Vietnam joins hands with ASEAN for sustainable tourism recovery hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam and ASEAN member states need to join hands to restore the green economy sustainably in the new normal. In fact, a common strategy for all member states has already been put into practice.

Over the past two years, COVID-19 has cast a shadow on the globe, including Vietnam and its neighbouring countries in the ASEAN region.

At the recent 56th online roundtable of ASEAN National Tourism Organisations, ASEAN member states shared ways to attract more tourists to the region while ensuring their health and safety amid the emergence of new variants. It also enabled them to reach consensus on a common action plan for the new period.

ASEAN “joins hands” for common goals

In 2020 and 2021, tourist arrivals to ASEAN slumped due to COVID-19 impacts. In 2020, ASEAN welcomed only about 28 million visitors, down 80.7 percent from 2019 and earned nearly 43.1 billion USD, down 74.8 percent from 2019. In 2021, the number of international tourists and revenue sank 90.03% and 94.33% annually, respectively.

In the face of such tumultuous times, ASEAN tourism officials agreed to enhance coordination to recover regional green economy in accordance with the action plan approved early this year. Its ultimate goal is recovering the tourism sector and tourist arrivals to pre-pandemic level.

Vietnam joins hands with ASEAN for sustainable tourism recovery hinh anh 2Illustrative image (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Accordingly, regional countries will embark on the 2021-2025 ASEAN tourism marketing strategy with three pillars: building a more attractive ASEAN tourism trademark story, targeting a group of markets and suitable clients, and effectively conducting marketing activities.

It is known that this new marketing strategy is adjusted based on post-pandemic forecast trends and ASEAN's financial capacity. The strategy was discussed by the Working Group, the Tourism Competition Commission and the National Tourism Organisations.

To such end, ASEAN member states consented to diversify tourist products, marketing campaigns, improve tourism and connectivity standards, and apply digital systems to help visitors access information easily.

Additionally, ASEAN authorities will work dialogue partners and international organisations to step up tourism activities, thus facilitating travel.

Vietnamese tourism sector boosts collaboration

Vietnam is now Vice Chair of the ASEAN Sustainable and Inclusive Tourism Development Committee and chairing the project “Festival Tourism Product”. In this role, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Ha Van Sieu said Vietnam plans to hold a regional seminar and a field trip themed “Festival Tourism” next year. He also expressed the wish to collect feedback from ASEAN member states.

The Institute for Tourism Development Research is also chairing a project on building and carrying out a strategy on encouraging the participation of local community and private sector in tourism development.

The strategy was adopted by ASEAN ministers at the 22nd Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers on the occasion of the 2019 ASEAN Tourism Forum in Ha Long. Accordingly, it was launched in Vietnam with a seminar discussing an initiative on strengthening the participation of the private sector in community tourism development, training courses to improve skills and build community tourism products.

Sieu said Vietnam will hold a seminar on the initiative strengthening the participation of the private sector in community tourism development in October 2022. He expressed his hope that all ASEAN member states will join the event to share information and enhance the participation of the community and private sector in tourism development.

Vietnam joins hands with ASEAN for sustainable tourism recovery hinh anh 3Illustrative image (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Apart from cooperating with ASEAN member states, Vietnam is also reinforcing coordination with international organisations. This year, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in collaboration with Vietnam successfully carried out a project on tourism destination recovery in Quang Nam, and another on elephant tourism recovery in Dak Lak.

The UN World Tourism Organisation also offered practical technical support to Vietnam in planning and holding international events in the country. Vietnam took part in the UNWTO’s webinars and worked with the UNWTO’s Nara office in Japan to offer assistance in sustainable destination governance.

They are effective initiatives to revive tourism following the pandemic. Vietnam is ready to take the next steps of the project, Sieu affirmed./.