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Vietnam to hire consultancy firm for tourism marketing?

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism VNAT is, for the first time, considering hiring a consultancy firm to promote Vietnam’s tourism, according to VNAT’s General Director Nguyen Van Tuan.


In the interview given to Tien phong newspaper, Tuan said that after choosing the new logo and slogan for Vietnam’s tourism for 2011-2015 “Vietnam – a different Orient” suggested by Cowan Vietnam, VNAT is consulting the choice with tourism experts, travel firms, relevant ministries and press agencies. If a consensus can be reached, VNAT will ask the Government for the permission to use the new logo and slogan for the tourism promotion activities in the time to come, Vietnam travel.

VNAT plans to hire Cowan to build a strategy on tourism promotion for the new period. This is for the first time a professional consultancy firm is hired to help the Vietnamese tourism industry to carry out its promotional campaigns.


2010 was the last year in the 2000-2010 development period of the tourism industry. What will be new in the next development period?


VNAT is planning the promotion campaign for the national tourism for the 2011-2015 period, targetting both on Vietnam and foreign countries. There are some big tasks for 2011. First, VNAT will suggests the Government should increase the budget for tourism promotion to 70 billion dong in 2011 (the figure was 41 billion dong in 2010). We have proposed the Government and the Ministry of Finance to use one dollar from the income from every foreign tourist for this purpose. This would give the tourism sector five million dollars in 2011, or a total of more than 100 billion dong to carry out marketing campaigns.


According to the General Statistics Office, on average, a foreign tourist spends 1024 dollars in Vietnam. Tourism experts believe every dollar spent on tourism promotion will bring 12-15 dollar in income. 100 billion dong on tourism promotion would be a modest budget compared with those of other  countries in the region.


In 2011, Vietnam will increase its promotion campaigns in the nearby markets, including Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan and ASEAN countries. It will also reach farther, to markets canto provide the tourists withlarge spending habits, such as Western Europe, North America, Russia and Australia. VNAT is determined to enhance the work of its tourism promotion agencies, making the  them more capable, powerful and professional.


Some experts say that the problem now for Vietnam’s tourism is the low budget or lack of money, but that the bigger problem lies in the lack of effective promotion strategies. This explains why VNAT have once not used all the allocated money ?


I’ve heard this opinion. It is true that once in the past, we did not use all the money we were allowed to spend. It was because of the too complicated procedures, and the mechanism under which VNAT did not have full power. For example, in order to spend the allocated budget of 41 billion dong in 2010, at first, VNAT had to draw up the list of activities, then submitted the list to the management ministry, and then to the Ministry of Finance. In order to get the money disbursed, VNAT had to, once again, build up the detailed estimates of spending to submit to relevant ministries.


In general, in order to carry out an event, the tourism sector had to spend one third of the time on administrative procedures and disbursement formalities. In many cases, even though we could see specific opportunities to to attract travelers, these were missed because it would have taken too much time to draw a plan and wait for approvals.

In order to settle the problem, we are trying to persuade relevant ministries to accept a new mechanism which gives more power to VNAT. Currently, the Travel Department is in charge of promoting tourism in Western Europe and China, while the Market Department is in charge of promoting tourism in other markets. However, VNAT has proposed to develop the Market Department into a tourism promotion centre. If the plan is approved, the centre will have its own stamp and account, meaning it will operate separately and receive instructions directly from VNAT.


Vietnam attracted the record high number of five million foreign touristsWill VNAT hope for a higher number in 2011?


The figure represents an increase of 1.2 million tourists, or 30 percent, over 2009. This was really a sharp increase, and such a high growth rate will not be seen in the upcoming years. We have even predicted a slowdown in the next years.


We hope to receive 5.3-5.5 million foreign tourists in 2011 and serve 30 million? domestic travelers.


Source: Tien phong

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