Viet Nam News
KHÁNH HOÀ — Diversifying international markets and creating more products are the two main ways to promote tourism in the central province of Khánh Hoà Province and its Nha Trang city, an international conference heard on Saturday.
“Khánh Hoà Tourism in the National Destination Development Strategy,” organised by the provincial Department of Tourism and tourism property developer Crystal Bay, heard tourism has developed strongly in Khánh Hoà in recent years.
Last year it received 5.5 million tourists, over two million of them foreigners.
In the first half of this year revenues were worth VNĐ10 trillion (US$439 million), a 34 per cent jump from the same period last year. Already the number of foreign tourists has topped 1.5 million, a 60 per cent jump.
The province has invested in tourism infrastructure, and has 684 tourist accommodation establishments with about 31,700 rooms.
Of them 150 are classified as three- to five-star with a total of 22,300 rooms.
The province targets 8.5 million Vietnamese tourists and 3.5 million foreigners by 2020 and turning tourism into a key driver of growth.
But to achieve the goals, the province needs to overcome certain shortcomings, the conference heard.
The province’s Permanent Vice Chairman Trần Sơn Hải said the tourism sector’s development has not been commensurate with its potential.
“Products are not diverse enough, quality does not meet the increasing demand, promotional activities are limited, there is a human resource shortage in terms of both quality and quantity.”
To overcome these shortcomings requires greater co-operation between local authorities, tourism companies and local residents.
Nicolas Urvois, senior manager of THR Group, Dubai, said the number of tourists to Nha Trang has increased too quickly, causing pressure on services and accommodation.
The number of Chinese tourists, and to a lesser extent Russians, has risen spectacularly, while arrivals from traditional markets like France, the UK, Germany, Australia, the US, and Canada have dropped.
Nha Trang and Khánh Hoà Province want to recover their traditional markets, attract more visitors from new markets and diversify its tourism segments, he said.
To achieve the goals, the province should prioritise markets, products and customers, do market research to study tourists’ interests and create new experiences and products, he said.
Nguyễn Thường Sơn, director business development at Crystal Bay, said developing tourism areas under the "One holiday, two heritage areas" model is the solution to connect the two heritage areas in the north-east and central region of the country.
He was referring to linking up Hạ Long Bay with Mỹ Sơn and the Chăm culture area in Nha Trang and neighbouring Ninh Thuận Province.
“Combining the two heritage regions is the main advantage which can bring a rich experience to tourists, especially international ones. It is a distinct highlight and persuades tourists to stay longer and to come back again. Connecting tourism sites in two different heritage areas is also a factor in persuading tourists to pay for their experiences. This solution will optimise the tourism potential of each locality.”
This strategy would also improve value addition in the tourism sector, he added.
Concurring, Urvois said every destination should identify activities that would affect the emotion as well as remain in the memory of travellers to "transform" from pure tourism activities to a level that makes visitors remember and feel the experience.
Having a range of diverse experiences is the key factor in persuading visitors to stay longer and travel to more places during their holidays.
Trần Du Lịch, chief consultant to the Coordination Committee of the Central Coastal Region, said it is necessary to connect Nha Trang with provinces in the Central Highlands.
“Nha Trang should be developed as a destination in both the south-central region and the Central Highlands. For that, it needs to strengthen tie-ups between tour operators and developers.”
Vũ Quốc Trí, chief of office, Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism, said Khánh Hoà and Nha Trang are important destinations which play a key role in developing the country’s tourism.
Nha Trang should be developed as an international destination, and for that to be successful, it is necessary to establish a destination management organisation, he said.
This would be a consulting organisation whose members are from companies and official agencies, and it would meet regularly to identify development directions, and the model has been established in other regions like the north and Mekong Delta, he said. — VNS