Sustainable development a key trend for tourism
Update: Apr 14, 2020
The recently-issued strategy for Vietnam’s tourism development to 2030 is expected to be a driving force for the industry in weathering the storm posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Cong Thuong (Industry & Trade) newspaper.  

A beach on Con Dao island, a tourist magnet in Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

Approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the strategy aims to develop tourism into a spearhead economic sector with sustainable development that creates momentum for other sectors.

Under the strategy, Vietnam is to become one of the top 30 countries in terms of tourism competitiveness by 2030. It hopes to attract at least 50 million foreign visitors and 160 million domestic travelers each year, earn 3.1-3.2 trillion VND (130-135 billion USD) in revenue, and post annual tourism growth of 11-12 percent over the next decade.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on multiple sectors, with tourism among the hardest-hit.

Some experts, however, believe the new strategy, which features clear targets and support policies, will be a driving force and provide the opportunity for Vietnam’s tourism industry to overcome the impacts of the outbreak.

The Cong Thuong newspaper said the directions towards tourism growth set out in the strategy match the current trend of sustainable development, as it specifies synchronous and drastic solutions, including improving awareness among people and businesses about ensuring visitors have a good impression of the country, developing tourism infrastructure and human resources, diversifying markets and products, boosting tourism promotions, and building brands.

Such solutions also focus on creating an optimal business environment, assisting small and medium-sized enterprises and households providing tourism services to acquire digital skills and access to financial sources, facilitating visa granting, developing large-scale and world-standard tourism complexes, and helping people engage in community-based tourism.

Foreign arrivals to Vietnam plunged 63.8 percent in March against February and 68.1 percent year-on-year. The first quarter total stood at around 3.7 million, down 18.1 percent from the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office.

Meanwhile, the World Tourism Organisation has projected that the number of foreign tourists globally will fall by 1-3 percent this year rather than grow 3-4 percent as forecast in January just prior to the outbreak./.