Weak promotion efforts have hampered VN tourism companies' abilities to compete, Vu The Binh, vice president of the Viet Nam Tourism Association, tells the Hai Quan (Customs) newspaper.
Several people have said the Vietnamese tourism sector lacked factors to help the nation compete with regional countries such as Thailand, Singapore and China. What is your opinion?
The development of tourism is not the task of the tourism sector only. It needs also assistance from the Viet Nam general tourism department and the government. For example, to promote tourism, the government should offer tourist business incentives such as the reduction of visa fees or land lease taxes.
Viet Nam can compete with regional tourism powers such as Thailand, Singapore and China only when the tourism sector implements a strategy to attract foreign and local tourists to create a growth momentum. The sector should also help businesses in finding key markets for effective investment.
Tourism management agencies should also change the current situation where every province has become the country's focal point of tourism. This cannot create a signature project for the tourism sector.
What is your assessment of the tourism promotion activities at present?
I have noticed that the tourism promotion of Viet Nam has been lagging behind the regional countries. The advertisements are not professional and are insufficient. The expenditure on these activities is still meagre. The employees doing the activities are also not qualified and are in modest numbers.
Notably, there is no co-operation among relevant offices and localities over tourism advertisements.
Do you have any suggestions for changing the situation?
The promotion of the national image must be done by the State, and not by an individual or company. It means the State must use the budget for promoting Viet Nam's brand, and tourist businesses will advertise tourist products by themselves.
To catch up with other countries, Viet Nam's tourism sector should diversify products, improve the quality of service and the staff qualifications, so as to increase the competitiveness of the businesses.
The State should properly invest in national image promotion and open representative tourism offices overseas.
According to my experience, overseas tourist offices are effective channels for promoting Viet Nam's tourism potential.
I hope these matters will be seriously dealt with, and that Viet Nam's tourism will catch up with other countries in the region in the next five years. — VNS