An action plan for the EU-funded project “Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Programme” was discussed at a seminar in Hanoi on July 22.

This was the second project funded by the European Union, following the recently completed “Tourism Human Resources Development” project in 2010.

Of the project’s total investment, the EU offered 11 million EUR while the Vietnamese Government contributed 1.1 million EUR.

With responsible tourism as a focus, the five-year project, starting from 2011, aimed to reduce adverse impacts of the tourism sector on the environment and maximise socio-economic and cultural benefits.

Activities to be launched within the framework of the project will support policies, raise competitive capacity and develop vocational education and training.

The project will also expand opportunities for the poor, women and ethnic minorities. It is expected to train over 5,000 workers from disadvantaged localities.

Addressing the seminar, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ho Anh Tuan, who was also head of the project steering committee, described tourism development as an important solution to create a breakthrough in the service sector, generate more jobs and raise social income, contributing to achieving socio-economic development targets for 2011-2015 and the National Tourism Development Strategy for 2011-2020.

The Government, ministries, branches and agencies of Vietnam have adopted policies to facilitate tourism development and attract investors into the sector, especially high-quality tourism, he said./.