Marketing Tourism in Three Central Coast Localities

4:25:44 PM | 4/7/2016

With the technical support of the Environmentally & Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Programme (EU-ESRT), funded by the European Union (EU), a new website will be launched to introduce tourism in the Central Coast of Vietnam with the focus of marketing Thua Thien Hue, Danang and Quang Nam as an independent destination. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Don Taylor, an ESRT specialist, on the significance of this support project. Thu Huyen reports.
Why does the ESRT Programme support these three Central Coast localities, namely Thua Thien Hue, Danang and Quang Nam, in developing this website?
The support programme was initiated from the request from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the three localities for building a tourism-specific website. Currently, three Central Coast localities have limited popularity on the internet and lack a joint website for tourism promotion.
Currently, most tourists surf the internet to search for information and book services. Therefore, we believe that the three localities as an independent destination site should have a common website.
How will the site promote tourism images and products to tourists and attract them to the localities?
To develop the website, we conducted research on many websites of competitors to the Central Coast region and similar destinations to determine the optimal structure of the website and how to market best products. Based on research results, we have chosen the best structure for the region and talked with the technical working group on marketing.
We agreed to build the website with three sections: The first is the “What to see and what to play" which includes the main products of the region to be promoted in the three localities from a regional perspective.
The second is “How to go”, which helps travellers make journey plans, including information about travel agencies, visa procedures, expenses, and other related information.
The third highlights regional events, including upcoming event calendar.
The products will be displayed on all three sections of the website.
How is responsible tourism promoted through the website?
The products featured on the website include many far-lying inland products. The website will help local people introduce their products as they usually do not have enough money or skills needed to do on their own. We tried to integrate many products of the region on the website and last year the project carried out many activities with the Working group on Product Development to determine tourist routes to connect tourist products together. We will base on our exchange results last year and agreements of three localities and base on results of non-government organisations to promote an inland route. This route will start or end at Hoi An City or Hue City and head to Ho Chi Minh Road and the sea. The route will connect many rural areas, community tourist attractions, destinations, resorts and homestay accommodations. We will also add the Code of Conduct for visitors on the website.
What are your recommendations on the development of local tourism products and services?
Last year, the programme coordinated with the localities to work out destination management strategy - a strategy that outlines purposes and targets for tourism development in the region as a separate destination. This year we will build an action plan until 2017 to enable the localities to make a marketing plan and an action plan for tourism product development.
I think that the Central Coast is the top destination in Vietnam. I have witnessed many very good activities deployed in the Central Coast, e.g. beautiful beaches and orderly clean streets in Danang City. However, like many other destinations, this region also faces numerous challenges. One of the challenges is marketing. Currently, marketing is carried out separately by the three localities. The marketing fragmentation is historical.
With research results and feedback from businesses, we found out that tourists do not visit only one locality, but tend to visit another or two remaining. If marketing is only focused for one locality, it does not reflect the movement of the market.
Which content will be posted in this site and how will it be accessed?
We will introduce destinations, tied with the sea, and consider every sub-region. We must not look at administrative boundaries of the three localities, but we introduce all destinations and tourism products thereof. We have Hue City in the north, Bho Hoong village where ethnic groups live, beaches or golf courses in Danang.
Another angle is what tourists can do in a destination, e.g. trekking in the National Park, Son Tra Peninsula and Ba Na Hills, or surfing the waves or playing golf or enjoying health care services. We dedicate a section on the website to introduce local cuisines. Through surveys, we found that food is an incentive to attract tourists. In addition, the general introduction of cuisines also provides addresses for visitors to experience the specialty. Besides, the website also has a section for an events calendar.