Participants were representatives of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, relevant ministries, provincial tourism administrations; tourism enterprises and tourism schools. Also with especially presence of the Ambassador, Head of EU Delegation Mr. Sean Doyle and the Delegation’s officers. The ESRT Programme is the largest tourism programme in Vietnam funded by the EU with 11 million Euro and the Vietnamese Government contributes 1 million Euro. The objectives of this workshop were to launch the programme and to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to contribute to project planning and to identify/propose priority tasks and activities.
The Programme will be implemented under the umbrella of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism with the general objectives of mainstreaming responsible tourism principles into Vietnam's tourism sector to enhance competitiveness and contributing to the country's Socio-Economic Development Plan. Its specific objective is to promote the delivery of environmentally and socially responsible tourism services as part of Vietnam's Tourism Development Strategy. The Duration of the programme will be five years.
The main activities of the Programme will be concentrated in three components: Policy Support and Institutional Strengthening; Competitiveness and Public-Private Partnership; Education and Vocational Training. All participants in the workshop were divided into three groups to identify and prioritize five most important activities under each component. Base on these contribution from stakeholders, the Project Implementation Unit will develop the most suitable Work Plan.
The Programme's content is designed to integrate responsible tourism practices into all aspects of policy, planning, destination management, business operations, education and awareness raising at national, regional and provincial levels. Responsible tourism principles will provide the foundation for creating a more sustainable, competitive and higher yield tourism sector that expands opportunities for the poor and other disadvantaged groups such as women and ethnic minorities.
The Programme will continue the vocational training approach of the EU-funded Human Resources Development in Tourism Project and applying it to new areas in order to expand opportunities for a larger population. The Programme will continue to maintain the Vietnam Tourism Occupational Skills Standards System (VTOS), the Trainer Development Programme (TDP), the Assessment Centre and the Vietnam Tourism Certification Board (VTCB).
The Programme's direct beneficiaries are the staff of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, especially the units under the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. The Programme also targets provincial tourism administrators, associations, civil society organisations and local communities. During the programme implementation, lessons and issues emerging from pilot activities at the provincial and regional level will be fed into the national level policy dialogue and used for localities to learn from each other.
The programme has "responsible tourism" at the heart of its design, delivery and implementation in line with the Millennium Development Goals. This aims at simultaneously minimising the negative impacts on the environment while maximising economic, social and cultural benefits.
The main results expected to be achieved from programme implementation are: the staff of tourism administrations from central to local levels are qualified in environmentally and socially responsible tourism policy making, planning and management; the effectiveness of public-private partnership in tourism activities is improved; the vocational training system in tourism, including the VTOS standards system, continues to be maintained and expanded.