Vietnam tourism industry in need for a push

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Scam-funny
Shoe shop in Ho Chi Minh City. A scam?

Vietnam’s tourism numbers are hovering around 6 million per year as compared to Thailand and Malaysia with 22 million and 24 million respectively, and the government as well as tourism organisations are mulling how the numbers could be sustainably increased.

While this year, the tourism industry in Vietnam aims to serve 7.2 million foreigners, many in and out of the country doubt that this target is realistic given the low spending on tourism marketing, poor touristic infrastructure and many visitors complaining about scams and rip-offs.

A report by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism showed that in 2000-2012, the state spent just $1.5 million every year on tourism promotion activities, a very modest figure when compared with Thailand or Malaysia which budgets over $100 million for their yearly campaigns.

Adding to this, in January 2013 the tourist visa fee has been raised from $25 to $45. While this brings additional cash for the state budget, the visa fee hike is probably deterring many to visit the country which is the only one in ASEAN besides Myanmar for which a prearranged visa is required for Western tourists.

Furthermore, the return rate of visitors to Vietnam is just 5 per cent as compared to Thailand with 50 per cent. Many reports about scam artists at tourist spots, rip-off cab drivers and overpriced hotels with low standards are adding to the problem.

Vietnam should be able to compete, an article in Thanh Nien News said on June 22.

“Vietnam has spectacular mountain scenery and over 3,000 kilometers of coastline. It has stunning examples of colonial architecture and outgoing, friendly people who are still curious about meeting foreign visitors,” the article said.

However, it continues: “Any country that charges tourists $45 for a visa and makes them apply for it in advance is not really serious about tourism. Any country that allows tourists to be scammed and hassled to the degree that happens in Vietnam, even at its airports, is not really serious about tourism. Any country that allows the building of large beachfront resorts without accompanying developments such as convenience stores, beach bars or restaurants is not really serious about tourism. And any country which does zero market research with tourism companies and resident expats to find out what visitors really want is most definitely not serious about tourism.”

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism  has now launched the  campaign “Vietnam-Endless Beauty” targeted at key and potential markets, including China, India, the Middle East, Japan, South Korea, as well as Russia and Eastern Europe, France and Western Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand and ASEAN member countries.

It says that the Vietnamese tourism industry will also promote domestic tourism on national holidays and during major events in 2013. It will launch advertising campaigns for places in Vietnam that appeal to international visitors. It also aims to raise awareness among local communities, offer discounts on various travel packages, boost the development of tourism products and improve the quality of services.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Shoe shop in Ho Chi Minh City. A scam?

Vietnam’s tourism numbers are hovering around 6 million per year as compared to Thailand and Malaysia with 22 million and 24 million respectively, and the government as well as tourism organisations are mulling how the numbers could be sustainably increased.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Scam-funny
Shoe shop in Ho Chi Minh City. A scam?

Vietnam’s tourism numbers are hovering around 6 million per year as compared to Thailand and Malaysia with 22 million and 24 million respectively, and the government as well as tourism organisations are mulling how the numbers could be sustainably increased.

While this year, the tourism industry in Vietnam aims to serve 7.2 million foreigners, many in and out of the country doubt that this target is realistic given the low spending on tourism marketing, poor touristic infrastructure and many visitors complaining about scams and rip-offs.

A report by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism showed that in 2000-2012, the state spent just $1.5 million every year on tourism promotion activities, a very modest figure when compared with Thailand or Malaysia which budgets over $100 million for their yearly campaigns.

Adding to this, in January 2013 the tourist visa fee has been raised from $25 to $45. While this brings additional cash for the state budget, the visa fee hike is probably deterring many to visit the country which is the only one in ASEAN besides Myanmar for which a prearranged visa is required for Western tourists.

Furthermore, the return rate of visitors to Vietnam is just 5 per cent as compared to Thailand with 50 per cent. Many reports about scam artists at tourist spots, rip-off cab drivers and overpriced hotels with low standards are adding to the problem.

Vietnam should be able to compete, an article in Thanh Nien News said on June 22.

“Vietnam has spectacular mountain scenery and over 3,000 kilometers of coastline. It has stunning examples of colonial architecture and outgoing, friendly people who are still curious about meeting foreign visitors,” the article said.

However, it continues: “Any country that charges tourists $45 for a visa and makes them apply for it in advance is not really serious about tourism. Any country that allows tourists to be scammed and hassled to the degree that happens in Vietnam, even at its airports, is not really serious about tourism. Any country that allows the building of large beachfront resorts without accompanying developments such as convenience stores, beach bars or restaurants is not really serious about tourism. And any country which does zero market research with tourism companies and resident expats to find out what visitors really want is most definitely not serious about tourism.”

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism  has now launched the  campaign “Vietnam-Endless Beauty” targeted at key and potential markets, including China, India, the Middle East, Japan, South Korea, as well as Russia and Eastern Europe, France and Western Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand and ASEAN member countries.

It says that the Vietnamese tourism industry will also promote domestic tourism on national holidays and during major events in 2013. It will launch advertising campaigns for places in Vietnam that appeal to international visitors. It also aims to raise awareness among local communities, offer discounts on various travel packages, boost the development of tourism products and improve the quality of services.

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