Hanoi – Urban tourism has the potential to
contribute to the socio-economic development of a locality significantly but to
capitalise on this potential, experts have identified strong brand positioning,
proper planning, and development as key areas to focus on.
In Vietnam, the urbanisation rate has reached nearly 40%, with
over 860 urban areas.
Cities are the driving force of socio-economic development,
facilitating economic restructuring towards industrialisation and
However, not all cities are tourist destinations, even though most
have outstanding tourism potential.
Vietnam has numerous urban areas, especially coastal cities or key
tourist destinations like Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Phan Thiet, Vung
Tau and Phu Quoc.
To improve tourism competitiveness and attractiveness, cities with
strengths in tourism development must create and position a brand.
According to Nguyen Thu Hanh, President of the Science Union for
Sustainable Tourism Development, brand positioning is one of the important
strategies for cities with a focus on tourism.
Vung Tau city, for example, is rich in advantages such as
convenient traffic locations, seaports, a large oil and gas centre, a
four-season climate, and beautiful beaches.
This urban area also converges different cultures through
religious monuments, churches, communal houses, and pagodas.
Hanh described Vung Tau as a “smart, modern and dynamic
coastal city” with a system of industrial parks, high-tech zones, event
centres, festivals, entertainment, and shopping operating on a digital
Phu Quoc, located on the southwest coast, is considered a centre
of eco-tourism and high-class beach resorts. With around 150km of coastline,
the length of beaches suitable for tourism development is about 50km.
Sustainable planning and development
In recent years, experts have warned that coastal cities are at
risk of sea level rise and unusual natural disasters due to climate change.
In response, architects Nguyen Viet Huy and Do Dinh Trong, from Hanoi
University of Civil Engineering, have
proposed measures to minimise the harmful effects of natural disasters and
develop stable technical and economic-tourism infrastructure systems that can
adapt to climate change.
To achieve this, it is necessary to think differently and have a
more open and positive view of climate change. Building construction plans
should be based on integrated planning that promotes the socio-natural
potential of the region while adapting to climate change.
Additionally, rational exploitation and strengthening solutions
are essential to manage and use freshwater resources and protect coastal lands,
sea mouths, and estuaries.
Associate Professor Pham Trung Luong, Vice President of the Vietnam
Association for the Protection of Marine Resources and Environment and a member
of the National Planning Advisory Group, emphasised the importance of promoting
sustainable marine tourism urban development.
To achieve this, he recommended reviewing and adjusting the
planning of existing sea tourism urban areas, especially for coastal spaces.
Separate services, shopping, and entertainment areas should be
planned with little impact on the lives of residents, ensuring that tourism
activities can take place 24/7, thereby promoting the development of the urban
night economy, in which tourism will be the core./.