According to the "Overall plan for Vietnam's tourism development until 2020, with a vision to 2030" approved by the Prime Minister, Vietnam targets to develop seven tourism regions providing diversified tourism products representing the character of each region. Tourism experts believe that Vietnam's tourism outlook by 2020 will be comprehensive and attractive, turning tourism into a key economic sector.
The tourism space of the seven regions are divided as follows:
– The midland and mountainous areas in Northern Vietnam include 14 cities and provinces: Hoa Binh, Son La, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Yen Bai, Phu Tho, Lao Cai, Tuyen Quang, Ha Giang, Bac Kan, Thai Nguyen, Cao Bang, Lang Son and Bac Giang provinces. The tourism development orientation focuses on “returning to the roots” tourism with exploration of cultural identities of ethnic minorities, eco-tourism, sport and discovery tourism and border tourism associated with border trade.
– The Red River Delta and coastal Northeast, include 11 cities and provinces: Hanoi, Hai Phong, Vinh Phuc, Bac Ninh, Hai Duong, Hung Yen and Thai Binh, Ha Nam, Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh and Quang Ninh provinces are characterized by cultural tourism associated with the Red River wet rice civilization, marine tourism, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions) tourism, rural agriculture eco-tourism, festival tourism, weekend tourism and high class forms of entertainment.
– The North Central region, includes six cities and provinces: Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces, is characterized by tours to explore historical and cultural heritage sites, marine tourism, eco-tourism and border tourism associated with the border gates.
– The Coastal South Central region, includes Da Nang City, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan provinces, is featured by marine and resort tourism associated with the exploration of cultural characters (Cham culture and ethnic minorities in Eastern Truong Son Mountain) and MICE tourism.
– The Central Highlands includes Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Lam Dong provinces with typical tourism products are mainly Central Highlands tourism, mountain exploration tourism associated with local products like flowers, coffee and elephants and border tourism associated with the border gates and the development triangle.
– The Southeastern region includes Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh province is featured with MICE tourism, festival tourism, marine tourism, weekend tourism, sport and shopping tourism and border tourism associated with the border gates.
– The Mekong Delta region includes Can Tho City, Long An, Dong Thap, An Giang, Kien Giang, Ca Mau, Bac Lieu, Soc Trang, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Vinh Long, Tien Giang and Hau Giang provinces has eco-tourism (hick towns and submerged lands), marine tourism and festival tourism.
It can be seen that the prioritized tourism products in these seven tourism areas are quite diversified, including a collection of marine tourism products that have a high competitiveness in the Asia’s Southeastern region, along with cultural tourism products associated with heritages and festivals and with the strong development of cuisine tourism.
Experts said in the overall plan of the seven tourism areas, the local culture and natural environment are two key factors for tourism sustainable development. However, not all the regions are aware of this issue or they have private planning that is unsuitable with the overall plan. Therefore, the Prime Minister has assigned the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism a task to guide these region draw up their local overall tourism development plan that could match the overall plan of the country.
By 2020, the tourism industry strives to attract 10.5 million international tourists and serve 47.5 million domestic tourists with an annual growth rate of seven percent and 5.1 percent respectively. The total revenue from tourism will reach VND372 trillion, equal to US$18.5 billion.
By 2030, the number of international and domestic tourists are planned to increase to 18 million and 71 million with an annual growth rate of 5.2 percent and 4.1 percent respectively. The total revenue from tourism by that time will reach VND708 trillion, equal to US$35.2 billion.