Standing Vice Chairman of the committee Hau A Lenh said the meeting was a chance for local officials to seek advice from tourism experts and pinpoint obstacles in tourism development so as to mobilise resources, especially from private sector, to foster the growth of tourism, thereby helping to eliminate poverty, tap into local advantages, and turn tourism into a spearhead economic sector in the northwest by 2030.
Participants, including officials of ministries, central agencies and north-western provinces, said there remain a number of shortcomings in the northwest’s tourism sector, despite the region’s great potential.
They admitted many local officials are not aware of the role of tourism in socio-economic development. Meanwhile, underdeveloped infrastructure and tourism services have hampered tourists’ access to local destinations. Another lingering problem is the shortage of quality manpower in the industry.
Experts in the tourism industry also expressed concern about worsening pollution at many places of interest.
Participants underlined the role of the Steering Committee of the Northwest in connecting regional provinces’ tourism activities to ensure the consistency in the tourism market and product quality. It should coordinate the making of tourism development strategies so as to avoid overlapping products.
Apart from the continued improvement of transport infrastructure, drastic moves must be made to protect the environment and ensure security and safety for tourists. It is also necessary to provide high-end and modern tourism products, especially those relating to the region’s strengths such as natural landscapes.
Participants asked for stronger tourism promotion and support for environmentally friendly types of tourism such as eco-tourism, rural tourism and adventure tourism.
The northwestern region, consisting of 12 provinces and 21 western districts of central Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces, is the main focus of the National Tourism Year 2017.