The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has submitted to the central Government a plan on developing tourism infrastructure in the 2010-2015 period, highlighting localities that should be prioritized in the coming years.
The ministry on its website calls for investment from both the State budget and private sources to develop infrastructure in key localities where tourism is faring well, the Central Highlands region as well as 21 national tourism parks.
Sizeable budgets should also be reserved for activities to develop tourism products and for marketing activities to promote destinations.
On the list of localities are also neighboring provinces of key tourism centers like HCMC, Hanoi, Hue and Danang.
The ministry has pointed out that big investments are needed to develop the country’s important tourist routes.
The projects should include a section linking the North-South railway with the trans-Asia railway, the international sea route through Quang Ninh, Danang, Khanh Hoa and HCMC, the East-West tourism route via Lao Bao border gate, the international route from China’s Yunnan to Lao Cai, Hanoi, Hai Phong, and Quang Ninh.
In the list are also the waterway in the Greater Mekong Sub region that passes along the Mekong river to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, and China, as well as the Ho Chi Minh trail, and the route of world heritage sites in the country.
To realize the plan, the ministry said that the tourism industry needs to map out priority projects in each year to call for investors, with the State Budget targeted as the major source of investment.
“The State Budget should cover around 80% to 100% of total investment for infrastructure project in remote areas, and around 15% to 20% for projects in other tourism centers,” according to the plan.
The ministry also mentioned some other investment forms like Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT), and “land in exchange for infrastructure” among others.
Vietnam has attracted 2.91 million international travelers in the January-July period, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. The country is expected to welcome seven to eight million by 2015 and 11-12 million by 2020 as envisaged in the tourism development strategy for this decade.