Tourism in Vietnam

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A Periodisation of the Development of Vietnam’s Tourism Accommodation since the Open Door Policy

Wantanee Suntikul 1*, Richard Butler 2 and David Airey 3

School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong


Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Strathclyde, UK

School of Management, University of Surrey, UK

This paper proposes that the development of the tourism accommodation sector in Vietnam, since the inauguration of the open door policy within the reform programme of doi moi, can be divided into five periods. This periodisation is based on a study and analysis of the evolving roles of accommodation providers in Vietnam tourism and the shifting patterns of
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70). In 2006, there were 234,000 people employed directly in tourism jobs in Vietnam and 510,000 whose jobs indirectly depended on tourism (John, 2006). According to World Travel and Tourism Council and Oxford Economic Forecasting, Vietnam’s tourism sector is expected to experience the sixth-highest growth rate of countries in the world between 2007 and 2016 (“Vietnam’s Tourism Grows,” 2006). Aside from this quantifiable growth, tourism in Vietnam also continues to change in character. New tourism niches, new types of tourism attractions and enterprises and new kinds of tourists have been appearing in Vietnam since 1986. Doi moi is an ongoing process that is reflected in all aspects of the Vietnamese society, economy and politics.


Position and Methodology

This paper presents two primary positions: (1) changes in the tourism accommodation sector in Vietnam since the beginning of the doi moi programme have been characterised and, to a certain extent, driven by the dynamic interactions between state-owned enterprises, foreign direct investment and domestic private operators in this sector, and (2) these changes are linked to the political, social and economic changes occurring in Vietnam within this period of transition. To articulate these positions in detail, the author has divided the development of Vietnam’s accommodation market since the beginning of doi moi in 1986 into five periods, each of which
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