The opening of Vietnam’s tourism accommodation market to foreign direct investment and domestic private entrepreneurs has brought about competition, consolidation and differentiation in the accommodation sector that was absent under the previous state monopoly. A more intensively-trained workforce and an orientation towards customer responsiveness are required to serve this more differentiated and discerning market, and Vietnam’s accommodation providers are increasingly concerned with meeting international standards. Vietnam’s current political transition has influenced the accommodation sector in a number of ways. The open door policy is to a large extent the primary cause of Vietnam’s increasing attractiveness as a leisure and business destination in recent years, and also the resulting rapid growth in numbers of tourists in Vietnam.
Refer to table 1, it shows that among the four countries in Indochina, Vietnam has proven to be one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the region. Officially, the Vietnamese government opened its doors to tourists in 1987. In 1996, total tourism revenue in Vietnam exceeded US$250 million, and total tourist arrivals in 1997 were 1.6 million (Kangwaan, 1998). By becoming a member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in July 1995, Vietnam can expect more ASEAN-bound visitors.
Trends of Tourism and Hotel Development
Tourism has been recognized as a key industry in contributing to Vietnam's economy, and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism was established for the sole purpose of directing and controlling this industry. Foreign investment in Vietnam's tourism industry was usually in the form of joint ventures. Total foreign investment accounted for US$10.9 billion in 1994 and over 20 percent of this amount was in hotel and tourist service (Hobson and Chon, 1994). Major hotel investors were from Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, France, and Australia. In 1994, there were...
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