The country has 125 beaches and ranks 27th out of 156 countries in terms of beautiful beaches, Vu Khac Chuong, rector of the Sai Gon College of Art, Culture and Tourism said at a conference on modern tourism models. He said the country also has more than 40,000 cultural relics and natural attractions and 30 national parks.
Although the Government has some strategies to improve tourism, the results have been meagre in comparison with the potential, he said.
Global integration and co-operation have created enormous opportunities as well as challenges for tourism development, he said.
Developing modern tourism models is crucial to boosting the country’s tourism, he said.
Educational tourism, medical tourism, culinary tourism and family tourism have much potential in Viet Nam, he said.
Mass tourism has negatively affected the natural environment and culture, he said.
With climate change and environmental awareness, sustainable tourism and slow travel alternatives have emerged to provide tourists with more authentic experiences.
Local authorities should co-ordinate with the Government, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the National Association of Tourism to work on the most suitable tourism forms for their place, he said.
Enterprises and tourism companies should focus on developing human resources, action programmes and facilities for developing appropriate forms of tourism.
Le Anh Tuan of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s education department said that many types of tourism are being developed to meet the demand of the market and gradually becoming popular in the world and Viet Nam.
In Viet Nam some new tourism forms have attracted public interest in recent years, including charity tourism, healthcare tourism, cuisine tourism and car, motorcycle or independent tourism.
A suitable legal framework should be created to manage new types of tourism and ensure sustainable development of the tourism sector, Tuan said.
Modern forms of tourism seek to exploit unique resources to keep up with contemporary social trends and needs, according to Duong Van Sau of the Ha Noi Culture University’s culture tourism faculty.
The new forms of tourism need high-quality human resources for meeting the needs of customers, Nguyen Van Luu, a member of the National Tourism Consulting Commission, said.
Human resources in the tourism industry are recognised as high quality if they have good knowledge, skills and a positive attitude, he said.
The development of education and training and socio-economic policies directly affect the quality of human resources in the sector, he said.
Tourism represents 10 per cent of the global GDP and accounts for nearly 10 per cent of jobs in the world.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation said there were 1.18 billion international tourists in 2015 and forecasts the number to increase to 1.8 billion by 2030.
Asia is expected to be the fastest growing destination.