|International cruise ship Mein Schiff 5 with 2,370 tourists docked at SP-PSA port in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province__Photo: VNA|
The Government’s Resolution No. 82/NQ-CP on tourism promotion and the National Assembly’s (NA) visa policy issued recently are a boost for the tourism industry to recover and develop. Vu The Binh, president of the Vietnam Tourism Association talks about the accelerated plans for the coming time.
Now that Government Resolution No. 82 and the NA’s new visa policy have been released, what does the Tourism Association plan to do in the coming time?
The Government’s resolution is very meaningful to the tourism sector. Like other economic sectors, tourism also has a responsibility to quickly recover and accelerate development.
Resolution No. 82 clearly states the tasks that the tourism industry must perform. In order to effectively implement the resolution, the Tourism Association has developed an action plan to implement the resolution with key content and specific responsibilities assigned.
In this action plan, the association president outlined specific issues such as adjusting to the market, building tourism products, improving the quality of tourism workers and enhancing tourism promotion activities, especially studying the changing needs of international visitors to promptly respond.
We will also unify the thinking and actions of the business community and local tourism associations in implementing the key tasks and solutions to develop Vietnam's tourism to become a spearhead economic sector and join the 30 countries with the highest tourism competitiveness.
In addition, the tourism business community aims to quickly and effectively exploit the Law of the National Assembly on amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Exit and Entry of Vietnamese citizens and the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of foreigners in Vietnam in order to attract more international tourists to the country.
The association also sets out important tasks such as diversifying the tourism market; developing human resources to meet the requirements of the new development stage; promoting digital transformation in tourism businesses; and proposing recommendations to competent state agencies and localities to solve difficulties and problems of enterprises.
We also promote the spirit of dynamism, creativity and the driving role of businesses in tourism development under the motto: “Special products - Professional services -Convenient and Simple Procedures - Competitive Price - Clean and Beautiful Environment - Safe, Civilized, Friendly Destination.”
In the first half of this year, the volume of international tourists has reached nearly 5.7 million. So we believe that the number will be eight million by the end of the year, which is the target.
However, the Government's expectations will not stop at this number, so businesses need to be aware that they have to try harder to reach 10-12 million to match the potential.
In order to speed up after Resolution No. 82 is issued, what do you think tourism businesses need to focus on to innovate and promote different types of tourism to suit global trends?
The most important task now is to restructure and innovate the business model.
Accordingly, the association proposed member tourism businesses restructure their corporate governance apparatus associated with digital transformation, change the human resource system in a professional, modern, high-qualified and sustainable orientation, and build a tourism ecosystem of enterprises towards improving efficiency, increasing competitiveness, expanding markets and developing products associated with the brands of enterprises.
In the new period, Vietnam’s tourism sector needs to focus on promoting MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conference, Event) tourism, sports tourism, travel health and beauty care, shopping tourism, culinary tourism, cultural tourism, community eco-tourism, agricultural and rural tourism, adventure travel and smart travel.
Businesses need to concentrate on innovating and upgrading old products and building new products to suit the diverse needs of customers in the new period.
Tourism products should be built in the direction of green and sustainable tourism, paying deep attention to environmental protection and limiting plastic waste as well as focusing on building and developing Vietnamese cuisine into a cultural tourism product.
In your opinion, does the tourism industry need to undergo a qualitative change in the coming time, so that the target is not just 8 or 10 or 12 million visitors as you just mentioned?
After COVID-19, the world's tourism needs have changed and the tourism development plans of all countries have been adjusted. That is also the issue we are facing in Vietnam’s tourism industry.
Currently, the first concern is which tourism product is the most attractive, which service is the best and how can we serve tourists best.
Tourists value time so they demand the best service, that is Vietnamese tourism’s weakness.
Therefore, the whole sector must quickly improve the quality of services and products that are most suitable for each market.
There is still a lot of work to be done, such as how to co-ordinate among industries, especially in the supply chain of tourism products, to provide customers the best services at appropriate prices.
Price competition is no longer the deciding factor in the coming period, but it is still important to tourists. Therefore, businesses also need to co-operate to create reasonable prices for both domestic and international guests.
How do you evaluate the impact of the NA’s new visa policy and Government Resolution 82 on the accelerated plan to attract international guests to the Vietnam tourism industry?
The new visa policy that the National Assembly has just approved is an important driving force for the tourism industry to develop.
However, we cannot expect the introduction of a policy to immediately spike visitor numbers.
First, in terms of policy, we still have to wait for the guiding documents to implement the revised law.
Second, the tourism industry also needs to be prepared to inform all markets of the new policy.
At the same time, the whole industry must prepare suitable tourism products for each market.
This process will take time so the number of tourists will not be able to grow immediately.
But this new policy will open up a path for the tourism industry.
In the next five years, the number of tourists will definitely increase. However, the number of visitors increasing or not depends on many factors, and visa is only the opening factor, like an invitation for tourists to Vietnam.
What will guests enjoy, how happy they will be, whether they feel like spending a lot of money and how long they will stay, that is the real goal of the tourism industry.
That responsibility is on tourism businesses.
The tourism industry itself cannot do it alone on this journey, but needs related industries to accompany it to best exploit the advantages that the new policy brings.- (VNS/VLLF)