Promoting high quality tourism services exports

Friday, 2018-07-20 11:37:42
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Trang An touriste site in Ninh Binh province. (Photo:
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NDO - According to the General Statistics Office, the export revenue from Vietnam’s tourism services was estimated at US$5.2 billion for the first six months of 2018, up 18.9% over the same period last year.

The figure was also higher than the growth rate of total service exports (16.4%) and higher than the increase of total merchandise exports (16.0%) in the first half of 2018. Tourism exports only increased by 9.4%, so the tourism sector witnessed a trade surplus increase of 31.6% over the same period last year in the context of Vietnam's continuous trade deficit in services while its exports of goods is unstable.

In the first six months of 2018, the number of visitors to Vietnam increased 27.2% over the same period last year, with increases recorded in arrivals through all channels and from all continents. However, it should be noted that despite the strong increase in international visitors, the growth rate of tourism revenue is always lower than that of tourist arrivals. The average spending of each international visitor to Vietnam is only US$92.2 per day, lower than the average rate of US$96 per person a day in the world. In 2017, the average daily expenditure of each international visitor to Vietnam was US$15.1 for travel and US$14.5 on purchasing goods. The average number of days each visitor spent in Vietnam in 2017 was 7.2 days, shorter than the 8.7 days in 2005; 9.5 days in 2006; or 9.1 days in 2009. It can be seen that the average spending and length of stay of overseas tourists is on a downward trend and tourism efficiency is not high.

The export of tourism services depends largely on the number of international visitors and the number of days they stay, the development of infrastructure, the variety and attractiveness of tourism products, among other factors. It is straightforward to admit that Vietnamese tourism still has many shortcomings and weaknesses, such as the lack of seriousness in planning leading tourist destinations, causing disorder and disrupting the natural beauty and environment of many coastal areas and national tourism areas. In addition, the lack of tourist accommodation and special tourism products as well as human resources serving the sector is one of the limitations facing the country’s tourism sector. In general, Vietnam still focused on increasing the number of tourists without paying much attention to attracting high-spending customers as well as interdisciplinary solutions and policies to increase the spending of visitors.

Promoting the export of high-quality tourism services is an important orientation in the development of Vietnam's tourism, contributing to the development of a spillover effect and the role of tourism as a key economic sector, and to improve the international service balance. Sectorial and local authorities and enterprises should raise their awareness of the situation and strengthen close coordination while focusing on investments in technical infrastructure complexes in a synchronous manner and the diversification of high quality and closed-end tourism products, as well as developing attractive and unique tourist products, such as community-based tourism, eco-tourism and traditional villages.

At the same time, it is necessary to highlight the importance of the development of high-quality tourism human resources; resolutely eliminate acts of coercion and deception in tourism sites and develop a system of convenient transportation services between domestic and international destinations. In order to promote the export of high-quality tourism services, it is essential to drastically implement projects to restructure tourism, considering it a core measure to maintain sustainable growth for the economy. In addition, travel businesses should also focus on improving the quality of their services and competitiveness to attract more tourists.