should continue to strengthen human capital development, strive to implement existing cooperation frameworks and increase exchanges, promote digital literacy programs, and take advantage of digital connectivity innovations and industrial revolutions 4.0 for the development of smart, sustainable and environmentally friendly ASEAN tourism."
Nguyễn Mạnh Quyền, Deputy Chairman of Hà Nội City People’s Committee, said the reopening of tourism activities and welcoming international tourists under new normal conditions from mid-March created a driving force for the recovery and development of the tourism industry.
The lifting of restrictions on tourism activities, the implementation of policies to support travel businesses and destinations have promptly and effectively met tourism demands, especially domestic tourism during peak holidays.
However, international tourism activities in the capital city still face many bottlenecks, as well as limitations that need to be removed and overcome.
The number of international tourists in the first seven months of the year remained low, accounting for only 11.4 per cent of the same period in 2019, and the tourism revenue from international tourism activities has not been high.
The structure of international tourists still focuses on a few tourist markets such as South Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asian countries, while the number of tourists from key markets with high spending capacity such as the EU, US and Australia are still low.
Immigration policies differ among countries in the world and the political and social situation in some areas has led to a decrease in international visitors, he said.
Currently, there are still some difficulties and bottlenecks in policies related to electronic visa issuance (e-visa) and travel insurance for international tourists.
After a long time of the epidemic, many travel businesses are still not ready to promote the attraction of international tourists due to declining financial resources, and many accommodation establishments and destinations are still in the process of maintaining and upgrading facilities to serve tourists.
The campaigns and programmes of tourism promotion have not been organised and implemented professionally in key international tourist markets.
In order for international tourism to be truly sustainable, practical and effective, Hà Nội will focus on building and developing tourism products to meet the needs of international tourists.
He proposed the Government consider increasing the visa exemption period to Việt Nam from 15 days to 30 days, and firmly direct the improvement of the electronic visa process to facilitate international visitors’ registration and approval.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyễn Văn Hùng said Việt Nam’s destinations have been increasingly popular for MICE (meeting, incentive, convention, exhibition) tourism which is a key to putting international tourism in Việt Nam on a more sustainable path.
MICE tourism brings larger revenue but their demands and expectations might also be higher, he said.
In order to develop this type of tourism sustainably, localities and tourism businesses must have a methodical investment strategy in infrastructure and services.
In the first eight months of the year, Việt Nam welcomed more than 1.2 million international visitor arrivals and 79.8 million domestic visitor arrivals.
Tourism turnover was estimated at VNĐ356.6 trillion (US$15.1 billion) in the first eight months.
International Travel Expo
|Visitors at the 16th International Travel Expo HCM City (ITE HCMC) that opened on Thursday at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center in HCM City. VNS Photo Thu Hằng
The 16th International Travel Expo HCM City (ITE HCMC), the largest international tourism event in Southeast Asia, opened on Thursday at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center in HCM City.
The event attracted tens of thousands of international buyers and lots of travel agencies to exchange and discover new opportunities to develop the tourism industry in the post-pandemic period.
As many as 41 provinces and cities of Việt Nam and 1,500 delegates who are the representatives of management agencies, travel agencies, airlines, hotels, resorts, and brands as well as local and international sightseeing and entertainment destinations are participating at the three-day expo.
It also attracted more than 150 international buyers from the US, Australia, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Romania, Poland, Japan, South Korea, India, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Kuwait. —VNS