ADB loans $50m for tourism infrastructure
The upgrade is expected to boost tourist spending and create more jobs for the poor and ethnic minorities, especially women.
At the signing ceremony, State Bank of Vietnam Governor Nguyen Van Binh represented the Government and ADB Country Director for Vietnam Tomoyuki Kimura represented the bank.
"Tourism development projects are an effective way of creating jobs, developing work skills and reducing poverty," Kimura declared at the ceremony. "A core goal of this project is to promote inclusive economic growth by creating income-generating opportunities to benefit poor and ethnic minorities, women in particular."
Tourism plays an increasingly important role in Vietnam's economy. In 2013, Vietnam received more 7.5 million international tourists, a 10.6-per cent year-on-year increase. Last year, the sector directly contributed 4.5 per cent to gross domestic product (GDP) and sustained 2.3 million jobs or more than 9 per cent of the country's total employment.
The agreement with ADB aims to boost tourism competitiveness in five provinces within the Greater Mekong Sub-Region economic corridors. The provinces are Dien Bien, Ha Tinh and Kien Giang, Lao Cai, and Tay Ninh. The upgrade of 45 kilometers of rural roads in these provinces will open access to tourist attractions in underdeveloped areas with large ethnic minority populations.
More than 30,000 people will benefit from better access to markets and social services while environmental conditions at tourist sites will be improved. ■