Revised law should facilitate tourism’s transformation into key industry

NDO/VNA—Tourism should be developed into a spearhead industry, and thus it is necessary to amend the existing tourism law to remove obstacles for the sector’s growth, National Assembly (NA) deputies have said.

Illustrative image.
Illustrative image.

The draft revised tourism law was the focus of group discussions in the NA on the morning of November 8, during the fourteenth parliament’s second session.

Many deputies said that although significant improvements had been made in tourism, growth had yet to match the sector’s potential while new problems had emerged.

Deputy Pham Phu Quoc of Ho Chi Minh City said the revised law should be oriented towards the goal of turning tourism into a key sector of the economy. It needs to be updated with viewpoints, targets and strategic solutions for tourism development by 2020 with a view to 2030.

Van Thi Bach Tuyet, another deputy from Ho Chi Minh City, said rapid growth or profit in tourism should not be achieved at the cost of quality or toleration of illegal activities by foreign firms.

She asked the drafting board to ensure a favourable and efficient legal framework for tourism’s development.

Regarding Article 32 on conditions for operating in travel-related business, some deputies said tourism was a conditional line of business and that those who wanted to provide travel services must have licences as it relates to diplomacy and national security. However, the regulations in the current draft remain too simple.

If those regulations are not amended, anyone can open a travel company, which can complicate Vietnam’s tourism market. Meanwhile, there remain many problems which haven’t been solved thoroughly, such as foreigners’ provision of tourism services under the name of Vietnamese people, or the imitation of travel brand names, deputy Tuyet said.

She urged that travel business conditions be tightened to ensure that tourism activities are under control.

Regulations on conditions for recognising a national tourism site also attracted attention from many deputies.

Deputy Quoc suggested the draft specify that a national tourism site can be recognised regardless of its ownership in order to encourage the private sector to invest in developing tourist attractions.

Deputy Tuyet did not support the stipulation that a tourism site must cover at least 1,000ha of land and welcome 500,000 visitors per year in order to be recognised a national site.

Instead, a national tourism site should be one with rich cultural and natural values that need to be preserved and promoted sustainably, she said.