A conference aiming to develop effective policies for responsible tourism in Vietnam was held in the central city of Da Nang on November 14.
The conference brought together 200 delegates from across Vietnam’s tourism industry, private, public and NGO sectors to discuss tourism policy, including tools and mechanisms to ensure the industry’s strong and effective development and its sustainable and responsible principles.
Participants also discussed a policy framework for responsible tourism in Vietnam proposed by the EU-funded Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Programme (ESRT).
In their opinions, responsible tourism is the only choice to develop a tourism industry with high competitiveness and added value, offering good services and products.
Responsible tourism in Vietnam will open up the luxury market and increase visitors’ experience and contentment when visiting the country, thus making contributions to Vietnam’s socio-economic development, they said.
According to Kai Partale, EU-ESRT tourism expert, in the middle of 2013, the programme set up a responsible tourism policy framework for Vietnam with the aim to develop a sustainable, beneficial and competitive industry.
Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said the tourism sector’s growth in the last two decades has had positive impacts on the country’s socio-economic and environmental development. However, it has also posed challenges to sustainable development.
As a result, the tourism development strategy until 2020 with a vision to 2030 focused more on intensive development in order to provide high quality products and services and a policy for responsible tourism regarding economic, cultural, social and environmental issues, he added.
In the first ten months of this year, Vietnam served 6.12 million foreign visitors, a year-on-year rise of 10.4 percent, and 32.5 million domestic ones, earning 165 trillion VND (7.8 billion USD) in revenue.
The country estimates it will receive 7.4 million foreign and 35 million local tourists and collect 195 trillion VND (9.3 billion USD) this year.
The ESRT is the largest technical support programme in Vietnam’s tourism sector funded by the EU. It has a total capital of 11 million EUR, to which the Vietnamese Government contributed 1.1 million EUR.
The programme, which runs from 2011-2015, focuses on supporting policy and strengthening institutions, developing organisational structure and building an effective cooperation network between the public and private sectors, strengthening tourism’s competitiveness and raising awareness of responsible tourism.