DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN THE NORTH OF VIETNAM

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Tourism is now becoming one of the key industries of any economy. This is a sector involving different classes of society as everyone is participating in promoting the Vietnam tourism image, from the travel agencies trying to attract foreign tourists to our amazing Vietnam, to street sweepers cleaning the streets, contributing to a beautiful tidy city every day. FOREIGN TRADE UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS *** Major: International economics GRADUATION THESIS DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN THE NORTH OF VIETNAM: CURRENT SITUATION AND SOLUTIONS Hanoi, June 2019 TABLE OF CONTENTS ABBREVIATION LISTS OF FIGURES LIST OF TABLES ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS SUMMARY OF GRADUATION THESIS INTRODUCTION CHAPTER THEORETICAL BACKGROUND OF TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM 1.1 Conceptual background of tourism 1.1.1 Terms and definition 1.1.2 Role of tourism 1.1.3 Types of tourism 1.1.4 Factors affecting tourism development .10 1.2 Conceptual background of sustainable tourism .15 1.2.1 Terms and definition 15 1.2.2 The rationale for developing sustainable tourism .20 1.2.3 Criteria for assessing sustainable tourism 22 1.3 Experiences in developing sustainable tourism .24 1.3.1 Typical cases in the world 24 1.3.2 Typical cases in Vietnam 28 1.3.3 Lessons drawn from typical cases .30 CHAPTER ANALYSIS ON SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN THE NORTH OF VIETNAM 33 2.1 An overview of the Northern provinces of Vietnam and sustainable tourism in these provinces 33 2.1.1 Overview of Northern region of Vietnam 33 2.1.2 Overview of sustainable tourism in the North of Vietnam 36 2.2 SWOT analysis on sustainable tourism development with three pillars economic, society and environment in the North of Vietnam .42 2.2.1 Overview about SWOT analysis method 42 2.2.2 Strengths and weaknesses 43 2.2.3 Opportunities and threats 58 2.3 Applying SWOT analysis to assessing sustainable tourism in the North of Vietnam .67 2.3.1 Assessing the current strategy of sustainable development in the North based on SWOT analysis .68 2.3.2 Causes of achievements and limitations of sustainable tourism in the North under the current strategies 70 CHAPTER RECOMMENDATIONS AND SOLUTIONS FOR DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN VIETNAM’S NORTHERN REGION .73 3.1 Suggesting new development strategies for sustainable tourism in the North of Vietnam through SWOT analysis 73 3.2 Solutions to improve the current strategies and implement successfully new strategies 75 3.2.1 Solutions to improve the current strategies .75 3.2.2 Solutions to implement effectively new strategies 78 CONCLUSION 83 REFERENCES APPENDICES ABBREVIATION BC British Columbia GSTC Global Sustainable Tourism Council IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature SGO Statistics Office of Vietnam TAT Tourism Authority of Thailand UNWTO United Nations World Tourism Organization VNAT Vietnam National Administration of Tourism VTEA Vietnam Tourism Education Association WCED World Commission on Environment and WTO Development World Trade Organization WTTC World Travel & Tourism Council LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1.1 Maslow hierarchy of needs 11 Figure 1.2 Three pillars of sustainable development .17 Figure 2.1 Revenue from tourism in the Northern provinces in 2018 42 Figure 2.2 Growth of accommodation in some provinces in the North from 20152017 47 Figure 2.3 Average Occupancy Rate and RevPAR by Star Ranking 48 Figure 2.4 Distribution of number of tour guides in Northern provinces .54 Figure 2.5 Main source of guests coming to Vietnam in 2018 .60 Figure 2.6 Spending of foreigner tourists visiting Vietnam in 2017 61 LIST