TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY SEMINAR - VIETNAM 'S RESORT SECTOR
OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES
On the evening of September 7, 2023, as part of the International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City 2023 (ITE HCMC 2023), the Department of Tourism of Ho Chi Minh City collaborated with the National Tourism Administration of Vietnam to organize a seminar on the tourism and hotel industry in Vietnam - Opportunities & Challenges with the goal of proposing sustainable tourism development solutions both domestically and internationally.
The seminar was attended by high-level management representatives from various travel companies, travel agencies, accommodation providers, airlines, and large corporations from both within and outside of Vietnam. Guided and coordinated by leading experts in the field, the event saw lively discussions on the latest trends, adaptability, and future prospects of the tourism and hotel industry in Vietnam and around the world. Additionally, the seminar provided opportunities for networking, sharing ideas, and expanding business collaborations during this crucial period of tourism recovery and development in the city.
Throughout the seminar, practical issues regarding the long-term development of the tourism industry in Vietnam were consistently addressed. These challenges included environmental degradation, overdevelopment, a focus on quantity over quality, and were eloquently discussed in the opening remarks by Mr. Mauro Gasparotti, Director of Savills Hotels & WeHub. Furthermore, the scale and development of the global tourism market were of significant interest, as explained by Mr. Velancia Teo, Business Development Manager of CoStar Group (STR). Additionally, the inbound tourism operations of Saigontourist, a leading travel service company, were presented by Mr. Võ Việt Hòa, Director of the International Tourism Division, as a notable example of how tourism is organized and expanded in Vietnam's international market.
Building upon these foundational issues, the Tourism and Hotel Industry Seminar delved deep into researching and seeking solutions to promote international tourism activities and enhance the hotel operations in Vietnam through two discussion sessions, facilitated by Mr. Trần Trọng Kiên, Chairman of Thiên Minh Group, and Mr. Douglas Louden, Director of Perceptions Hospitality.
Promoting International Tourism Activities:
In the first discussion session, "Promoting International Tourism Activities," participants, including Mr. Trần Trọng Kiên, Chairman of Thiên Minh Group, Ms. Huỳnh Phan Phương Hoàng, Deputy CEO of Vietravel, representatives from Vietnam Airlines, Mr. Erkan Tuncaakar, CEO of GoVacation, Ms. Queenie Nguyen, Director of Business Development at BWH Hotels, Mr. Lukasz Koztowski, Director and Co-Founder of MakeYourAsia, and Mr. Ngô Minh Đức, Chairman of Asia DMC, engaged in a discussion about the strategic development of tourism in Vietnam over the next seven years. Specifically, Vietnam aims to rise and rank among the top 30 tourist destinations globally by 2030, contributing 15-17% to the national GDP. Furthermore, plans for building the national tourism brand were discussed in detail, with numerous examples of successful projects such as Vietnam.travel and international trade fair support (ITB and WTM).
Contributing to this discussion, Vietnam Airlines proposed recommendations for strengthening the synergy between aviation and tourism to facilitate recovery and development. According to their proposal, the aviation and tourism sectors share a close relationship, with aviation playing a vital role in transportation and connectivity, serving as the bridge for tourists to experience various travel destinations in Vietnam. Their proposed solutions focused on image promotion, database integration, and conditions for tourism promotion in key markets.
Enhancing the Operation of Vietnamese Hotels:
In the second discussion session, "Enhancing the Operation of Vietnamese Hotels," the orientation for the development of tourism, along with the current situation and trends in accommodation operations in Vietnam, were elucidated through lively discussions among panelists. Under the leadership of Mr. Douglas Louden, Director of Perceptions Hospitality, and with the participation of Mr. Mario Mendis, General Manager of Sofitel Saigon, Mr. Gentzsch Andrez Pierre, General Manager of Furama Resort Đà Nẵng, Mr. Vignesh Mani, General Manager of Oakwood Residence Saigon, Mr. Martin Koerner, Director of Sales and Marketing at The Anam Resort, and Mr. Alexander Schoell, General Manager of Renaissance, the discussion provided a comprehensive overview of accommodation activities within the scope of domestic tourism.
The seminar once again emphasized the strategic direction of Vietnam's tourism, including the development of tourism as a key economic sector, sustainable tourism development encompassing cultural aspects and heritage preservation, and professional, quality, and efficient tourism development, both domestically and internationally. Building unique regional tourism brands remained a top priority, with the development of brands for regions, destinations, and tourism products based on cultural values, local ecology, and distinctive services as a focal point in promoting Vietnam's image nationally and internationally.
In particular, the discussion recognized the growth of the accommodation sector, with many domestic establishments achieving significant awards regionally and globally. This demonstrates that Vietnam's tourism, as well as its hotel industry, is capitalizing on both domestic and international advantages to gradually meet high international standards.
The Tourism and Hotel Industry Seminar - Opportunities & Challenges opened up new directions for the operation and promotion of the tourism and hotel industry in Ho Chi Minh City and across Vietnam as a whole. Through networking opportunities and insights from experienced speakers, the seminar offered a chance to assess the overall state of the country's tourism while inspiring innovative ideas and proposals that will contribute to the robust development of the tourism industry in the future.