Creating linkage between tourism and other industries

Md. Vo Thi Thang, Chairwoman of the Vietnam National Administration for Tourism talked with Vietnam Economic Times’ Nguyen Quan.

VNECONOMY updated: 20/05/2005


Tourism is one of the industries which face a tough competition as Vietnam integrates into the world economy. What shortcomings that the industry needs to resolve in order to cope with this difficult?

In comparison with other industries in the service sector, the tourism industry has many advantages and good growth. The number of tourists coming to Vietnam in the first four months of this year rose by 35.5% over last year’s same period.

The number of domestic visits in the four months reached more than six million, 7% above last year same period.

However, such growth rates are still behind projected target and have not matched potentials of the tourism industry.

In the context of integration, what the industry should do is to actively coordinate with other industries and localities to build up strategy and proper policies on tourism so as to achieve effective and sustainable development.

Experiences of other countries show that trade and tourism have special linkage. But it seems not the same in Vietnam?

This is a weakness of the tourism industry of Vietnam and we’ve hoped for such a linkage for a long time. Most of receipts of the tourism industry should be tourists’ expenses on shopping.

However, it is not easy to obtain this as it requires the two sector to have common guidelines. The National Administration for Tourism has asked the Government to conduct such a linkage. I think it will take time to have positive result.

I have proposed Ho Chi Minh City to establish a tourist shopping center. However, it is just a trial.

Do you agree with the opinion that industries in the domestic sector of Vietnam lack linkages and potentials cannot be made full use?

I agree with this opinion. Current linkages between industries and localities are not enough to minimize unreasonable procedures and fees and improve attractiveness and business effectiveness of the tourism industry.

What should be done now is to reconsider and make adjustment to regulations which are not suitable with integration and attraction of investment, especially foreign direct investment.

Vietnam is considering to give visa exemption to tourists from more countries. Tourism enterprises should also cooperate with each other to enhance their strength to compete with foreign companies in the context of integration.

It is effort of the industry itself that ensure its growth. What do you think the industry should do in the coming time?

Tourism promotion should be pushed up in parallel with minimization of time-consuming procedures. Infrastructures for tourism should be improved.

More attractive programs for tourists should be created. Other problems regarding transport, customs, entry and exit, reception at airports, etc should be solved at the same time.

Nguyen Quan