OF TABLES Table 1.1 Comparison between mass tourism and sustainable tourism 19 Table 2.1 Land use by province (As of 31 December 2016)(*) by Cities, provincies and Land use 35 Table 2.2 Projects are on the completion process in Quang Ninh until 2018 51 Table 2.3 SWOT matrix 68 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS In fact, tourism is not a major research’s topic in FTU However, there hold a strong connection between developing tourism and developing the economy that is comprised of three mains industries which are agriculture, industry, and service Tourism is in the third industry, which is a smokeless industry and brings about a significant amount of revenue Rather than dig deep into other sectors such as finance, micro or macro economy, I would like to make a different direction for this thesis, with the aim of upholding a viewpoint about tourism and sustainable tourism However, due to the new and complex of the content, and constraint time, it is certain that the research will still have many shortcomings that need the advices of teachers, and individuals who are interested in sustainable tourism in the Northern region I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my university Foreign Trade University and the Faculty of International Economic from which I know I become mature My deep thanks and appreciation goes to my instructor Mr Pham Xuan Truong, who gave me professional guidance and insightful comments that considerably help me to finish this thesis And I would like thank all teachers who have taught me for years in Foreign Trade University, all friends, and my family who always encourage me in writing this thesis SUMMARY OF GRADUATION THESIS Topic: Developing sustainable tourism in the North of Vietnam: current situation and solutions Student: Nguyen Ngoc Thao ID: 1514450042 Intake: 54 (2015-2019) Class: English 10 Instructor: Pham Xuan Truong Department/ Faculty: International Economics Keyword: Developing sustainable tourism Contents of the Summary: Rationale Tourism is one of the key industries in the economy In Vietnam, especially in the North, the development of tourism in recent years has faced shortcomings, environmental, socio – cultural problems, and other related issues Therefore, the orientation of developing sustainable tourism is increasingly getting concerned of the Government, organizations and individuals involved in tourism activities Aims, objects and scopes of the thesis This study analyzes the current situation of sustainable tourism development in the North of Vietnam from 2015 to 2018 Methodology: This study uses statistical method, comparison and contrast method, method of analysis and synthesis, inductive and deductive method Contents and findings of the thesis Beside the achievements, tourism in the North has faced many problems related to the sustainable goals After using the SWOT analysis, and pointing out the reasons causing limitations in developing sustainable tourism in this region, the study has proposed some recommendations about the current strategies and suggested new solutions in order to develop tourism sustainably in the North Conclusion Tourism is an interdisciplinary industry and it is essential to raise the awareness of all the sectors involved to join the concerted efforts to achieve the sustainable goals INTRODUCTION The necessity of the thesis Stepping into the 21st century, tourism has become an indispensable part of the whole picture of the economy It has made enormous changes to every facet of our daily lives In this modern world, everyone can be involved in promoting tourism, from the costermongers selling street food and stuffs on the street, to the garbage workers cleaning up and beautifying the streets, to travel agencies making tailor tours for foreigners to explore the charming beauty of Vietnam All of them are trying their best in