New Tourism Chief Writes a Prescription

Mr. Hoang Anh Tuan, the new head of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), has announced four suggestions for luring more tourists to Viet Nam and will submit them to the government in due course.

Mr. Hoang Anh Tuan, the new head of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism, 

They are: exempting gifts and souvenirs from VAT, employing foreign companies to market Viet Nam as a place to see, ending the need for visas for travelers from Scandinavia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore if they plan to stay less than 15 days, and allowing in right-hand-drive cars and buses from other ASEAN countries.

Mr. Tuan points out that only 42,000 of the country’s 143,000 hotel rooms are of three-star standard or better, well short of the number needed for today’s upmarket tourists.

Since more than 170,000 hotel rooms will be needed by 2010, the government is looking to entice property developers to build more four and five-star hotels in Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi, Hue, Quang Nam, Da Nang, Phu Quoc, Quang Ninh and Hai Phong.

The new VNAT chief adds that his organization will spend VND121 billion on advertising in the rest of this decade.

“The quality of Viet Nam’s tourism products depends primarily on the culture and people. For example, provincial and city authorities should protect visitors from bothersome beggars and street vendors, and the people who work in the hospitality industry should have professional training. And travel companies should do their bit by coming up with their own marketing strategies,” says Mr. Tuan.

Source TT – Translated by Kim Khanh

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