Growth of tourism in the country depends on adequate and appropriate infrastructure, which serves the needs of tourists and encourages further investment by enterprises in the competitive tourism industry.
|Local authorities must synchronize and develop tourism infrastructure collectively. (Photo: KK)|
The government had tried to help the tourism industry to mobilize investment capital for infrastructure with its strategic promotional program “Vietnam tourism development, 2001-2010” that eventually attracted investments for 316 projects.
However, progress on many of these projects has either stalled or stopped and in many cases the construction progress is moving at a snails pace. Most of the projects face difficulties such as lack of capital and lack of synchronization and coordination between investors and local authorities.
Saigon Tourist, Vietnam's leading tourism company, currently runs 70 hotels and resorts nationwide. The travel corporation has implemented many projects, such as the four-star Sai Gon-Vinh Long hotel with a capital investment of VND157 billion, the four-star Sai Gon- Rach Gia hotel at VND177 billion and the five-star Sai Gon-Phu Quoc tourist complex worth US$85 million.
However, any investment by tourism companies in hotels and resorts will not yield the desired profits if local authorities do not pay attention to the basic infrastructure such as electricity, water and road transport, said Mr. Tran Hung Viet, general director of Saigon Tourist.
Recently the Ministry of Transport approved the construction of an airport project at a total investment cost of VND3.4 trillion in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang.
Neighboring provinces and cities are also calling on investors to build regional airports or expand and upgrade existing domestic airports to international status, even without any specific requirement.
The demand for airports by the Mekong Delta provinces and cities is not even rational, added Mr. Viet.
Economic experts say that local authorities will suffer huge losses if airports only fly one or two planes per day. Provinces need to spend more on excellent roadways and river traffic to make travel faster and more comfortable for tourists.
In addition, the government should encourage local authorities to join hands with each other to link traffic infrastructure across provinces to develop effective means to transport tourists and create favorable conditions for potential investors.