Ho Chi Minh City tourism development needs to promote public-private partnerships

Attending the Vietnam Tourism Human Resource Forum 2019, Dr. Nguyen Cao Tri - representative of Capella Holdings had a presentation on "6T for City tourism", including the mention the factor of HCMC should be a pioneer city in financial mechanism, promote public-private partnerships in the development of city tourism.

Reality (Thực trạng) and Challenges (Thách thức) are the first two letters T that are Dr. Nguyen Cao Tri mentioned in his speech at the forum. Ho Chi Minh City is one of the five largest cities in Southeast Asia, and is also the tourism center of the region, accounting for the largest proportion in the country with 58% of international tourists and 34% of domestic tourists. The city attracts between 4.6 and 5 million international tourists per year but is still lower than Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok (11 million and 19.6 million tourists per year, respectively). International tourists stay in HCMC are longer, but daily spending tends to be lower than similar cities in the region. Active lifestyle, long history and cultural diversity are potential to attract tourists to the city. The challenge of growth below potential is an important opportunity cost that we miss; and we will continue to miss unless we have a different mindset (Tư duy) and approach (Tiếp cận). It is also the next 2 letters T that the speaker wants to mention.

Dr. Nguyen Cao Tri - Capella Holdings representative presented a speech at Vietnam Tourism Human Resources forum on April 12, 2019

Taking mindset and approach the problem based on the priority, focus and put all the resources to complete the priority according to the route. Ho Chi Minh City can get benefit from the establishment of theme road such as heritage road, cultural road, riverside road. These roads will create a focal point for the city. Beside that, HCMC should consider investing in event center, exhibition. Currently the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center - SECC in District 7 is overloaded, the exhibition center in Thu Thiem has no investment partners. Future exhibition areas must be invested in various locations, upgrading existing exhibitions in District 7 and engaging private partners who are running restaurants, hotels and support services here.

The last two letters T are Success (Thành công) starting from the Pioneer (Tiên phong). To succeed in tourism development, the city must be a pioneer in investment in infrastructure development (such as roads, highways, power grids); attract more investment in hotels, tourism products, tourism support services. In particular, management agencies should emphasize the mechanism of public-private partnerships in the development of city tourism and human resources. To promote the mechanism of public-private cooperation, state agencies should emphasize the "shared assets" that the city can offer to cooperate with the private sector in developing city tourism in particular and for the whole country in general.

Finally, Dr. Nguyen Cao Tri proposed to develop 1-2 key projects for city tourism with a mechanism of public-private cooperation. Successful implementation of such projects will be a successful model for city tourism and for subsequent projects, in order to form an investment and tourism development coalition.

(The article uses the material from the discussion "6T for City Tourism" by Dr. Nguyen Cao Tri - Representative of Capella Holdings)