Tourism is one of the largest and fastest growing economic sectors in the world. According to the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), despite occasional shocks, globally international tourist arrivals have shown virtually uninterrupted growth: from 25 million in 1950, to 277 million in 1980, to 435 million in 1990, to 675 million in 2000, and the current 940 million.
According to the Vietnam General Statistics Office, international visitor arrivals to Vietnam more than doubled over the past twelve years, from 2.1 million in 2000 to 6.8 million in 2012. Whilst domestic tourism has shown similar growth more than doubling from 11.7 million in 2000 to 23 million in 2009. In fact, the UNWO indicates that the 8.9% growth rate of international visitor arrivals to Vietnam over the past decade has far outpaced the 3.4% being experienced for world tourism in general.
Whilst tourism is clearly a strongly growing sector and important generator of expenditure, investment, foreign exchange earnings, employment, and promotion of the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, the prospect of Vietnam facing a future of mass tourism also brings with it a range of risks and challenges.
As a result, the Factsheet No.1 was developed in order to provide an overview of the Responsible Tourism basics in a general way, easy to read and relevant for Vietnam.
Download: Factsheet 1: Introduction To Responsible Tourism