Vietnam Tourism - Finding Solutions to Attract Visitors

3:26:30 PM | 7/8/2005

Vietnam Tourism - Finding Solutions to Attract Visitors

Efforts made by Vietnam tourism

Alongside the growth of the world tourism market, Vietnam’s tourism in 2004 received 2.9 million foreign visitors, or an increase of 20 per cent against that of 2003. Some markets with a high increase include the Republic of Korea (40 per cent), Japan (30 per cent), the US (28 per cent), Taiwan (27 per cent), Australia (22 per cent) and China (20 per cent). The number of visitors arriving to Vietnam by air saw an increase of 34 per cent, while the number of visitors by sea, 10 per cent, and cars, nine per cent. Revenues from tourism reached VND25,000 billion (or US$1.582 billion). Economic experts say that Vietnamese tourism is back on track after the crises of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and bird flu. This achievement was recorded thanks to great efforts by the Vietnamese Government to control (SARS) and expand diplomatic relations, boost investment, trade and tourism promotion activities. Also, the Government has issued some more favourable policies, such as the cutting of time and charges for emigration and immigration procedures, and visa exemption for some major markets, including the Republic of Korea, Japan and some ASEAN countries, to attract visitors. Moreover, in 2004 Vietnam held many cultural events. The combination of these events with tourism development has created a new strength for the industry. Major events organised last year include the 50th anniversary of the Victory over Dien Bien Phu, the Heritage Road in Central Vietnam, the fifth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 5), and the Hue Festival.

At a seminar on tourism development co-operation held in Ho Chi Minh City recently, experts in the industry said Vietnam had great potential with many beautiful landscapes, political, economic and security stability. Vietnam is considered the safest destination in Southeast Asia.

Solutions for attracting visitors

Stephen Yong, sales development director at PATA, said that Vietnam should further promote its image, in particular its advantages of landscape, hospitality, and safety, in foreign countries. Stephen Yong went on to say that to attract visitors, Vietnam’s tourism should upgrade to offer visitors great value equal to what they spend. Also, Vietnam should promote the diversity of its products with destinations, safety and visitors’ satisfaction. Vietnam should develop a strategic vision with specific products, including cultural and ecological tourism services with high competitiveness in price and quality.

At the seminar, representatives stated five important factors for Vietnam to attract visitors. These include convenient communication, safety, cheap price, environment and marketing promotion. Marketing activities should be developed with long-term strategies. The promotion activities should be combined with each agency and locality. The experience of some Asian countries with developed tourism, such as Thailand, China and Singapore, shows that there should be a close co-operation between the State-owned and private sectors. Stephen Yong said that Vietnam’s tourism should promote co-operation with the mass media to provide a full image of Vietnam for visitors.

In 2005, Vietnamese tourism has set a target of receiving between three million and 3.5 million foreign visitors and around 16 million domestic holidaymakers, earning VND 30,000 billion (about US$1.899 billion) in revenues. To that end, local tourism has been set major tasks, such as the guidelines for provinces to adjust their master plans, and the implementation of a project entitled ‘Orientations and solutions for accelerating tourism development in Central Vietnam and the Central Highlands, and national programmes of action on tourism development, and investment in major tourist attractions.

  • Truong Cong Ly