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Dinh Vu


Last updated: Monday, July 16, 2018


Vietnam Tourism: More Diversified Products Needed

Posted: Friday, September 08, 2017

Blessed with beautiful natural landscapes, diverse ecosystems and a rich cultural history, Vietnam has favourable conditions for tourism development. With a stunning growth in recent years, this is considered the best chance for the tourism industry to rise to a new plane.

Great potential but low competitiveness
According to data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), international tourist arrivals to Vietnam in August 2017 were estimated at 1,229,163, representing a month-on-month growth of 18.5 per cent and a year-on-year growth of 35.1 per cent. In the first eight months of 2017, Vietnam saw 8,472,379 international tourist arrivals, up 29.7 per cent from a year earlier. Needless to say, Vietnam's tourism industry has made great strides, narrowed the gap with other countries in the region and contributed considerably to the national economy. However, the tourism sector still has a lot of shortcomings while its achievements do not really match actual potential due to low competitiveness.

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF)'s 2017 Report, Vietnam ranked 67th out of 136 countries in the "global tourism competitiveness" category. Specifically, Vietnam is currently behind some regional countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. Therefore, raising tourism competitiveness is extremely urgent now.

Mr Nguyen Anh Tuan, Director of the Institute for Tourism Development Research, emphasised that "Admist strong tourism industry development in many other countries and Vietnam's tourism sector receiving the attention and expectations of society, it is urgent to raise national, sectoral, corporate competitiveness in order not to be left behind its rivals in the region, especially those in Southeast Asia."

Clearly, Vietnam has many advantages for tourism development such as natural landscapes, cultural history and hospitable people but they are yet to be tapped fully. Moreover, asynchronous auxiliary systems such as hotels and transport means are constraints to tourism development. However, to enhance competitiveness, the most important factor is tourism product quality. Therefore, the quality and diversity of tourism products is very necessary to persuade visitors to come back.

Diversification of tourism products
Park Ji Won, a South Korean tourist, joyfully said, "This is my first visit to Vietnam. The sea is really beautiful here. I like to cruise and see Halong Bay of your country. On a catalogue, I saw Sa Pa, and I will definitely be there with my friends next time."

Mother Nature endows Vietnam with beautiful natural scenery, rich ecosystems, places of interest recognised as world natural heritages by the UNESCO such as Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, and particularly Ha Long Bay – the natural wonder of the world very well-known to many international visitors. In addition, our country has a thick culture and long history shaped throughout the history of national construction and defence. Typically world-renowned cultural heritages like Hue Imperial Citadel, Hoi An Ancient Town, My Son Sanctuary, Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Ho Dynasty Citadel and many intangible cultural heritages such as Hue Court Music, Cultural Space of Gong in the Central Highland, Quan Ho singing and tru singing were recognised by UNESCO. This is a favourable condition for the development, enhancement and diversification of tourism products.

Tourism products need to meet a wide range of demands and promote local strengths, identity and appeals like historical tourism, festival, cultural spirituality, sightseeing, natural tourism, sea tourism, countryside tourism, adventure tourism, cottage industry village sightseeing and MICE.

Specially, marine tourism, cultural festival tourism and leisure tourism are highly prospective and suitable for high-income, retired visitors who want to arrive in Vietnam to enjoy a cool, fresh climate with a long leisure trip. Moreover, tour products also need a variety of prices to afford more.

Mr Pham Tien Dung, General Secretary UNESCO Hanoi Travel Club and Director of Goldentour, said, “Foreign visitors to Vietnam enjoy experiencing and do not hesitate to spend. Therefore, in addition to tour product development, it is necessary to develop souvenirs, handicraft, specialties and unique items carrying humanistic and historical values to satisfy their interests. On the other hand, we also need to build and develop unique tourism products in places of interest at sea, border zone, ecological zones and resorts with different scales and prices for them.”

Moreover, it is necessary to diversify cooperation in creating tourism products and supporting localities to develop tourism.

To further boost up Vietnam's tourism development in the coming time, it is important to improve the quality and diversity of tourism products. To do so, it is necessary to have close cooperation among tourism authorities, researchers, localities and tour operators to offer distinctive tourism products and attract and satisfy visitors when they come to Vietnam.

Giang Tu

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