Growing trend

At the webinar themed “Development of adventure tourism products in the Northeast”, Director of the Institute for Tourism Development Research Nguyen Anh Tuan said that adventure tourism is a growing trend, becoming more and more popular in the world and attracting many tourists to explore and experience. With the advantage of many hills, caves, rivers and streams, Vietnam has great potential for developing adventure tourism.

This can be divided into a variety of products within adventure tourism: Adventure tourism in the air (travel by helicopter, paragliding, and skydiving); adventure tourism products on land (picnic tourism, mountain climbing, walking, and balancing on a rope); Water adventure tourism (boating, waterfall discovery, and diving).

In fact, for many years, adventure tourism has been a “unique and strange” tourism product line, exploited by many travel agencies. Numerous provinces and cities, such as Ha Giang, Bac Kan, Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Quang Ninh, Quang Binh, Nghe An and Hanoi, have had strategies to promote such adventure tours.

Typically, the Northeast – Northwest regions have many tourism products, such as: Conquering Fansipan peak (Lao Cai province), Bach Moc Luong Tu (Lai Chau province), Tay Con Linh mountain peak (Ha Giang province), Ban Gioc waterfall (Cao Bang province), exploring caves in Ba Be National Park (Bac Kan province). In the central region, adventure tourism stands out especially products of cave exploration in Quang Binh province and conquering the peak of Pu xai lai leng (Nghe An province). In Hanoi, Ba Vi National Park Management Board has been conducting climbing tours to explore the National Park for many years.

As a travel agency that has strengths in adventure tourism and is building caravan products combined with trekking (hiking, climbing), Director of Fivestar Tourism Company Luong Duy Doanh said that the adventure tour can only be organised for groups of 30 people or less, in accordance with the requirements of epidemic prevention. Therefore, adventure tours will be safe products, after the COVID-19 epidemic is under control.

Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of Bac Kan Tourism Association, Director of Mr Linh’s Adventures Travel Company Nguyen Tuan Linh said that adventure tourism is opening up opportunities for localities, especially in mountainous areas. This is a product line capable of attracting long-stay visitors and guests who spend more money.

Necessary specific mechanisms and policies

Although there are many potentials and advantages, adventure tourism in Vietnam is not well known to many people. According to Deputy Director of the Institute for Tourism Development Research Truong Sy Vinh, the development of adventure tourism faces limitations in terms of organisation and infrastructure in certain localities. In addition, the connection between the locality and tourism businesses is not ideal, leading to fragmented and inconsistent exploitation.

According to Standing Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association Vu The Binh, in order for adventure tourism products to develop commensurate with their potential, localities need to have specific mechanisms and policies to attract strategic investors. Each locality should build a specific product, avoiding duplication and monotony.

On the side of travel businesses, Director of Vplus Vietnam Travel and Events Joint Stock Company Nguyen Duc Anh said that it is necessary to strengthen coordination between sectors and localities in the management and exploitation of tourism resources. Localities need to coordinate with reputable travel agencies to survey, develop products, and implement a set of safety criteria for tourists.

Meanwhile, Director of Fivestar Tourism Company Luong Duy Doanh said that in order to improve the quality of adventure tourism products, in addition to investing in infrastructure, localities should focus on training tour guides at the destination; improving the skills and qualifications of the local guides to help them meet the set requirements. “In order to develop adventure tourism and ensure the safety of tourists, the organisers need to improve professionalism in consulting on health and insurance; fully equipped with essential items and warn about the risks for tourists”, said Luong Duy Doanh.

Adventure tourism is being exploited to bring benefits to localities and organisations. However, according to Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Tourism Tran Trung Hieu, in order for this type to develop and attract tourists, localities need to have a long-term strategy in calling for investment and building assurance standards for visitors as well as environmental protection.

“Coming here, the Hanoi Department of Tourism will organise survey groups in the Ba Vi area to build more adventure tourism products, in order to increase the attractiveness of the capital’s tourism,” said Tran Trung Hieu.