|Vietnamese tourists at Thailand's Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The demand for travelling abroad from Vietnamese people has been increasing in recent years. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Outbound tourism has become increasingly popular among Vietnamese, however, the tourism industry has been slow to embrace this new phenomenon.
Currently, the tourism industry has three main markets: inbound tourism (bringing international visitors to Việt Nam), outbound tourism (Vietnamese travelling abroad) and domestic tourism.
In countries with developed tourism industries, there is even growth in all three markets. However, in Việt Nam, outbound tourism has not been paid enough attention to and appreciated by the tourism industry.
That can be seen by the fact that the number of and revenue from foreign visitors and domestic tourists are announced while those of Vietnamese tourists abroad are not.
According to vice director of the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism, Hà Văn Siêu, in order to develop the tourism industry, we need to pay attention to both inbound and outbound tourism.
"Until now, in the Law on Tourism or in the action programmes of the tourism industry, we have only focused on receiving foreign visitors. This is because the more tourists come, the more they spend, the longer they stay, the better the tourism business will be," Siêu said.
However, developing outbound tourism is also important for tourism businesses as well as meeting increasing demand.
The important thing is that State management agencies need to have policies and regulations to organise travel abroad in a safe and healthy way and ensure the quality of travel services, Siêu said.
“This is a big issue we need to figure out to serve the needs of the people,” the vice director said.
Travelling is a regular need and a human right and tourism is said to be a "happy industry", bringing joy and happiness to people on each trip, according to the official.
According to Assoc., Dr. Phạm Hồng Long, head of Tourism Department of the Social Sciences and Humanities University, said that outbound tourism services proves that a country's economy is stable from the ground up. When people travel a lot, it proves that the country's economy is growing.
The high volume of outbound tourists contributes to stronger connections between countries, thereby opening up more investment co-operation opportunities. In fact, many people travel abroad in the form of business tourism and they bring with them greater investment opportunities.
"When people travel a lot, their knowledge and awareness also increase, helping society develop better," said Long.
Outbound tourism as a development strategy
After the pandemic is controlled, the number of Vietnamese travelling abroad has dramatically increased.
Along with package tours to Southeast and East Asian countries, Europe, America and the Middle East are also chosen by tourists as destinations, thereby showing that people's living standards are increasingly improving.
However, some travel companies say that facilitating Vietnamese travel abroad also carries some risks. There are companies hiding in the shadow of travel companies who send Vietnamese people abroad in the form of tourism but then these tourists stay to work illegally, which badly affects the reputation of Vietnamese travel companies.
According to experts, to make outbound tourism activities effective, there should be sanctions to strictly punish tourism profiteers who send workers abroad illegally. Firms must also strengthen the awareness of tourists to behave civilly and elegantly in public places so as to contribute to enhancing the image of Vietnamese people in the world.
Siêu said that many countries developed outbound tourism as a strategy to develop tourism industries.
"Currently, there is no specialised management programme on developing outbound tourism services. The benefits of outbound tourism have not been properly analysed. If we want to become a powerful tourism country, we must pay more attention to these services," said Siêu.
"Currently, we have 14 departments specialising in tourism. If the mindset of doing outbound tourism is to take care of people's needs to travel abroad, to provide information and to recommend safe travel programmes, outbound tourism will be effective," Siêu said.
The state management of tourism from central to local levels should focus more on the management of outbound tourism, he said.
"To develop sustainable tourism, it is necessary to continue to amend the law to enhance the role of outbound tourism so as to comprehensively develop the tourism industry," he added. — VNS