Challenges in Vietnam hospitality industry in 2018
2017 marks a number of striking events, one of which is that we have welcomed 12.8 million international visitors, growth of 28% compared to 2016. With those remarkable achievements, 2017 can be viewed as the successful year for Vietnam tourism.

However, besides those accomplishments, VN still have limitations. In particular, although the number of visitors to Vietnam increased dramatically, according to many experts, the average expenditure of tourists is very low. So, what is the cause?

Travel Industry is very potential

After having been welcomed 10 million international visitors in 2016, growth rate of 26%,then in 2017 Vietnam has served 13 million international visitors, increased for 30%; and 74 million domestic visitors, increased by approximately 20%; with direct revenue gained  up to VND 500,000 billion, equivalent to US $23 billion, contributed about 7.5% to Vietnam's GDP.

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Tourism Competitiveness Index in 2017, out of 136 tourism markets, Vietnam ranked 34th in terms of natural resources, 30th in cultural resources and official tourism, 37th on human resources.

Challenges facing in 2018

However, look at the other indicators: the degree of international openness for tourism(mainly visas) ranked 73rd; attention, priority for tourism development ranked 101st; IT platform ranked 80th; clean and safe environment ranked 82nd;sustainable development ranked 129th; business environment ranked 68th; airport infrastructure ranked 61st; ground traffic is ranked 71st; tourist service infrastructure is ranked 113rd; safety and security for visitors ranked 57th.

TS. Luong Hoai Nam, who has many years of experience in the aviation industry, commented: "These are pretty high rankings, but when combined with other factors, the combined index of tourism in our country is only sixty seven". General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Nguyen Van Tuan and Mr. Nam both emphasized that many advantages of tourism in Vietnam are being inhibited, even neutralized by many "bottlenecks".

4 main "bottlenecks"

Firstly, visa policy has improved but has not been very open and very competitive compared to other countries. Lots of visitors are discouraged to be in Vietnam in a long time, or choose other destination rather than Vietnam because of the visa problem.

Second, regarding tourism infrastructure, ranking 113th shows that Vietnam's tourism products are still poor. The hospitality industry in Vietnam has been doing well with"easy to do" products such as hotels, resorts, but it is weak with those requiring high creativity and meticulousness in construction and operation. Moreover, the insufficient financial resources is also the reason. Promoting Vietnam's overseas tourism from the state budget in the past years at $ 1,502.5 million / year,too small compared to many countries in the region.

Thirdly, Vietnam is still limited in enhancing and maintaining the professional services in aviation, as well as connecting direct flights from Vietnam to the key markets.

Fourthly, the management to ensure security and safety in many localities, especially places attracting a relatively large number of tourists also faces many problems.

Other challenges

Moreover, the internal weaknesses of the tourism sector, such as the management of the tourism sector at all levels, travel and tour operator management, passenger transportation, is also a challenge to overcome.

In addition,some places are undergoing overload, piling up on a small area. Along with that, the gradually losing indigenous culture and poor service is pushing sustainable development goal back. For example, in some destinations, there are still cases of inappropriate rising price, unqualified service, lack of environmental sanitation making visitors feel insecure.

Finally,human resources problems in tourism, require short-term, medium-term and long-term strategies and strategies to overcome.

Conclusion

Vu The Binh, vice chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, said that with the strong policy like TW8 Resolution, and an open Tourism Law, surely 2018 is hope to be a a more favorable year than 2017. However, because of the mentioned reasons, the growth rate of tourists will probably maintain stable in 2018.  Then hope for the best that the new markets that Vietnam is trying to explore and promote in the past few years will begin to flourish in this year.

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