The workshop was held to collect recommendations from experts and business managers to help the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism complete a plan on tourism restructuring.
Nguyen Quoc Ky, Vietravel Director, said the restructuring needs a clear roadmap which identifies priority tasks, adding that it is also necessary to pinpoint the competitive strength and advantages of localities in order to design typical tourism products.
“It is a must to create new and special products designed for different segments of customers, focusing on those from high spending markets like Europe,” he said.
Ky pointed to the imbalance in the number of international tourists to Vietnam, with 55% coming from Northeast Asia and 16% from Southeast Asia, noting that Chinese holiday-makers account for one third of the total number of foreign vacationers to Vietnam.
Dr. Luong Hoai Nam, from the National Tourism Advisory Board, was of the view that the visa policy should be improved, including expanding the scope of tourism visa exemption and online visa issue while streamlining visa procedures.
Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said restructuring the tourism sector is one of the solutions to turn tourism into a spearhead economic sector as set forth in the Politburo’s Resolution No. 08-NQ/TW.
He stressed that tourism restructuring is necessary as tourism development has remained modest as compared with Vietnam’s potential, resources and expectations, adding that Vietnam has lagged behind many regional countries in this field.
According to Tuan, the country expects to meet the target of welcoming 13 million visitors as assigned by the Prime Minister this year.
In the year, the sector also served about 74 million domestic tourists and earned a total of VND515 trillion (roughly US$23 billion), contributing 6.96% to the country’s GDP.