The Hanoitimes - The Vietnam tourism sector is encouraging initiatives in promotion with a view to attract 13 million foreign arrivals in 2017 and 20 million in 2020. However, funding shortage, low-qualified staff and leadership are preventing the green economy to thrive.
At the conference “2017 Tourism Promotion” held by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) on August 3 in Hanoi, many experts considered shortcomings in the promotion work, together with the visa policy are the obstacles for the robust growth of Vietnam’s tourism. Currently, the budget for tourism promotion in Vietnam is 2 million USD per year, the lowest in ASEAN. Meanwhile, each year, Thailand spends 60 million USD for promotion activities and receives back over 30 million international arrivals.
In addition, the lack of a national tourism promotion agency and tourism representation offices abroad are the reasons for the arrival of only low to medium income tourists to Vietnam (approximately 1,114 USD/ 1 international tourist/ 1 trip). Meanwhile, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines attract tourists with higher income. “With a budget of 2 million USD, Vietnam is barely doing tourism promotion. Over the recent years, Vietnam’s attendance in international tourism fairs is rather poor which is conducive to low efficiency,” said the deputy chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association Vu The Binh .
Foreign tourists riding bycicles on Long Bien bridge.
For promotion activities to achieve the desired results and boost up the tourism industry, the deputy chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association Vu The Binh stressed that in order to reach the goal of 13 to 15 million foreign arrivals this year, promotion activities have to be reinforced.
“At first, we need to more aggressive promotion in six countries of ASEAN including Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Campuchia and Myanmar. Since the beginning of the year, over one million tourists from those six markets have come to Vietnam. On the other hand, promotion activities in further countries like those in Europe need to be conducted from six months to one year earlier in order to get positive results. In the long term, the government should waive visa requirements for five West European countries, increasing visa validity to 30 days from 15 days. In addition, the Vietnam Tourism Association suggests visa exemption for three countries which are the major sources of high spending tourists to Vietnam including Australia, India and Canada. In particular, it’s necessary to refound the National Tourism Promotion Center Under VNAT”, Binh said.
In order to join the government effort on Private – Public – Partnership in tourism promotion, private tour operators under the Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) have committed to contribute 70 billion VND (3 million USD) to the Tourism Development Fund from now to 2020 as well as to take part in the National Council of Tourism Promotion. “In the coming time, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Vietnam Airlines, Hanoi Promotion Agency and TAB will jointly take part in two world largest tourism fairs in the world: World Travel Market in London with 200m2 booth and ITB Berlin (Internationale Tourismus – Boerse Berlin) with booth of 500m2, as well as roadshow to key markets” –said Hoang Nhan Chinh from TAB.
According to the Director General of VNAT Nguyen Van Tuan, at present, 11 enterprises have committed to participate in TAB. Vietnam Airlines, HG Group, Muong Thanh Group, Thien Minh and Vin Group donated 40 billion VND to the Board. “I hope the enterprise community, especially the private enterprises will continue being the driving force and proactive in tourism promotion for the efficiency and sustainable development of Vietnam Tourism”, Tuan said.
To achieve the objective of receiving 23.6 million tourists in 2017, the Hanoi Tourism Department will conduct drastic measures as follow: efficiently carrying out promotion campaigns in cooperation with other provinces and foreign countries. Hanoi will continue advertising and promoting the city’s tourism on CNN network in accordance with the MOU signed for the period of 2017-2018. At the same time, the Department will finalize IT application in tourism management, with a view to implement smart tourism – Vice Director of Hanoi Tourism Department Nguyen Anh Dung.
Ngoc Thuy - Ho Ha