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Vietnam losing billions in recreational tourism

Released at: 14:57, 11/05/2016

Vietnam losing billions in recreational tourism

Country's lack of entertainment venues sees it down the list of regional countries to visit.

by Minh Tuyet

Vietnam is short of recreational tourism products and is losing billions of dollars in revenue as a result, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

Regional countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore boast a range of different tourism products in addition to their natural beauty.

Thailand’s tourism sector brings in $50 billion annually and this year targets $64 billion, while Malaysia’s goal is $35 billion this year. Singapore, meanwhile, earns some $16 billion annually from tourism while Vietnam earns a mere $15 billion.

Average spending by tourists in Vietnam is about $107 a day against $160 in Thailand, as the latter has more entertainment services in resorts and tourism areas.  

VNAT estimates that if the country were to have entertainment services that match Thailand’s it would earn an additional $3.2 billion from 7.5 million tourists.

Ideas on better entertainment, it pointed out, should not be limited to just gambling, as both domestic and international tourists prefer services that provide pleasure, have cultural features, and are good for the health.

General Secretary of the Vietnam Real Estate Association Tran Ngọc Quang agreed that demand for entertainment and shopping has not been fully met.

Many investors, he said, do not have the financial or professional capacity to build large entertainment areas.

Former Deputy Minister of Construction Pham Sy Liem said that most resort projects lack entertainment venues and tourists may not enjoy their trip to the fullest as a result.

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