VNAT has announced that it will run two programs on popularizing Vietnam tourism images, introducing Vietnam as a good destination and meeting partners in China, the biggest market for Vietnam’s tourism, in the coming September and October.
VNAT plans to attend the Gui Lin international tourism trade fair in China on September 16-18. The trade fair is expected to gather 800 tourism agencies and travel firms from 50 countries and territories and 16 Chinese provinces.
After that, companies of Vietnam tour will also be present in Hu Nan, Jiang Xi and Fu Jian on October 16-22, to run the roadshow to introduce Vietnam’s tourism, and to meet Chinese agencies and travel firms.
China remains the biggest source market for Vietnam’s tourism, with the number of Chinese travelers accounting for nearly ¼ of the total foreign tourists arriving in Vietnam in the first seven months of 2011.
Though there are less tourism promotion campaigns held by Vietnam travel firms in China than the previous year, the growth rate of the market remains high at 53.5 percent.
However, the increasing number of Chinese tourists could be seen only in the Vietnamese northern and central region’s destinations. However, the number of Chinese travelers to the south by air has been decreasing sharply. Some travel firms have reported the sharp fall of up to 50 percent.
Every week, there are the charter flights carrying passengers from Kun Ming, Guangzhou and Shanghai to the sea city of Da Nang in Vietnam, and some tourism sites in Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam provinces in the central region.
Also, in an effort to attract more Chinese travelers, the Quang Ninh provincial tourism association has officially set up the club of receiving Chinese travelers at the Mong Cai border gate. The club has gathered 27 members - the travel firms in the north – which have committed to improve the quality of the tours and join forces in the campaigns to attract more tourists.
Not only trying to attract more tourists from loyal clients, Vietnam tour operator have also been hurrying to seek new markets.
Vietnam has, for the first time, added India into the list of the potential markets, which means that India has become the market to be targeted by Vietnamese firms which will run marketing campaigns and design specific tourism products to attract more tourists.
Hoang Thi Diep, Deputy General Director of VNAT, said that VNAT would conduct a survey trip to India and discuss the measures to develop the market.
“This is really a big market with great potentials and now is the right time for Vietnamese travel firms to seek the way to approach the market,” Diep said.
At present, Indian tourists are the big source of clients for neighboring countries, including Thailand and Singapore. Meanwhile, the number of Indian tourists to Vietnam remains modest. Most of the Indian coming to Vietnam in the trips which both target tourism and business, while there are very few purely tourists and very few Vietnamese travel firms have thought of exploiting the market.
A director of a Ho Chi Minh City-based travel firm said that the biggest problem now, is that Indian tourists have not heard about Vietnam as a tourism market. Besides, the expenses for the tours to Vietnam seem to be higher than the tours to neighboring countries, due to the lack of direct air routes. As a result, travelers have to transit in Singapore or Bangkok in Thailand.
Meanwhile, Saigontourist said it is more difficult to exploit the Indian market than other markets. The travel firm once sent staff to India to learn about the market, and it has received some groups of Indian travelers, but the growth rate of the market remains very low.
“There are many problems existing, including the tour fees, air routes and meals as well. It is very difficult to find Indian restaurants in Vietnam, while Indian travelers do not want Vietnamese dishes like other foreign tourists,” said Doan Thi Thanh Tra from Saigontourist.
Diep said that VNAT understands well the problems, but VNAT has thought thoroughly before adding India into the list of potential markets.
Diep also said that the main targets for Vietnam are North East Asia, South East Asia, Europe and North America.
Source: C. V