Promoting tourism development in new situation
Tourists visiting Trang An scenic landscape complex in Ninh Binh Province. (Photo: Phuong Anh)
NDO – Implementing the Government’s Resolution No. 50/NQ-CP dated May 20, 2021 on the Action Programme to implement the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MoCST) has developed an action programme for tourism development during the 2021-2025 period.
The programme sets out the specific goals and tasks to create a high level of consensus in terms of the awareness and action of the whole tourism sector and related industries on the roadmap to turn tourism into a spearhead economic sector of the country.
During the 2016-2019 period, Vietnam witnessed the rapid growth of domestic tourism with record numbers in both international and domestic arrivals and total revenue. However, the smokeless industry then faced a precarious situation due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the general downturn in global tourism. About 90% of tourism businesses were forced to close and total revenue from tourists decreased by over 60%.
The above situation posed a problem for tourism’s sustainable development. The sector needs to identify specific and methodical steps to overcome difficulties while creating strong motivation for the restoration and breakthrough of tourism.
Regarding this, at a conference held by the MoCST to finalise the action programme for tourism development during 2021-2025 period, Minister Nguyen Van Hung affirmed it is necessary to change the mindset and approach to tourism to restructure the tourism market and acknowledge the importance of the domestic tourist market. How to take advantage and exploit the market of nearly 100 million people in the country is what the action programme examined, so that tourism industry can develop in a sustainable and balanced manner. In addition, the problem of quantity and quality also needs to be re-examined. The tourism sector should focus on increasing visitors to Vietnam as well as their contributions to the country’s economy instead of boosting solely the number of tourists.
On this basis, the action programme for tourism development during the 2021-2025 period sets out seven key tasks including: the review, evaluation and completion of policies on tourism development; the application of science-technology and digital technology into the tourism industry; investment in infrastructure serving tourism; the development of products and the management of service quality; support for businesses to restore and develop amidst the pandemic; the development of high-quality human resources; the enhancement of promotion activities and international cooperation. These tasks are to be solidified by 17 key projects and tasks.
According to the experts, the action programme provides fundamental solutions to help the tourism sector overcome its difficulties while creating long-term development momentum in the future. Of which, many contents have been considered to closely grasp the actual situation, solving immediate backlogs, such as: policies to support businesses and tourism workers to overcome difficulties caused by COVID-19 and associated with financial support measures, tax exemptions and reduction, preferential loans, debt rescheduling, debt freezing, job supports, proposals to reduce fees for procedures, the reduction of business deposits, and the digitisation and application of modern technologies to create a smart tourism ecosystem.
A representative from the Vietnam Tourism Association has also made proposals to promote tourism following the pandemic, focusing on the attraction of key target markets and the enhancement of promotion activities in these markets. In the immediate future, to make preparations for the application of “vaccine passports” to welcome international guests, it is crucial to increase the vaccination rate for those operating in the tourism sector. In addition, the relevant agencies and enterprises should pay much attention to stimulating tourism demand in this “new normal” situation. In the context of the COVID-19 epidemic, tourism stimulation must be understood in a new sense with the goal being the sustainable growth of visitors and price reduction while improving service quality and adding new types of services.
The Departments of Tourism and of Culture, Sports and Tourism in provinces and cities also noted several suggestions: specific guidance is needed on the establishment of tourism development funds in localities; amendment and supplementation of new regulations and detailed guidance on legal provisions related to investment and business activities in tourism sector is key; a balance of budget packages to support provinces to invest in their transport infrastructure especially in key economic regions is required.
Translated by NDO
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