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$2.77 million promotes tourism in Vietnam

2009-12-04 (GMT + 7)

Thanks to effective advertising campaigns, the number of foreign visitors to Vietnam has resumed its steady climb, said the chief of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Nguyen Van Tuan.

What do you conclude from Vietnam tourism in November 2009?

The world economy is recovering. That is good news for tourism in all countries. If the volume of foreign tourists to Vietnam dropped in October, it grew impressively in November, with 231,000 visitors or 19 percent. Notably, the numbers of tourists from Japan, Northeastern Asia and North American resumed their former rate.

The volume of foreign tourists to Vietnam in the first half of 2009 fell by 19.6 percent year on year. The reduction was 16.6 percent for October, but in November it was only 12.4 percent compared to 2008.

Besides the recovery of the world economy, what are other reasons for resumed tourism?

The recent advertising campaigns for Vietnam’s tourism are absolutely effective. The tourism sector has never invested intensively on events like the recent road shows. VNAT launched its road show in China and the results began coming right away in October. Some travel firms welcomed up to 3000 Chinese visitors in November 2009.

Based on current trends, the tourism sector anticipates welcoming around 400,000 foreign visitors in December. If Vietnam reaches this number, we will have a total of 3.9 to 4 million foreign tourists for 2009, a reduction of only 10 percent compared with 2008. This is a very good sign.

I have been informed that luxury resorts plus tourist sites and hotels in the central and the southern regions have high occupancy rates. From now through early 2010 is the tourist season.

In the context of economic slowdowns, some countries have encouraged their citizens not to travel abroad. Do you think that Vietnam should do the same?

Some countries, even our neighbours with big tourism markets, have focused on stimulating the domestic economy. Restrictions on overseas tourism is only a temporary measure. We stimulate our domestic market, but we also don’t hinder citizens who want to travel abroad.

What will VNAT do in the coming time to promote tourism?

We have advertising campaigns focused on China, Northeastern Asia (Japan, South Korea and Taiwan), ASEAN and some Western European, Northern European countries and North Americas.

We will also have three big programs in ASEAN, Taiwan and France in December 2009.

Based on current trends, what are the goals of the tourism sector for 2010?

We don’t made public our 2010 plans, but we have two basic scripts. First, under normal conditions, we want to welcome 4.2 to 4.25 million foreign visitors. Second, if the world’s economy recovers strongly and our tourism promotion activities are implemented well, we aim to attract 4.5 million visitors.

How much was the state budget for tourism promotion in 2009?

The national tourism action plan had 25 billion dong to develop tourism products and human resource training. In addition, the national tourism promotion program was allocated an additional 25 billion dong.

I can’t say how much the State will allocate to tourism promotion in 2010, but, according to information from the Finance Ministry, the tourism promotion program will be funded with 40 billion dong.

What do you think about the “Impressive Vietnam” program?

Thanks to this program, tourism grew well in 2009, from 20.8 million to 25 million local visitors. While the number of foreign visitors fell around 10 percent, the volume of local tourists rose by 15-17 percent. As a result, tourism revenues still grew by 8-10 percent.

Some tourism firms want to know if it will be difficult to attract tourists from neighboring countries because of the similarities in tourism between Vietnam and these nations. How can the VNAT deal with this?

We can’t say that neighbouring markets are similar. We have differences in terms of space, landscapes, culture, food, ecology and environment, so we still have ways to advertise our own unique aspects to garner tourists from near-by countries.

Secondly, we stimulate their markets as our own grows and we don’t forget our traditional markets with rich tourists and markets with big differences in terms of tastes and culture such as Western and Northern Europe, North America and others.

Source: VietNamNet/VNE

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