Nguyen Van Tuan, General Director of the Vietnam Administration of Tourism granted an exclusive interview to VOV on building strong trademarks for the tourism sector to become the spearhead sector in the future.
Reporter: The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has developed a development strategy for tourism in Vietnam until 2020, with a vision for 2030. Could you elaborate on how to make strong headway toward this goal?
Mr Tuan: The draft of Vietnam’s strategy for tourism development in the new period has been submitted to the Prime Minister. According to the strategy, over the next ten years, we will continue to train human resources to develop tourism into an economic spearhead, which will have a positive impact on other economic sectors. It is necessary to develop both inbound and outbound tourism and fully tap the potential of human resources and the environment, and associate tourism with national defense and security.
To fulfill the targets, the Vietnam travel sector has proposed six groups of measures. It is important to attract human resources for investment and tourism, develop unique, highly competitive products, and build solid trademarks. It is also necessary to promote tourism activities and develop the country’s key tourism zones.
Reporter: Training human resources for the tourism sector is part of the tourism development strategy. Do you think so?
Mr Tuan: Human resources in the tourism sector do not meet requirements both in terms of quantity and quality. Therefore, in the tourism development strategy for the next decade, it is essential to pay attention to developing human resources for the tourism sector, which is a decisive factor for improving the quality of tourism services and a key to the sustainable development of the sector.
Reporter: Tourism among regions needs to be strengthened. How can the tourism sector solve the problem?
Mr Tuan: Like any economic sector, tourism has cooperation in the region. At the national level, we have set up a State steering committee for tourism headed by a Deputy Prime Minister which will be responsible for resolving issues related to macro-economic policies and co-ordination between regions and sectors.
Reporter: Vietnam has many historic relics which do not attract many tourists. Do you think that we have not developed good trademarks for these sites?
Mr Tuan: Vietnamese culture is very unique and tourism development is based on natural and cultural heritage sites such as Hoi An ancient town in the central province of Quang Nam, Ha Long Bay in the northern province of Quang Ninh and Sapa in the northern province of Lao Cai. However, many historic relics have not attracted tourists for lack of professional preservation and promotion.
It is important to develop good trademarks for our natural and cultural heritage sites in order to promote tourist services in a professional manner.
Reporter: What does the Vietnam Administration of Tourism (VNAT) plan to do in this connection?
Mr Tuan: We are fully aware of the role of trademarks in competition and international integration. Vietnam has advantages in sea, cultural and eco-tourism. We agreed to build strong trademarks at national, local and business levels. The VNAT will also focus on promoting Vietnam’s image as a beautiful, friendly, safe and hospitable destination.
Mr Andray, a French tourist, said that it is important to promote the cultural identity of each nation.
My friends and I have visited all the historic relics of the Dien Bien Phu victory site and five cultural hamlets from the Thai ethnic minority group. Dien Bien has changed a lot compared to seven years ago, especially in terms of infrastructure.
He added that, apart from learning about the battlefield, we want to learn more about the culture of the ethnic groups and different cultures. He emphasized that each village should preserve its cultural identity to develop sustainable tourism. It was difficult to find a souvenir which is a symbol of Dien Bien because the city has not created its own unique tourism brand.
Mr Tran Tuan Viet, general director of a joint stock tourism company in Ba Ria Vung Tau, emphasized the need for cooperation among tourism companies.
One of the main shortcomings of tourism companies in Vietnam is the lack of cooperation. Tourism companies have not worked together to promote tourist activities and create unique products. It is obvious that cooperation among companies should ensure healthy competition. The role of tourism associations is very important, and it needs stronger support from the State.
Nguyen Duc Tri, deputy head of the travel agency department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism in Ho Chi Minh City, said that it is important to create new tourism products.
According to experts, the number of foreign arrivals to Ho Chi Minh City makes up around 70 percent of the total number of tourists travel to Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City offers many city tours and sightseeing and is now looking at a new tourism product – river tourism - which is popular with tourists. Ho Chi Minh City has a diverse system of rivers which has great potential for this kind of tourism. The city is also focused on quality, price, prestige and safety when creating tourism products in its more than 50 diverse tourist destinations