Last updated: Tuesday, March 26, 2019


Building and Developing National Tourism Brand

Posted: Friday, January 04, 2019

In the context of deeper global integration, the national tourism brand has become one of the most valuable assets of every country, including Vietnam. Building and promoting the brand to broaden the image of the country's tourism to global tourists is a very important task in destination marketing to affirm its competitive position of Vietnam.

Many countries have succeeded in building their national tourism brands. For example, the United States is tourism quality; Japan is respectful, meticulous and thorough; and Italy is aspirational, romantic and luxurious.

In the past years, the Vietnamese tourism industry has been actively building the brand, aiming that the brand must have a clear identity in key markets by 2025. In this progress, localities and Vietnamese tourism companies also consider destination branding as a top task in tourism development.

Mr. Colin Pine, Tourism Working Group Leader, VBF
The Politburo’s Resolution of 2017 sets the target that the Vietnamese tourism industry will attract 20 million international tourists and 82 million domestic tourists in the short run. The industry will generate US$35 billion of revenue and US$20 billion of export value each year.

However, Vietnam currently has the least airlines among major destinations in ASEAN. Vietnam has just four airlines. Jetstar Airways is largely owned by national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, while Bamboo Airways only got establishment approval. Meanwhile, Thailand, whose population is equal to about 70 per cent of Vietnam, has three times as many as airlines.

This relative uncompetitiveness may result in higher travel costs and more expensive inbound tours than outbound tours given the same destination and stay time.

Currently, Vietnam has 21 airports with a total annual capacity of 75 million passengers, lower than the capacity of Changi Airport in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia and Suvarnabumhi Airport in Thailand.

Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the busiest international and domestic airport, but it has been repeatedly overloaded. Long Thanh International Airport was approved by the National Assembly in early 2015 but the investment report on it has not been finalised.

Without expanding airport capacity and infrastructure, the aviation sector can be a bottleneck that impedes visitors from arriving in Vietnam and key destinations.

This is a typical example of serious bottlenecks that airport development and investment causes in the course of tourism development.

The Government of Vietnam needs to simplify the process of approving aviation licenses, increase foreign ownership in airlines and boost the development of Long Thanh International Airport to link tourism destinations with major international airports.

In addition, Vietnam should promote the Open Skies Programme in ASEAN.

Vietnam should increase nationalities entitled to visa exemption and extend the stay period to 30 days for citizens from all nations exempted from visa, as tourists from distant countries, particularly in Europe, tend to stay longer when they travel. A 15-day visa exemption period for distant countries may result in fewer tourist arrivals.

Mr. Luong Duy Ngan, President and CEO of New Star Group
In order to have a tourism brand for Vietnam, each travel and tourism company in Vietnam must first of all become a national brand. To have a national brand, it must be very experienced in tourist service. Its service quality and reputation is always a top priority so as to ensure tourists to have interesting experiences in new places and with new people, to feel comfortable, joyful and happy with life and people there and to enjoy such experiences when they come to Vietnam rather than they come for curiosity. Whenever they wrap up each journey, they always keep beautiful memories of nature, people and life here.

When Vietnam has a tourism brand, every time someone mentions Vietnam, tourists think immediately of cultural identity, the hospitality of people or splendid landscapes, not bullying or deceitful residents.
Each national tourism brand will form a Vietnamese tourism brand. New Star Group or any other company must always foster, adapt and integrate to make it more different and more attractive and meet customer tastes. First of all, the service quality is always a top priority. In addition, reasonable price is also a factor that tourists always care about. The premium quality of services must go hand in hand with reasonable prices. Marketing is also an equally important factor, helping companies bring products to consumers and helping the latter access products in the fastest and most effective way. Now, the country is advancing the Fourth Industrial Revolution that opens a new era for marketing: Shifting from conventional to digital technology. The term ‘digital marketing’ comes as a result. This form of marketing features online and offline interactions between businesses and customers. In the digital age, businesses must completely change their approach to customers and analyse customer needs, marketing, sales, customer care and other factors to catch up with the time. In particular, employee attitude and service to customers makes them feel comfortable and relaxed, impresses them with good quality and service catered by employees. Finally, the service manner of employees also leaves an impression on customer. The image of the company, either good or bad, in the eyes of visitors is determined by the attitude of the employees. Needless to say, employees are the face of the company.

