While some economists say that Vietnam has too many hotels and resorts, others believe that tourism infrastructure is inadequate compared with the rest of the world.
The participants at a workshop on tourism infrastructure development, however, all agreed that developing tourism as a key sector was the right move for Vietnam.
Luong Hoai Nam, CEO of Vietstar Airlines, and a member of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism’s Advisory Council, said that Vietnam has many advantages to develop tourism.
“Vietnam cannot succeed with industries and technologies,” he said. “We once tried to develop shipbuilding, automobile and electronics industries. We strived to become a developed industrial country by 2020. However, 15 out of 20 criteria prove to be unattainable.”
As for agriculture development, Nam thinks that Vietnam would not be able to access high technologies if it maintains the household-based production method.
How about tourism? This is within reach, he said. “Vietnam still has to hire foreign managers and foreign cooks. However, we are still the owners of hotels in our homeland.”
Nguyen Tran Nam, chair of the Vietnam Real Estate Association, and former Deputy Minister of Construction, shared the same view.
Vietnam’s “very low” GDP growth rate of 5.1% in the first quarter of 2017 was due to low growth in industrial production and “big difficulties for agriculture production due to climate change”, he said.