Culture Minister raps about Halong Bay tourism
Halong Bay tourism, speaking to journalists yesterday, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh was optimistic that Halong Bay Vietnam would be selected as a World Natural Wonder. Advertising this natural heritage site will be a major goal of the tourism sector next year.
Some say Vietnam hasn’t advertised the Halong Bay Natural Wonder nomination enough. What do you think?
Halong Bay has been voted twice as a world natural heritage site and is a nominee for the Seven World Natural Wonders selection. Halong Bay tourism has been prosperous but advertising is still insufficient. The Natural Wonder competition is a good opportunity for Vietnam to let the world know about this beautiful, preserved place and share it with international tourists.
I also suggest more attention be payed to Nha Trang Bay, it is one of the 20 most famous in the world. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will also conduct an advertising campaign for Nha Trang Bay.
How much emphasis is put on Halong Bay Vietnam in the tourism industry’s 2008 advertising program?
Next year, the tourism sector targets five million foreign and 21 million domestic visitors with the goal of VND64 trillion (US$4 billion) in revenue. We are trying to develop new products such as sea tourism and caravans (travel by car) we are also focused on training human resources and developing community tourism.
In 2007, Vietnamese tourism came to tourists via the Mass Media. Next year, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and Provinces will continue advertising through mass media, at local and international tourism events and Vietnam’s cultural events held abroad. I believe, along with millions of Vietnamese, that Halong Bay Vietnam will be voted as a Natural World Wonder.
So far the tourism sector has been exploiting natural landscapes without considering their cultural and historical value. What measures have you considered to address with this?
We will have art tours soon, that let visitors see Vietnam’s diversely artistic culture, they will see water puppetry, Hue singing, Bac Ninh love duets, tuong (Vietnamese classical drama) and cheo (Vietnamese folk opera) shows, and more. Tourists can also buy museum tours.
Tourism prices are on the rise. Do you think this will affect numbers?
In a market economy, the price is decided by enterprises. However, the price for hotel rooms in Vietnam is still low compared to the region and particularly the rest of the world. We are a member of the World Trade Organization now, so there is more competition. But we have to compete in a way that to continues to increase the fiscal success of both the industry and its workforce.
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