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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        10 January 2011

Vietnam fails to meet 10-year tourism goals

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Vietnam failed to meet its 10-year target to turn the country's tourism industry into a key sector, although it met two of its goals, achieving 25 million in domestic tourists by 2009 and reaching an annual of US$4 - 4.5 billion in revenue by 2010.

For the period 2001 - 2010, the government aimed to make the tourism industry the leading sector, taking full advantage of the country's natural resources, ecology, culture and history. But the tourism industry still lags behind Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, according to experts.

Vietnam still plans to become a significant tourism centre in the region after 2010. Speaking at a recent seminar about the country's tourism industry held by the National Tourism Authority, experts said the industry had not taken full advantage of the country's potential. The tourism sector had planned to receive 5.5-6 million foreign tourists in 2010, but reached only 5 million.

The industry had targeted annual GDP growth of 11 percent, but was unable to reach that figure. Zoning for the tourism industry has not been done properly, experts have said.

In addition, some coastal cities lack land to build large hotels and resorts.

The quality of human resources working in the industry is still restricted.

Besides tour guides who can speak English well, there was also a shortage of guides who can speak German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese or Korean to serve tourists from those countries.

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