making concerted efforts to attract tourists and preserve the pristine beauty of the country Fortunately, Vietnam is a country favored by Mother Nature, has over 3.000 kilometers of coastline, pristine beaches, dynamic growing cities, mountainous highlands, and diverse cultural and historic sites Vietnam is proud to rank at out of 10 countries with the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world (United Nations World Tourism Organization, 2017) and has heritages recognized by UNESCO as world natural and cultural heritage Thanks to the beautiful nature and the hospital people, Vietnam’s tourism industry continues to rank amongst the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the world According to World Travel & Tourism Council Annual Report (WTTC, 2018), in 2017, the total revenue from tourism in Vietnam was 468.291 billion (USD 20.605 million), contributed approximately 9,4 % to total GDP, was ranked at 31st among those countries having the fastest growth in tourism development in the world In recent years, although the number of international tourists in Vietnam increased three-fold from just million in 2010 to 15 million by 2018 and there is room for further expansion in this sector, there holds an unfortunate fact that these potentials and development currently restrained by issues related to unsustainable development Since the 1980s, the term "sustainable development" become a buzzword in development researches in general and in tourism development in particular It seems that in recent decades, economic growth has been focused too much that the massively reverse impacts on the environment and traditional values have been neglected, which results in the overcrowding and pollution of a World Heritage Site- Ha Long Bay, and the commercialization and cultural identity lost in Sapa It means the development of tourism in our country is not sustainable enough In the Northern region of Vietnam, there holds an unfortunate fact that there are still lots of other famous sites which have been compromised and no longer kept their original outlook, and the daily lives of the local resident has been disturbed Undeniably, the economic benefits of tourism in the Northern region are enormous, however, it is likely that the harm it brings about will outweigh the benefits With a full appreciation of previous studies and researches made by numerous writers and scholars towards sustainable tourism development, this paper attempts to clarify how to develop sustainable tourism in the Northern region, which has various top attractions and sightseeing spots This research also aims to show that tourism can be carried out in a way that gives back to nature, rather than taking from it With all the reasons stated above, the topic research "Developing sustainable tourism in the North of Vietnam: current situation and solutions” was chosen to be extremely meaningful in both theory and practice Aims of the thesis On the basis of clarifying the theoretical background of tourism and tourism sustainable development, the thesis focuses on the current situation of tourism development in some provinces which are in the Northern region of Vietnam and proposes some solutions well as recommendations Objects and scope of the thesis Objects: The thesis aims at analyzing the current status of sustainable tourism development in the North of Vietnam, especially some top tourist attractions which are Quang Ninh (Ha Long Bay – Bai Tu Long Bay), Lao Cai (Sapa), and Ninh Binh (Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex) The scope of the study: - In terms of space: Provinces in the North in general and especial top tourist attractions in the North which are Quang Ninh (Ha Long Bay – Bai Tu Long Bay), Lao Cai (Sapa), and Ninh Binh (Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex) in particular - In terms of time: The study