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Tourism forum to raise issues of concern

Released at: 10:59, 17/07/2017

Tourism forum to raise issues of concern

The Vietnam Private Sector Forum 2016 (Source: vietnambreakingnews.com)

Set for the end of this month, the second Vietnam Private Sector Forum 2017 will tackle matters key to developing tourism as well as agriculture and the digital economy.

by Quynh Nguyen

The second Vietnam Private Sector Forum (VPSF) is to take place in Hanoi at the end of July this year, chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and attended by leaders from the government, departments, international organizations, and business associations.

With the theme “From Central Resolution 5 to the Action Program of the Private Sector in Vietnam”, the session will focus on discussions and dialogue between the government and the private sector in three key national spheres: agriculture, tourism, and the digital economy.

To prepare for dialogue with the Prime Minister, the Tourism Team at VPSF has raised and discussed many important matters relating to developing the country’s tourism sector.

Mr. Nguyen Quoc Ky, CEO of Viettravel

It is important for the government to expand visa and tourism promotion requirements. If tourism is defined as a nascent economic sector, the government must invest appropriately in international research and development strategies, most importantly the visa policy.

Regarding the business environment, Vietnam is paying too much attention to ensuring security and safety and has neglected to create more favorable conditions for tourism enterprises to develop. At the same time, there is a lack of policies to protect the natural environment.

The absence of taxation, financial, and capital incentives for tourism businesses will result in small numbers of tourists. With six key markets to be promoted, the government needs to plan destinations that are suitable with these markets.

For example, planning is needed to encourage high-income groups to visit Phu Quoc Island and Con Dao Island. Policies for tourism development also need to be sustainable in the long term. For small businesses, it is necessary to apply information technology to compete with other enterprises.

Mr. Tran Trong Kien, Chairman of Thien Minh Group

There are now three priority issues for Vietnam’s tourism industry: promoting the country to key markets, visas, and environmentally-friendly tourism. The visa policy, if improved, would create a breakthrough for Vietnamese tourism.

Promoting and communicating clear messages for tourism remains a difficult task for Vietnam. The low number of return visitors is also a challenge.

During a trip to Thailand, I met a group of 16 young New Zealanders who wanted to go to Vietnam but had to return to Thailand because they thought Vietnam was visa-free. So they had a poor first impression of the country.

The visa policy is important. The government should consider increasing the number of visa-free countries and lengthening the visa period.

Mr. Hoang Nhan Chinh, Head of the Tourism Advisory Secretariat Board under VPSF

We have chosen to focus on markets to attract high-paying international visitors to Vietnam: Europe, North America, North Asia, Southeast Asia, China, Australia, and New Zealand. What the promotional activities will be and how tourism quality is improved are key.

Mr. Vu The Binh, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Tourism Association

Visa exemptions demonstrate Vietnam’s integration into the world in facilitating visitors to the country. Currently, Vietnam is among the most backwards tourism countries in the world because of visa issues. E-visas are only a tool for faster, easier travel, but are not a visa exemption.

The Vietnam Private Sector Forum is an initiative of the Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs’ Association and the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI), funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Australian Government.

The forum is a bridge between the government, public authorities, and the private sector for continuous and close consultation on public and private policy, based on the gathering and reflection of voices from enterprises. 

The forum this year is expected to see 1,000 delegates in attendance, including those from the government, ministries, departments, international organizations, and business associations, as well as economic experts and numerous CEOs from Vietnamese and foreign enterprises.

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