Vietnam needs to bolster travel promotion
Vietnam should focus on advertising the Central Region Heritage Road, Halong Bay VIetnam, MICE tourism and Cuu Long Orchard and Waterway tours in Vietnam 2008.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) said that tourism promotion is something VNAT and travel firms have recently failed at, and this year needs success.
VNAT should immediately draw up a plan to help localities each organize a national tourism year to take place between 2010 and 2015. Local authorities complain that they do not have enough time to organize a tourism year as well as prepare the necessary conditions to support such an event. As a result, localities cannot attract many travelers with old tour destinations.
Nguyen Quoc Ky, Director of Vietravel, suggested that Vietnam should organize the Green Highlands Tourism Year 2008 and 1,000-year-old Thang Long – Hanoi Tourism Year 2010.
Meanwhile, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh, thinks Vietnam should pay attention to developing tourism products. Mr Anh said that MICE, cruise and caravan tourism has not yet been fully developed, though these are niche advantages to Vietnam.
Eight years ago, in 2000, Vietnam attracted a large number of cruise travelers (cruise travelers accounted for 10% of total tourists). Mr Anh said that Vietnam needs to have a strategy to encourage cruise tourism.
VNAT hopes to see the number of cruise tourists increase next year, especially through Fashion TV’s advertisements that promote Vietnam cruise tourism with Halong bay Vietnam as the most important destination. The advertisements will be broadcast six times a day for two consecutive weeks in early first quarter of 2008.
Vu The Binh, Director of the Travel Department under VNAT, said that in 2007 Vietnam received 3-4,000 caravan tourists to the central region and 300,000 tourists by land. Mr Binh said that Vietnam should focus to attracting more travelers by land in 2008.
Mr Binh also emphasized the need to develop new tourism products and destinations, saying that remote and untapped areas like Ha Giang and Lai Chau provinces Vietnam will be major eco-tourism destinations in the near future.