Disneylands, golf courses, museums help promote tourism: expert
Vietnam ranks 113rd out of 136 surveyed countries in terms of tourism infrastructure.
The Dragon Bridge in Da Nang City
Luong Hoai Nam, an aviation and tourism expert, said the country urgently needs to enrich tourism products.
He can see potential in the development of theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios in Hanoi and HCMC which serve domestic and foreign travelers.
The state needs program the land use, set up preferential investment policies, and choose experienced and financially capable investors, he said.
Nam estimates that a successful theme park can help retain foreign travelers for 0.5-1 day and increase travelers’ spending in localities by 10 percent. In addition, hotels would also gain higher revenue thanks to travelers’ longer stays.
Some large entertainment complexes such as Ba Na Hills, Asia Park of Sungroup, Vinpearl Land and Safari in Phu Quoc of Vingroup are called ‘Vietnam’s Disneyland’s ’.
However, experts say Vietnamese need more amusement complexes of international stature.
Tran Ngoc Quang, secretary general of the Vietnam Real Estate Association, commented that most resorts in Vietnam serve the demand for accommodations and business but a real resort complex needs to satisfy shopping and entertainment as well.
The Khang Thong Group once announced investment of $2 billion in the Happy Land project in Long An province. However, for many reasons, the investor had to scale down the project.
Like Disneyland, Nam believes that museums will also help persuade travelers to stay for 0.5 day more. There are numerous museums in Vietnam, but the quality is inconsistent.
Nam believes it would be better for private investors to develop ‘war tourism’. Vietnam has former war zones and battle sites that attract travelers interested in history and sightseeing.
He said Vietnam also needs to make heavy investment in golf tourism, because this targets the wealthy.
Vietnam’s golf courses can operate year round and attract golfers from Northeast Asia, Europe, the US and Australia, where golf courses do not operate in winter.
According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), Vietnam welcomed more than 13 million foreign visitors and served 73.2 million domestic tourists to earn US$23 billion in 2017. The country hopes it can receive 15 million foreign travelers in 2018.
In 2017, the Politburo issued Resolution No8 on developing tourism into a spearhead economic industry.
In the latest news, Vietnam has decided to renew visa exemptions for a three-year period for the citizens of five Western European countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
Kim Chi, VNN