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Tourism promotion needs funding boost

Released at: 14:53, 02/08/2017

Tourism promotion needs funding boost

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Visitor numbers continue to rise but not enough is spent on promoting Vietnam's tourism sector, Vietnam Private Sector Forum hears.

by Quynh Nguyen

Vietnam welcomed 10 million international visitors last year, the largest number ever, but more spending on tourism promotion is needed, a team of tourism enterprises told the second Vietnam Private Sector Forum (VPSF) on July 31.

The promotion of tourism remains poor and lacks uniformity and inefficiency. Spending totals about $2 million each year, compared to $69 million in Malaysia, $80 million in Singapore, and $105 million in Thailand.

“Investment in promoting Vietnam’s tourism sector is among the lowest in the region, even lower than in Cambodia and Laos,” the team noted.

It proposes three issues for the Prime Minister to consider: reviewing and adjusting the overall strategy and master plan for Vietnam’s tourism development by 2020, introducing policies and plans to make tourism a spearhead economic sector with turnover of $35 billion by 2020, and creating a mechanism to provide support in capital and interest rates for tourism enterprises.

In response, Mr. Nguyen Van Tuan, General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said that Vietnam’s tourism sector is in the middle of an unprecedented period of high growth, and while growth potential is great there are many bottlenecks. In terms of funding for promoting the country’s image, Mr. Tuan said a tourism assistance fund is expected to be established by the end of this year and will have some VND400-500 billion ($17.6-$22 million) at its disposal.

He added that instances of bad behavior in the country’s tourism sector needs to be monitored by localities and that policies must change to match the potential for development.

International visitors increased sharply in July, to 1.036 million, up 9.2 per cent compared to June and 21 per cent year-on-year.

The figure for the first seven months was 7.243 million, up 28.8 per cent year-on-year. Most arrived by air and sea. Those from Asia stood at 5.36 million, up 33.4 per cent year-on-year.

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