According to Nguyen Hoang Mai, Institute for Tourism Development Research (ITDR), Vietnam has great potential to develop creative tourism such as attractive tourist resources, diversified cultural values, rich gastronomy and beautiful landscape. The development of creative tourism can help diversify tourist products attracting medium and high income tourists.

Increasing value of tourist products
As traditional tourism depends on seasons and natural conditions, it cannot fully develop tourism potential; while creative tourism is a new form of tourism based on cultural heritage of the local people. The new type of tourism does not require much material facilities while ensuring stability. Therefore, it is most suitable for the establishment of Vietnam and promises full advantages for the future.

In spite of similarities in direct contacts with local people, homestay tourism and experience tourism focusing on sharing meal, home and daily activities with local people, creative tourism focuses on the outcome, perception of tourists. Creative tourism is not simply experience, discovery of local life but also discovery of oneself, opportunity to understand and learn from such experience.

Vietnam has 54 ethnic nationalities sharing livelihood with different and specific cultural traditions. Each region has its own custom. Therefore, creative tourism is not only adaptable but also suitable for development, overcoming weaknesses of Vietnamese tourism.

Creative tourism relies on core value of culture without high demand on materials and infrastructure. Participants in creative tourism prefer new feelings and less demand on comfort.

Mr Nguyen Anh Tuan, Director of the Institute for Tourism Development Research (ITDR) said: “Tourism is the fastest developing sector and one of the biggest industries in the world. Therefore, every country should continue with innovation.” Mr Tuan hopes that experts on tourism should contribute solutions to develop creative tourism in Vietnam.

Although Vietnam has great advantages to develop creative tourism, it remains unclear in investment and development. Initial steps have been made in some craft villages such tours as “A day as habitant in ancient streets”, “Experience in Bat Trang ceramic workshops”, “Practice in Dong Ho paintings”, “A day as fisherman in Ha Long Bay”. They are truly products of creative tourism. However, they are not systematically organized and fail to be truly tourist industry.

According to Mr Pham Tien Dung, General Secretary of Hanoi Unesco Travel Club, in order to develop creative tourism, concerned authorities must have a defined policy with specific orientation to ensure creative tourism most appropriate with each region and locality. In particular, Vietnam should apply policies promoting creative tourism, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.