Tourism sector urged to step up restructuring hinh anh 1Foreign visitors in Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang province (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The restructuring of the tourism sector should be conducted in a synchronous manner across all related sectors like transport, trade, services and customs, delegates said at a workshop in Hanoi on December 22.

The workshop was held to collect recommendations from experts and business managers to help the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism complete a plan on tourism restructuring.

Nguyen Quoc Ky, Vietravel Director, said the restructuring needs a clear roadmap which identifies priority tasks, adding that it is also necessary to pinpoint the competitive strength and advantages of localities in order to design typical tourism products.

“It is a must to create new and special products designed for different segments of customers, focusing on those from high spending markets like Europe,” he said.

Ky pointed to the imbalance in the number of international tourists to Vietnam, with 55 percent coming from Northeast Asia and 16 percent from Southeast Asia, noting that Chinese holiday-makers account for one third of the total number of foreign vacationers to Vietnam.

Dr. Luong Hoai Nam, from the National Tourism Advisory Board, was of the view that the visa policy should be improved, including expanding the scope of tourism visa exemption and online visa issue while streamlining visa procedures.

Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said restructuring the tourism sector is one of the solutions to turn tourism into a spearhead economic sector as set forth in the Politburo’s Resolution No. 08-NQ/TW.

He stressed that tourism restructuring is necessary as tourism development has remained modest as compared with Vietnam’s potential, resources and expectations, adding that Vietnam has lagged behind many regional countries in this field.

According to Tuan, the country expects to meet the target of welcoming 13 million visitors as assigned by the Prime Minister this year.

In the year, the sector also served about 74 million domestic tourists and earned a total of 515 trillion VND (roughly 23 billion USD), contributing 6.96 percent to the country’s GDP.-VNA