Mr. Nguyen Van Tai, Director of Vietsense Travel
Vietnam has rich and diverse natural, cultural and historical resources for tourism development, but this industry has not really developed in proportion to its potential and is not as competitive as other countries in the region such as Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. Building the national tourism brand is a right and necessary policy to enhance the national competitiveness against other countries in attracting more tourists. Building a national tourism brand means making tourists understand and remember the country and people of Vietnam. In my opinion, to build a successful national brand, we need to focus on developing the following factors:
First of all, identifying distinctive products with core values and comparative advantages versus other countries. Given maritime and cultural resources, leisure and cultural discovery will be the advantage for Vietnam. In order to attract tourists to maritime tourism facilities, we need to plan and invest much to build accommodation facilities, entertainment and cuisine centres and professionalise human resources while cultural tourism needs cultural space connected to recognised heritages and remaking vivid cultural and historical events for them to view, feel and remember.

Secondly, promotion must be widely deployed in many international markets with a sufficient budget that is calculated scientifically with diverse, lively and attractive contents on mass media.

Thirdly, standardising service quality and professionalising service manner by training and developing high quality tourism human resources, popularising the culture and hospitality of the people to international tourists.
Fourthly, positively encouraging and supporting tourism businesses to develop and grow up to compete with companies in other countries to attract more tourists, contribute more to national economic development and promote the image of Vietnam in a natural way through word of mouth of visitors themselves.

Mr. Pham Tien Dung, Vice Chairman of UNESCO Hanoi Travel Club
The fact that the Hanoi People’s Committee spent US$2 million producing videos, reportages and news websites on multiple platforms to boost the image of Hanoi and Vietnam on the CNN Channel in the past two years is necessary to help beget a strong growth for Vietnam in general and Hanoi in particular in attracting international tourists because CNN is a major television channel in the world with billions of viewers, providing information for more than 200 radio and television stations worldwide.

Ideas, themes, contents, broadcast durations and other contents of this programme are carried effectively, thus illustrating Hanoi's historical, cultural and human characteristics in the landscape of the Greater Hanoi region, the northern key economic region, the Red River Delta region and Vietnam. In addition, the fact that CNN hired an independent research consulting firm to conduct periodical surveys to measure the outcome, brand awareness and marketing approach of Hanoi on the CNN Channel showed professional communication and marketing to ensure the outcome of international marketing and promotion process.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Le Thanh, Deputy Director of Khanh Hoa Tourism Department
Tourist arrivals to Khanh Hoa province reached 5.82 million in the first 11 months of 2018, representing a year on year growth of 14.75 per cent. Of the sum, international visitors were estimated at 2.56 million, up 39.25 per cent. International tourist markets continued to grow, with significant guest numbers from China and Russia.

Khanh Hoa province planned to develop Nha Trang into a city of political, economic, cultural and sporting events (MICE tourism). With tourism facilities and services and natural conditions, Nha Trang can develop MICE tourism. The city now has 657 accommodation facilities with about 30,000 rooms.

Nha Trang also has scenic beaches, pleasant climate, beauty spots, historical and cultural relics, and shopping centres. Therefore, in the future, the city will give priority to developing high-quality products and services to attract more MICE tourists who have various needs and high spending capacity.

Khanh Hoa will continue to build 4-5-star world-class luxury hotels in convenient locations where are are many beautiful landscapes and clean ecological environment, including hotels of 500 rooms or more with full luxury amenities. The province will invest in building shopping and entertainment centres to serve tourists.

The province will soon build Nha Trang into a modern city of Vietnam by 2020, one of the centres of conferences, seminars and entertainment of the whole country and the region with synchronous technical infrastructure and facilities to meet diverse needs of visitors by 2020. It will build Nha Trang Bay with Hon Mun and Hon Tre islands, Bai Dai Beach and North Cam Ranh Peninsula to form two national tourist resorts to attract high-class tourists and develop large-scale MICE tourism; quickly carry out the Bac Van Phong Special Economic Zone project to submit it to competent authorities for approval to develop economy, service and tourism in the northern region of the province.

Mr. Pham Ha, President of Lux Group
Four major bottlenecks of Vietnam's tourism need to be solved urgently namely a regulatory framework, human resources, tourism products and effective promotion. Setting up travel offices overseas is necessary for promotion strategies, especially in target markets. These travel agencies only work effectively when related problems namely friendly visa regimes such as complete visa exemption, convenient flight routes and available direct flights in key markets are addressed.

Urgent direction is needed to facilitate companies that create new distinctive tourism products to persuade tourists to stay longer and spend more in each destination. A better destination for people to live and a nicer destination for tourists to visit should be created. Hanoi needs to develop yachting services on West Lake and the Red River. Hanoi needs to make breakthroughs by getting connected with other provinces by river. To do so, the city needs to immediately encourage visionary, dedicated companies like Heritage Cruises affiliated to Lux Group.

Other news

Yen sao Khanh Hoa
My Le
Vietnam Export Gateway
Sunny World Property Development Corporation
Tong cu DL