Last year the inaugural VITM was declared a resounding success attracting some 400 domestic and international business presenting their products, 2,258 trade and about 40,000 public visitors.
As a completely business-sector organised event, the tourism fair is a great demonstration of public-private partnerships in tourism with the business sector working with the government in its tourism destination and product marketing for the achievement of shared sector goals.
The VITM 2014 Conference is expected to be attended by a good mix of the tourism businesses, public sector and other key stakeholders, and therefore represents a perfect opportunity for ESRT to deliver its message of the need and benefits of adopting a more sustainable approach to tourism development in Vietnam that will ensure its health and prosperity for all well into the future.
While progress is being made in sustainability as demonstrated by such sector surveys as the Accommodation Sector Survey 2013, the growth of responsible travel clubs around Vietnam, and tourism operators showing an increase in sustainability activities and policies, Vietnam is facing a future of mass-tourism with arrivals from its nearby neighbours such as China and Korea showing signs of continued strong growth.
Combined with a fast growing domestic tourism market there is no doubt that Vietnam must manage development of the sector carefully in order to ensure its long term economic viability as well as to ensure tourism does not destroy the fabric of the magical place that is Vietnam and is attracting the visitors in the first place.