The sports and outdoor recreation segment is expected to grow significantly worldwide in the next decade, offering a plethora of opportunities for entrepreneurs, tour operators, the outdoor apparel market, and destination marketers. For Vietnam, the potential for increasing market share in this segment is significant as Vietnam boasts incredible opportunities for tourists to engage in outdoor adventures.
Vietnam boasts an incredible beach shoreline, some of the world’s longest caves, and vast mountains, providing opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, caving, biking, and canyoning. Currently, there are caving adventures to the more popular caves, such as Hang Sơn Đoòng, which are years out for a reservation.
During my time in Vietnam, I have had the chance to hike in Sa Pa, kayak in Hạ Long Bay, and cave in Ninh Bình. Tourists should find these experiences accessible through tour guides and tour companies. More advanced outdoor recreation enthusiasts will enjoy motorbike tours on the Hà Giang Loop and rock climbing in Đà Lạt.
Vietnam also has 40+ national parks; the parks in the north feature rice terraces and four seasons, and the national parks in the south feature forests and rivers. I hope to visit Cúc Phương National Park later this spring for butterfly season.
Formalized education in outdoor recreation is in its infancy in Vietnam, and I think there is an opportunity for hospitality programs in Vietnam to offer course-related content in the area of outdoor recreation management as well as the industry to be more formalized, such as the creation of association groups and public/private partnerships.