Community-based tourism expected to help industry recovery
Vietnam has huge potential for community-based tourism development
Community-based tours are expected to become one of the first choices for visitors in the post-Covid-19 period
The community-based tourism sector pursues sustainable development while contributing to rural economic development and improving local inhabitants’ incomes. Investment in community-based tourism is growing not only in developing countries but also in many developed ones.
Community-based tourism in Vietnam has been developing rapidly, especially in the 2015-2020 period. According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), as of 2020, about 300 villages and hamlets were involved in community-based tourism, helping struggling mountainous, coastal and island regions improve people’s livelihoods and gradually catch up with developed localities.
Nguyen Anh Tuan, Director of the VNAT’s Institute for Tourism Development Research (ITDR) assessed that although Vietnam started developing community-based tourism later than many other countries, it has become one of the country’s leading, unique tourist offerings. The government has issued policies to help people and communities in disadvantaged localities participate in this business model and improve living standards.
The Covid-19 pandemic remains complicated and is expected to change tourism trends in the future, with visitors’ first choices expected to be safe and pandemic-free destinations such as uncrowded places in cities, and ecotourism, discovery and relaxation tourist attractions. According to Vu Nam, Deputy Director of the VNAT’s Tourism Market Department, the pandemic has been severely affecting tourism in general and community-based tourism in particular, and the government needs to have special policies and support for this type of tourism.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has issued an action program on tourism development in 2021-2025, which includes many proposals related to community-based tourism in remote, border and island areas. The ministry has proposed that the government facilitate timely implementation of financial support policies for communities and businesses, and assistance in job creation and human resources training for tourism workers.
The community-based tourist market is increasingly rich and diverse. In particular, Europe is emerging as a potential market, which should be promoted for community-based tourism destinations of Southeast Asian countries in general and Vietnam in particular. European visitors are expected to pay for long stays and have a high sense of responsibility when traveling.
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