US is the third country to have largest number of tourists
coming to Vietnam annually, following China and Japan.
In year 2004, 272.400 American tourists visited Vietnam.
In the first quarter this year, the number of US tourist
traveling to Vietnam totaled 94,784, up by 23% over
last yearís same period. However, that is just a modest
figure in compared with 50 million American tourists
spending holiday abroad annually. Deputy General Director
of the Vietnam Administration for Tourism Pham Tu talked
with Vietnam Economic Timesí Duc Vuong.
is your assessment of the US market for tourism and
its impact on Vietnamís tourism industry?
my opinion, US is one of the world leading countries
in terms of its tourism industry. In year 2002, its
incomes from tourism totaled US$66.5 billion, as much
as 14% the global revenues from this industry. In the
same year, 50 million American tourists traveled abroad,
spending a total amount of money of US$58 billion, as
much as 12.2% the global expenditure on traveling. That
is the reason why many countries around the world consider
the US an important market to attract more tourists
from there. For Vietnam, the US is a significant tourism
market. For the last 10 years, the US has been one of
the five countries with largest number of tourists choosing
Vietnam to be their destination. The number of American
tourists coming to Vietnam grew by 12.9% on the average
to 220,000 in year 2003 and 272,473 last year.
have Vietnam and the US cooperated so far in the field
of tourism industry since the signature of the Bilateral
Trade Agreement (BTA)?
have well prepared for implementation of bilateral commitments
in terms of tourism as specified in the BTA. Many new
legal documents for this field have been compiled in
accordance with such commitments so as to drive travel
enterprisesí operation in the direction of those. International
cooperation and integration is also topics for conferences
and meetings related to tourism so as to improve awareness
of managers. Vietnam has facilitated several US reporters,
film makers, etc to come to Vietnam for the purpose
of introducing Vietnamís tourism products to American
tourists. We also co-ordinate closely with the Ministry
of Culture, Vietnamese embassies to and representative
offices in many countries, as well as relevant agencies
to push up tourism promotion activities.
what has been done is still modest. Number of tourists
as well as amount of FDI capital from the US is still
small. What is your comment?
implementation of the BTA and exploitation of the US
market for tourism has not been as expected. Only 0.5%
of US tourists spending holiday abroad come to Vietnam
annually while the number of those traveling to Thailand
is much higher. US represents only 0.8% of total foreign
direct investment in Vietnamís tourism industry.
are solutions for better exploitation of this important
of all, we should create the right environment for foreign
investment in the tourism industry and improve infrastructures
for tourism. Second, policies on tourism should be adjusted
for both conformity with the BTA and defense of national
independence and interests. We should also attach more
importance to information about the USís legal systems,
requirements, business customs, administrative procedures,
is your advice for travel companies for better exploitation
of this market?
my opinion, they should study more thoroughly the BTA,
promote research of the market and create more products
with greater attractiveness to US tourists. Each enterprise
should have its own suitable and long-term strategy
for this market with competitive tourism products and
services, especially those meeting international standards.