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Experts discuss draft Law on Tourism

Released at: 09:57, 26/05/2017

Experts discuss draft Law on Tourism

Photo: VnEconomy

VET Group holds conference on tourism becoming a sprearhead economic sector.

by Ngoc Lan

The Vietnam Economic Times Group held the “Creating a Breakthrough for Tourism to Develop into a Spearhead Economic Sector” workshop in Hanoi on May 25.

A range of ideas were floated by economic experts and business leaders about the draft Law on Tourism 2017.

Mr. Nguyen Quoc Ky, Chairman and General Director of Vietravel, said the draft law is no different from the Law on Tourism 2005. “Vietnam has targeted tourism turnover of $35 billion and international visitors to increase 190 per cent, but the changes in the draft law do not match these goals,” he said. “A tourism law must be built based on support, to create impetus in terms of mechanism and development.”

Many comments at the workshop involved the establishment of tourism promotion agencies being separated from the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

Mr. Luu Duc Ke, Director of Hanoitourist, spoke of the tourist inspection issue, saying that if tourism is considered a key sector, it must have its own inspection force.

Speakers including economic expert Le Dang Doanh, entrepreneur Mr. Ky, and the Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association and member of the National Assembly Duong Trung Quoc, believe the National Assembly will not pass the draft law.

Similarly, Ms. Huong Tran Kieu Dung, Deputy Chairwoman of the Board of Management of the FLC Group, agreed that there were many barriers to tourism becoming a key economic sector, such as planning and regulations for tourism development remaining complex. “The government should have more laws to encourage businesses to invest in real estate, resorts, transport infrastructure, and aviation for tourism development,” she proposed.

The number of international visitors in the first fourth months of this year was estimated at over 4.2 million, up 30.3 per cent year-on-year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Hoping to give the tourism industry a major push, the Vietnamese Government has launched a much-touted online visa system for travelers on short holidays or business visits.

Tourism authorities are eyeing a 15 per cent increase in international visitors this year. The sector is expected to contribute 10 per cent to Vietnam’s GDP and become a key economic driver by 2020. By that time, the country is expected to welcome up to 20 million foreign visitors and earn $35 billion in tourism revenue.

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