International tourists in Vietnam (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam needs to increase its funding for promoting tourism to realise its target of doubling the figures for international tourists as well as revenue by 2020, according to Forbes.

The magazine ran an article on August 16, saying that Vietnam’s annual tourism promotion budget of only 2 million USD is outspent by around dozens of times in comparison with other Southeast Asian nations.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has put forward a proposal to increase the budget to around 5.25 million USD, and also to establish a fund for tourism promotion with a principal investment of about 13 million USD, the article said.

The amount is still fairly small, particularly given the ambitions for the tourism industry to essentially double the number of international arrivals and revenue generated by tourism by 2020 from the 2015 level of 7.9 million arrivals and 15.1 billion USD in revenue, it commented.

It also pointed to a shortcoming in the intention of drawing 70 percent of the investment from the beneficiaries of tourism, such as the licensed tourism operators and hotels.

If it takes the form of an additional levy on top of taxable income, it could drag down growth in the sector and overlooks the broader benefits to the economy of increased tourism, the article added.

It highlights the challenges facing Vietnam in developing tourism, including improving infrastructure, upskilling its workforce and providing an international-level of facilities and service.

Issues around personal security, traffic congestion and accidents, pollution, and poor services and facilities are the most commonly cited concerns.

It suggests Vietnam encourage investment in infrastructure and tourism staff training in order to lure more international tourists back to Vietnam.-VNA