Professionalization improves competitiveness for Vietnam’s tourism sector
In the last nine months, approximately 9.5 million international visitors have visited Vietnam, 28% more than last year. In September alone, the number of international visitors to Vietnam was 1 million people, bringing Vietnam’s tourism a revenue of US$16.5 billion .
Following successful tourism promotion programs in key markets, Vietnam expects to realize its target of a 30% increase in foreign arrivals in the near future.
The rise in the number of international visitors from July to September reflects Vietnam’s attraction.
Nguyen Van Tuan, Director General of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said that the number of international visitors will continue to increase till the end of the year but more should be done to compete with other regional markets.
“Vietnam’s tourism has grown but not sustainably. Although it has enjoyed a relatively high growth, its competitiveness has not improved much.
According to the World Economic Forum, between 2015 and 2017 Vietnam’s tourism competitiveness remained in the middle level, ranking 67th among 136 economies though it improved 8 places. Challenges remain. They include poor tourism infrastructure, weak government spending on tourism, and more restrictive visa requirements than other members of ASEAN,” Tuan noted.
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Tourism experts say that to increase its tourism competitiveness, Vietnam needs to professionalize all jobs, not just the ones under the sector’s control.
Truong Thi Hong Hanh, Deputy Director of Da Nang’s Tourism Department, said “We need to improve professionalism in all areas, from vendors and cyclo drivers who are the first people to serve tourists, to state agencies. The hospitality sector at all levels needs to work closely with security forces at the airport and other relevant forces to create comprehensive effects.”
Vietnam needs to focus more on advertising and promotional programs, more open visa requirements, and a safer environment.
Tran Trong Kien, President of the Thiên Minh Group said, “The tourism sector should set up a council to promote Vietnamese tourism following an international model that mobilizes private and state companies to jointly develop different approaches to different markets.
Our markets should be segmented so each can offer targeted products. In addition, we should find the most effective channels to advertise our tourism products. Our group will prioritize digital channels to access the greatest number of customers at the lowest possible cost.”
Localities have improved their environment to attract more visitors. Tourism products have been diversified to include the exploration of culture and history and the organization of conferences, seminars, and other large-scale events.