A ceremony has highlighted the tourism sector’s remarkable contributions to national development since the industry was established in Vietnam 55 years ago (July 9, 1960).

Addressing the celebratory function in Hanoi on July 8, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh said tourism has become a driving force for many other economic sectors, noting the growing tourist number and increasing tourism revenue are fostering the national gross domestic product.

Tourism is also a major job generator with about 700,000 people and 1.5 million others working indirectly in 2014, accounting for 4 percent of the total workforce, he added.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam lauded the sector’s efforts to develop over the past 55 years while pointing out shortcomings compared to regional countries.

He asked for stronger determination and creativity by every relevant agency, travel company and person to make breakthroughs in tourism, ultimately developing the national economy more rapidly and sustainably.

He requested the ministry work with relevant ministries and branches to remove policy hurdles to create a favourable environment for tourism development. Meanwhile, local authorities must make drastic moves to address tourism flaws and learn from the examples of other successful localities.

The official continued to say that he hopes travel enterprises will set aside their own benefits and work responsibly for the sake of the whole sector and the nation. He also called on each individual to exhibit appropriate behaviour to promote Vietnam as a safe, hospitable and attractive destination for foreign visitors.

At the ceremony, the Vietnam Tourism Awards, the most prestigious titles of the industry, were presented to organisations and individuals who have greatly contributed to the growth of Vietnam’s tourism.-VNA