Vietnam tourism must improve promotions

The number of travelers arriving in Vietnam has decreased considerably in recent months but while neighbors draw up solutions Vietnam tourism is fumbling for answers.

Tan Hong travel company’s represntatives (r ) receive visitors arriving in HCMC on Princess Cruises   (Photo:TTO)

The number of European and American visitors to HCM City, Hanoi and other honey pots, including Hoi An, Hue and Da Nang, has fallen 30-40 percent.
Visitors on caravan tours and cruise ships have also dropped.
Many international tourists have canceled tours to Vietnam, said some travel firms. 160 tourists from Thailand and Europe have canceled tours within the last 10 days, said Nguyen Hang Quy, director of Huong Giang International Travel.
Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Da Nang City, Ngo Quang Vinh, said that services such as hotels, transport businesses and tourist companies should reduce tour prices and provide special treatment to international visitors. The tourism industry should promote and advertise destinations to neighboring countries, namely Thailand, Singapore, China and Korea.

He added Da Nang has just opened some shopping and entertainment areas after midnight.
The city also holds musical performances at theaters and museums to draw local and foreign visitors.

The deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Culture, Information and Tourism, La Quoc Khanh, said that the relevant departments, travel services such as hotels, restaurants, airlines and tourist companies should join hands to offer promotions and offer competitive prices to stimulate the tourism market.

Foreign tourists shopping at Ben Thanh Market.  (Photo: Anh Vu)

According to Mr Vu The Binh, Director General of the Traveling Department of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), travel firms in Ho Chi Minh City will take responsibility for promotion to markets in Australia, Northern and Western Europe, Japan and ASEAN countries. Tourist companies in the North will look after the Chinese market.
The promotion package will be officially presented to international visitors and tourist companies at the 2009 ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF 2009) to be held in Hanoi January 5-12.
The deputy Head of the VNAT, Nguyen Manh Cuong, said that Vietnam tourism industry has to launch promotional programs to attract visitors from major markets from now until the day before ATF 2009.
About 1,500 people, including ministers, heads of national tourism agencies and businesspeople, are expected to attend the event, which is an opportunity for travel companies to offer cheap and competitive promotion packages to visitors.
Promotional programs will be advertised on internet, he added.
Mr. Cuong said that promotion package will be launched December 30 at the latest.

He said that Vietnam tourism industry should have many active programs next year. Countries in the region need to work together. The region must prepare for when the global financial crisis is over.

Source TT – Translated by Anh Vu

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