Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaks at the meeting. (Photo: VNA)
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh expressed his belief that Vietnam will become one of the top 30 countries worldwide in terms of tourism competitiveness, while chairing an national teleconference on tourism on March 15.
The country’s tourism sector should develop strongly with “special products, professional services and clean environment” to make Vietnam a safe, friendly destination, he said.
The leader reiterated the target of welcoming from 47-50 million international visitors and raising the sector’s GDP contributions to about 14-15%, as set at the 13th National Party Congress.
He emphasised favourable conditions for the sector to growth further, including one world wonder, 18 world heritages and more than 41,000 tourist sites, among others, saying tourism development is the responsibility of the entire political system, all agencies and the whole society.
Domestic tourism should be placed in the country’s general socio-economic development as a spearhead economic sector and should be linked with regional and world tourism, with international standards, he noted.
Regarding key tasks in the time ahead, PM Chinh asked ministries, agencies and localities to seriously implement viewpoints and guidelines of the Party, laws and policies of the State on tourism, while stepping up tourism restructuring.
He urged reviewing, amending and supplementing relevant mechanisms, policies and regulations, increasing investment and mobilising more resources for the sector, including those from the private sector, helping travel firms and households access loans, enhancing digital transformation, and building and developing a smart tourism ecosystem in Vietnam.
The PM stressed the need to facilitate the opening of air routes and strengthen international cooperation, especially with big, multi-national groups and corporations, in this field.
He assigned the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to continue implementing the project on tourism restructuring towards the status of a spearhead economic sector, effectively utilise big sources of holidaymakers and promote products in which Vietnam has strengths like cultural tourism, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) tourism, medical tourism and agriculture-based tourism, among others.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representative diplomatic offices abroad were asked to coordinate with other ministries and agencies in the communication work, and in implementing visa and immigration policies for international visitors.
PM Chinh suggested the Ministry of Industry and Trade integrate tourism into trade promotion programmes both at home and abroad, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development promote tourism based on agriculture, rural areas and farmers.
The government leader also gave tasks to People’s Committees of cities and provinces, and travel associations and firms.
Participants at the conference looked into opportunities and challenges to the tourism industry, and sought solutions to them, proposing that international travel companies should be encouraged to invest and operate in Vietnam.
Statistics by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism showed that the number of international visitors to Vietnam jumped to 18 million in 2019 from only 7.9 million in 2015.
Vietnam’s average annual tourism growth of 22.7% is among the highest in the world, according to the World Travel Organisation.
The country’s tourism has moved up eight places on the 2021 Tourism and Travel Development Index (TTDI) to the 52nd position as compared with that in 2019, said the World Economic Forum (WEF) Report.
With six out of the 17 pillar indexes ranked among the top in the world, Vietnam’s tourism ranks among the top three fastest growing countries.
Since the border reopening on March 15, 2022, the sector has been recovering, especially domestic tourism.
Last year, the country served 101.3 million domestic visitors and 3.5 million foreign tourists, and raked in 495 trillion VND from the industry, up more than 23% from the set target, and equivalent to 66% of the 2019 figure./.