Vietnam’s ranking in tourism competitiveness improves

 According to the 2019 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Vietnam ranks 63rd among 140 countries and territories globally, up four places compared to 2017. With this position, Vietnam secures fifth place in the Southeast Asia region.

vietnams ranking in tourism competitiveness improves
The number of foreign visitors to Vietnam has increased rapidly

Unsustainable tourism

Vietnam’s tourism is a highlight of the country’s socioeconomic development. In 2018 alone, tourism contributed 8.39 percent to Vietnam’s Gross Domestic Product, exceeding the target set for 2020.

In terms of overall competitiveness, according to the WEF, Vietnam rose four places from 2017. In terms of price competitiveness, Vietnam rose 13 places, while in terms of visa requirements, the country improved by 63 places.

In particular, the attraction of strategic investors in provinces and cities of great tourism potential has contributed to promoting tourism products. The growing number of international-level entertainment zones and hotels also helps strengthen Vietnam’s tourism competitiveness. Major investors not only build high quality accommodations, with synchronous planning of entertainment and shopping infrastructure, but they also aim to create a destination ecosystem as a notable highlight in their competitive strategy.

However, the rankings also pointed to the limitations of Vietnam’s tourism related to labor quality, the availability of information technology and communications, and tourism service infrastructure. In addition, it needs to pay attention to ensuring environment protection and sustainability in tourism development.

Focusing on solutions

Commenting on the achievements of Vietnam’s tourism industry, experts said that despite significant progress, the competitiveness of the industry compared to the world and even to the ASEAN region is low.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Le Quang Tung agreed with the report but said we should not be satisfied with this achievement. The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) needs to review the performance of the tourism industry and recommend to relevant ministries and sectors which areas have been done well and which remain weak.

Nguyen Trung Khanh, Director General of VNAT, said the sector needs to find solutions for improving weaknesses in service infrastructure; improving prioritized and important groups of key indicators for international openness and aviation infrastructure, enhancing domestic and international air transport capacity; and improving the business environment, quality of human resources and availability of information technology to promote tourism activities.

The tourism industry suffers from a lack of highly qualified human resources, especially senior managers in travel businesses. Therefore, it needs to consolidate and develop a network of training facilities, especially in foreign languages; and innovate teaching methods by enhancing skills and using the ASEAN occupational standards in tourism training.

Thanh Tam