PM urges tourism development
By Binh Nguyen - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – The Prime Minister has told localities and agencies to strengthen cooperation and make full use of their advantages to develop tourism into a spearhead industry able to generate revenue of US$20 billion by 2020.
Nguyen Tan Dung said last Saturday that the tourism sector should welcome more than 10 million international travelers, service 48 million domestic tourists, create three million jobs and contribute 7% of the country’s gross domestic product by 2020. He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the national tourism year for coastal provinces north of central Vietnam and Festival Hue 2012 in Hue City.
The Prime Minister emphasized the opening ceremony, which was also attended by diplomats and international guests, as one of the events that mark implementation of Vietnam’s tourism development strategy until 2020 with a vision to 2030, with an aim to enhance professionalism, quality and efficiency of the non-smoke industry.
The target projections in the national tourism strategy are seen as obtainable given what the industry achieved in 2011. Last year, the industry serviced more than six million international visitors and 30 million local tourists, and registered earnings of VND130 trillion (some US$6.25 billion), up 19.1%, 7.14% and 30% respectively compared to 2010.
This year, the tourism industry is looking to 6.5 million international arrivals, 32 million domestic travelers and revenue of VND150 trillion.
The already-approved tourism development strategy envisages the number of international arrivals will be 7-7.5 million, domestic travelers 36-37 million, revenue of US$10-11 billion by 2015, and the tourism sector will contribute 5.5-6% of the country’s GDP by that year.
The number of hotel rooms is expected to reach 390,000 with 30-35% of which being three to five-star rooms by 2015, and 580,000 rooms with 35-40% rated as three to five-star rooms by 2020.
Speaking at the opening ceremony which was televised by Vietnam Television, Prime Minister Dung said the national tourism year for coastal provinces north of central Vietnam and Festival Hue 2012 was a good opportunity for localities in this region to promote their heritage sites and tourism. He wanted further cooperation among provinces to produce unique and competitive products and to develop this region into a major destination for international travelers.
The ministries and central-level agencies will support provinces in the region in introducing their investment opportunities to both local and foreign investors as well as spur infrastructure development and economic growth with a view to preservation of cultural and heritage values.
Nguyen Van Cao, chairman of Thua Thien-Hue, said a series of events would be organized for the national tourism year for coastal provinces and Festival Hue 2012 was one of the highlights.
Festival Hue kicked off last Saturday and lasts until April 15, with the participation of 65 local and foreign troupes of nearly 1,500 performers. These artists stage performances every day and night in and outside the former imperial capital of Hue during the period.
Festival Hue also features Nam Giao Offering Ceremony; Ao Dai (Vietnamese attire) Parade; Imperial Night; shows for drums and musical instruments, and traditional costumes of different nations among others. The closing ceremony of Festival Hue will take place at 8 p.m. on April 15.