Vietnam claims it can match Thailand's tourism in 15 years
  • By Ha Trang | | June 15, 2017 07:36 AM
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Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien has said it would take Vietnam 15 years to catch up with Thailand's tourism industry if the growth rates remain unchanged.


Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien

NA deputy Do Thi Lan from Quang Ninh queried the country’s tourism development strategy at the ongoing National Assembly Q&A session for ministers. She said she had asked the former minister Hoang Tuan Anh about solutions to develop tourism and when would Vietnam’s tourism be able to catch up with Thailand before. However, Anh said the next minister would answer.

Thien said he was always concerned about various problems in the sector. The tourism growth rate has been good but the number of international visitors to Vietnam is far lower than to other neighbouring countries.

"In 2016, we received 10 million international visitors but Thailand received 32 million, Malaysia 26 million, Singapore 16 million and Indonesia 12 million," he said.

According to Thien, Thailand has better tourist infrastructure. The World Economic Forum's Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017 ranked Vietnam's tourist service infrastructure 113th out of 135 countries while Thailand ranked 16. Vietnam ranked 101st for prioritisation of travel and tourism while Thailand ranked 34.

However, Vietnam also has some advantages such as Vietnam ranked 57th for safety and security while Thailand ranked 118th. The average growth rate in the past years of Vietnam has been nearly 30%. If Vietnam could maintain the growth rate at 25% and Thailand's growth rate remains at 7% then Vietnam can catch up with Thailand in 15 years.

Thien predicted that Vietnam can catch up with Indonesia next year and Singapore in the next two years.

"The Politburo has issued Resolution 8 on making tourism a key economic sector. So we hope the National Assembly will pass the Law on Tourism and more strict and strong measures can boost the growth rate," he said.

Concerning other problems such as overcrowding at major festivals, littering and overcharging, Thien said crowded locations meant more people were coming to Vietnam but the authorities would need time to research for solutions to ensure the safety and comfort of the tourists.

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