focuses on the period of years, from 2015 to 2018 and the first quarter of 2019 Thesis’s methodology The writer uses the specific research methods: statistical method, comparison and contrast method, method of analysis and synthesis, inductive and deductive method Structure of the thesis Apart from the Introduction, Table of contents, Conclusion, References, the thesis is comprised of main parts: Chapter 1: Theoretical background of tourism and sustainable tourism Chapter 2: Analysis of sustainable tourism development in the North of Vietnam Chapter 3: Recommendations and solutions for developing sustainable tourism in Vietnam’s Northern region Lang Son Bac Kan Thai Nguyen Tuyen Quang Dien Bien Son La Phu Tho 10 Bac Giang 11 Vinh Phuc 12 Hanoi 15 13 Bac Ninh 14 Hai Duong 15 Hai Phong 16 Hung Yen 17 Thai Binh 18 Nam Dinh 19 Ha Nam 20 Ninh Binh 21 TOTAL 58 Source: Compilation from Department of Cultural Heritage (2018) APPENDIX E: Number of accommodations in Northern provinces 2015-2017 Unit: Houses Orde r Provinces 2015 2016 2017 Bac Giang 281 264 321 Bac Kan 194 191 205 Bac Ninh 430 474 598 Cao Bang 172 192 217 Dien Bien 68 64 65 Ha Giang 130 158 234 Ha Nam 82 89 123 Hai Duong 12 47 36 Hai Phong 207 212 239 10 Hanoi 514 570 603 11 Hoa Binh 99 86 406 12 Hung Yen 224 44 246 13 Lai Chau 68 86 97 14 Lang Son 177 187 201 15 Lao Cai 259 847 918 16 Nam Dinh 21 25 33 17 Ninh Bình 204 217 282 18 Phu Tho 266 270 307 19 Quang Ninh 611 1.046 1.155 20 Son La 47 147 160 21 Tuyen Quang 260 178 203 22 Thai Binh 113 194 176 23 Thai Nguyen 335 95 429 24 Vinh Phuc 280 308 338 25 Yen Bai 99 106 118 Totals 5.205 6.157 7.778 Source: Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (2015-2017) APPENDIX F: Number of rooms for staying in Northern provinces 2015-2017 Unit: Room Order Provinces 2015 2016 2017 Bac Giang 3.840 3.615 4.663 Bac Kan 1.698 1.567 2.530 Bac Ninh 4.258 5.334 7.199 Cao Bang 2.308 2.551 2.985 Dien Bien 1.110 1.108 1.234 Ha Giang 2.030 2.340 3.088 Ha Nam 1.266 1.335 2.089 Hai Duong 408 1.458 1.212 Hai Phong 6.286 6.150 6.475 10 Hanoi 20.433 21.436 22.532 11 Hoa Binh 1.064 1.421 3.646 12 Hung Yen 2.560 579 2.847 13 Lai Chau 1.266 1.696 1.864 14 Lang Son 2.422 2.501 2.624 15 Lao Cai 3.881 9.033 9.286 16 Nam Dinh 790 844 1.208 17 Ninh Bình 3.229 3.375 3.938 18 Phu Tho 3.309 3.549 3.871 19 Quang Ninh 12.235 14.499 19.230 Order Provinces 2015 2016 2017 20 Son La 616 2.150 2.608 21 Tuyen Quang 2.563 2.077 2.385 22 Thai Binh 1.624 2.567 2.357 23 Thai Nguyen 5.068 2.112 5.841 24 Vinh Phuc 4.493 4.808 5.130 25 Yen Bai 1.432 1.890 1.872 Totals 91.532 101.515 124.464 Source: Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (2015-2017) APPENDIX G: Number of tour guides in the Northern provinces in 2016 Unit: People Order Provinces Number of tour guides Bac Kan Son La 14 Dien Bien 16 Cao Bang 17 Ha Giang 18 Tuyen Quang 29 Ha Nam 30 Yen Bai 35 Hoa Binh 37 10 Lang Son 45 11 Nam Dinh 45 12 Thai Nguyen 54 13 Phu Tho 60 14 Bac Ninh 62 15 Lai Chau 72 16 Ninh Bình 75 17 Hai Duong 78 18 Bac Giang 80 19 Vinh Phuc 80 20 Thai Binh 81 21 Hung Yen 151 22 Lao Cai 335 23 Hai Phong 345 24 Quang Ninh 435 25 Hanoi 4.211 Totals 6.414 Source: Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (2016) APPENDIX H: Countries of Origin for International Arrivals to Vietnam 2015- 2018 Unit: People Nationality 2015 2016 2017 2018 China 1.780.918 2.696.848 4.008.253 4.966.46 South Korea 1.112.978 1.543.883 2.415.245 3.485.40 Japan 671.379 740.592 798.119 826.674 Taiwan 438.704 507.301 616.232 714.112 USA 491.249 552.644 614.117 687.226 Other markets 766.176 809.101 529.809 666.957 Russia 338.843 433.987 574.164 606.637 Malaysia 346.584 407.574 480.456 540.119 Australia 31.960 42.588 370.438 386.934 Thailand 214.645 266.984 301.587 349.310 UK 212.798 254.841 283.537 298.114 Singapore 236.547 257.041 277.658 286.246 France 211.636 240.808 255.369 279.659 Germany 