The number of international visitors to Vietnam in July is estimated at 564,736, bringing the total number of foreign arrivals in the first 7 months to 4.85 million, up 15.6 percent as compared to that of the same period last year. Vietnam Business Forum spoke with General Director of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Nguyen Van Tuan about tourism development in Vietnam in the coming time.
*What is your opinion about the impressive figures of the Vietnamese tourism industry in the first 7 months of the year?
This reflects a great effort by the entire tourism industry and related agencies. In the first four months, international arrivals to Vietnam surged thanks to effective tourism promotions, the attractions of Vietnam as a safe, friendly destination, and many international events taking place in Vietnam.
However, in early May, China’s illegal installation of its oil rig in Vietnam’s waters caused complicated developments, adversely impacted Vietnam’s tourism activities, and reduced international visitors, mainly from Chinese-speaking markets.
This period was also the low tourism season when fewer international travellers went to Vietnam. However, compared with the same period of last year, the six-month targets in tourist arrivals and revenue still grew well.
*To have these results, how did the tourism sector promptly respond to new situations?
VNAT actively responded to new situation. We maintained our tours for Chinese tourists while timely updating tourism information to media agencies and foreign representative offices in Vietnam.
We welcomed some famtrips and presstrips from key markets like Taiwan, the Republic of Korea and Japan .
In the coming time, we recommend that the Government and relevant departments have preferential policies for tourism development including tourism visa issue.
We also step up domestic tourism stimulus and accelerate tourism promotions in other countries.
The message we wanted to send to worldwide tourists is: Vietnam is still a safe, friendly and attractive destination.
*What will the tourism sector do to maintain sustainable development?
In the last six months of 2014, we will continue to implement tasks of the National Tourism Action Programme and the National Tourism Promotion Programme; organise activities in the framework of the National Tourism Year 2014 in Lam Dong province - Central Highlands and prepare for the National Tourism Year 2015 in Thanh Hoa province.
We will complete major projects like the Master Plan for Tourism Development in the Southeast Region and the South Central Coast to 2020, with a vision to 2030, the master plans for national tourist sites like Nui Ba (Tay Ninh province), Son Tra (Da Nang City), Dien Bien Phu - Pa Khoang - Muong Phang (Dien Bien province); host the Tourism Business Conference 2014, perform international tourist surveys at border gates in 2014-2015, and receive famtrips and presstrips from key markets.
Hopefully, with the joint effort of the entire sector, the tourism industry will meet its 2014 target and fulfil its contribution to the State Budget.