(TITC) - On December 10, World Economic Forum (WEF) organized the virtual T&T Competitiveness and Resilience Dialogues. Mr. Ha Van Sieu, Vice Chairman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) attended the dialogues.
With an estimated $4.5 billion in GDP and over 60 million jobs lost in 2020, according to WTTC, COVID-19 has demonstrated how vulnerable the global travel and tourism (T&T) sector is to global risks.
The dialogue brought together T&T stakeholders to discuss what challenges the sector is facing in its recovery and how sustainability can be leveraged to create more resilient and competitive T&T businesses and destinations. As a result, participants can help chart a way forward for a sector that underpins global connectivity, economic development and cultural exchange.
The outcome of the meeting helps develop frameworks, insights, and analytics products that helps decision-makers build a more competitive T&T economy via improved sustainability and resilience.
This dialogue focused on the following areas and questions (1) The new 2021 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index framework, including its greater coverage of sustainability, (2) Identifying the main challenges in the ongoing sector recovery and what lessons can be learned from COVID-19 regarding future risks, (3) What will be the sector’s primary sustainability and resilience challenges and risks?, (4) How will these challenges and risks impact sector development and competitiveness strategy?
Speaking at the session, VNAT’ Vice Chairman Ha Van Sieu informed that before the pandemic, T&T in Vietnam growing fast and contributed 9.2% to the GDP and reach ranking 63/140 economies in the 2019 WEF’s Competitiveness Index. In the period 2015-2019, international arrivals to Vietnam achieved an average growth rate of 22.7%/year. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 has severely affected tourism in Vietnam in particular and the world in general and may take from 2 to 3 years to recover.
Discussing the challenges of tourism development in the future, Mr. Ha Van Sieu said that it is the labour shortage (60-70% of tourism labours in Vietnam lost their jobs or left to the industry) that needs to big training cost for new workforce, which hardly meets the requirements all at a time. Along with that, the trend of innovation in tourism products and services to ensure the safety of tourists is also one of the challenges and costs incurred for T&T businesses.
The Government of Vietnam has issued many policies on finance, fiscal and social security to resolve difficulties for businesses and support workers in the tourism industry, and continues launching plan to recover and develop economic.
In the field of tourism, the Government prioritizes in safe destination, diversifying tourism products, enhancing communication on tourism in new normal; applying digitalization in T&T sector, supporting businesses; supporting tourism labour training.
He also affirmed that Viet Nam is an advantageous country for sustainable tourism development. The country possesses beautiful natural scenery, long history and culture, which is to develop green tourism products, agri-tourism, community-based tourism...
Along with that, the Vietnamese Government also prioritizes environmental protection and low-carbon economic development as favorable conditions for tourism to develop more sustainably in the future.
With great efforts of the Government, tourism industry and businesses, Vice Chairman Ha Van Sieu believes that Vietnam tourism will soon overcome current challenges and take opportunities to recover and develop in the future with greater efficiency and sustainability.
Tourism Information Technology Center