149.079 176.015 199.872 213.986 Cambodia 227.074 211.949 222.614 202.954 Philippines 99.757 110.967 133.543 151.641 Canada 105.670 122.929 138.242 149.535 Laos 113.992 137.004 141.588 120.009 Nationality 2015 2016 2017 2018 Indonesia 62.240 69.653 81.065 87.941 Netherlands 52.967 64.712 72.277 77.300 Spain 44.932 57.957 69.528 77.071 34.613 47.721 62.208 Hong Kong New Zealand 31.960 42.588 49.115 49.854 Switzerland 32.025 37.679 44.045 49.723 Denmark 27.414 30.996 34.720 39.926 Swiss 28.750 31.475 33.123 34.541 Belgium 23.939 26.231 29.144 31.382 Norway 21.425 23.110 24.293 26.134 Finland 15.043 15.953 18.236 22.785 Italy 52.967 64.712 58.041 6.939 7.943.65 10.012.7 12.922.1 15.497 35 51 791 Source: Tourism Statistics (VNAT) (2015-2018) Totals APPENDIX I: Percentage of number of foreigner tourists coming to Vietnam in 2018 Unit: % 2015 2016 2017 2018 Belgium 0% 0% 0% 0% Cambodia 3% 2% 2% 1% Canada 1% 1% 1% 1% USA 6% 6% 5% 4% Netherlands 1% 1% 1% 0% South Korea 14% 15% 19% 22% 0% 0% 0% Country Hong Kong Indonesia 1% 1% 1% 1% Laos 1% 1% 1% 1% Malaysia 4% 4% 4% 3% Norway 0% 0% 0% 0% New Zealand 0% 0% 0% 0% Russia 4% 4% 4% 4% Japan 8% 7% 6% 5% Philippines 1% 1% 1% 1% France 3% 2% 2% 2% Finland 0% 0% 0% 0% Singapore 3% 3% 2% 2% 2015 2016 2017 2018 Thailand 3% 3% 2% 2% Swiss 0% 0% 0% 0% Switzerland 0% 0% 0% 0% China 22% 27% 31% 32% Spain 1% 1% 1% 0% UK 3% 3% 2% 2% Australia 0% 0% 3% 2% Italy 1% 1% 0% 0% Denmark 0% 0% 0% 0% Taiwan 6% 5% 5% 5% Germany 2% 2% 2% 1% 10% 8% 4% 4% 100% 100% 100% 100% Country Other markets Totals Source: Tourism Statistics (VNAT) (2018) APPENDIX K: Spending of foreigner tourists visiting Vietnam in 2017 Unit: USD Countries Belgium Cambodia Canada US Holland South Korea Hongkong Indonesia Laos Malaysia New Zealand Russia Japan Form of staying Spendin g Total Overtime staying 1.221 1.354,80 One day staying 133,8 Overtime staying 702,2 One day staying 107,2 Overtime staying 1.484,1 One day staying 188,2 Overtime staying 1.592,3 One day staying 161,1 Overtime staying 1.419,3 One day staying 133,1 Overtime staying 1.218 One day staying 136,3 Overtime staying 973,8 One day staying 136,5 Overtime staying 801,4 One day staying 91 Overtime staying 713,7 One day staying 94,1 Overtime staying 801,0 One day staying 146,9 Overtime staying 1.958,8 One day staying 86,6 Overtime staying 1.534,6 One day staying 98,8 Overtime staying 990,1 One day staying 141,5 809,40 1.672,30 1.753,40 1.552,40 1.354,30 1.110,30 892,40 807,80 947,90 2.045,40 1.633,40 1.131,60 Countries Form of staying Spendin g Overtime staying 749,4 One day staying 127,2 Overtime staying 1.214,7 One day staying 103,5 Overtime staying 1.011,2 One day staying 178,3 Overtime staying 778,8 One day staying 119,8 Overtime staying 1.578,3 One day staying 126,7 Overtime staying 994 One day staying 213,6 Overtime staying 897,4 One day staying 134,4 Overtime staying 1.282,3 One day staying 128,8 Overtime staying 1.253,7 One day staying 155,0 Overtime staying 1.764,9 One day staying 149,6 Overtime staying 1.090 One day staying 123,2 Overtime staying 1.279,9 One day staying 48 Overtime staying 1.026,7 One day staying 146,4 Overtime staying 1.197,5 One day staying 130,6 Total Source: Tourism Statistics (VNAT) (2017) ... CHAPTER ANALYSIS ON SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN THE NORTH OF VIETNAM 33 2.1 An overview of the Northern provinces of Vietnam and sustainable tourism in these provinces ... development of the industry, the contribution of the industry to the society, to the environment and so on The ratio of the tourism industry in the GDP structure of the whole economy is indicated by the. .. Analysis of sustainable tourism development in the North of Vietnam Chapter 3: Recommendations and solutions for developing sustainable tourism in Vietnam s Northern region CHAPTER THEORETICAL
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