Solutions to develop sustainable tourism
Update: Nov 19, 2013
(TITC) – According to Mr. Nguyen Van Tuan – General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, during the last two decades, Vietnam tourism has strongly grown; representing an impressive annual growth of 12%; contributing to developing national economy, eradicating hunger and poverty, ensuring social security, preserving and upholding cultural values, protecting environment, maintaining national security. However, the current tourism development still faces many challenges, especially the competitiveness of destinations and sustainability.

In order to form effective policies for responsible tourism in Vietnam, on November 14, 2013, the Conference on Responsible Tourism Policy that took place in Da Nang attracted 200 delegates from Vietnam’s tourism industry, private, public and NGO sectors. This conference was organized by the EU-funded Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Program (ESRT) under the guidance of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

Impressive development of “smokeless industry”

In 2013, the national and world economies face many difficulties while Vietnam tourism maintains remarkable growth. Vietnam tourism achieves positive results in terms of scale, diversity and quality. Infrastructure in general and tourism infrastructure in particular are improved significantly; air, waterway, road traffic systems have been invested continuously; several tourist destinations and areas will be formed and the country will have 46 national tourist areas, 41 national tourist spots, 12 tourist cities and other local tourist spots, areas. Tourism’s human resource has been developing constantly. Thanks to its impressive development, tourism continues to be considered as a key economic sector. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed decision 2151/QD-TTg on November 11 approving the National Tourism Promotion Program for the period 2013-2020. Accordingly, the program is expected to contribute to reaching the objectives of the Vietnam tourism development strategy and master plan to 2020 and vision to 2030.

Responsible tourism creates the sustainability

To overcome the challenges that affect sustainable tourism development, at the conference, the delegates gave proposals to develop effective policies for responsible tourism in Vietnam. Responsible tourism is understood as the responsibility of the organizations and tourists in terms of economic, social and environmental aspects in all tourism activities including defining policies, planning and exploiting natural resources, developing products, organizing business and serving tourists.

In order to create the sustainability for tourism sector, responsible tourism policy should be institutionalized in the Tourism Law and the legal documents guiding the implementation of the Tourism Law, also be integrated in the strategy, programs, projects and plans for tourism development. According to Mr. Vu The Binh – Vice President of Vietnam Tourism Association, some contents of the Tourism Law should be amended. It is necessary to reconsider tourism planning, focus on encouraging tourism investment, facilitate tourists, ensure safety for tourists…

Hong Nhung