Gov’t set to launch smart tourism cam­paign

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HAØ NOÄI — Vieät Nam’s tourism sec­tor should ap­ply the lat­est tech­nol­ogy to de­velop, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Vuõ Ñöùc Ñam told the Travel & Tourism Sum­mit in Haø Noäi yes­ter­day.

“The ques­tion is with lim­ited cap­i­tal, how can we pro­mote tourism widely,” he said. “Other coun­tries have hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars for PR cam­paigns, but Vieät Nam has only a few mil­lion dol­lars for this pur­pose, so we need to work out how to use this bud­get ef­fec­tively.

“Tech­nol­ogy may be the so­lu­tion to the prob­lem, and the Gov­ern­ment is plan­ning to launch a smart tourism cam­paign,” he said.

The leader ex­plained that to­day most mod­ern trav­ellers use travel apps on smart­phones.

Tourism is a hot area and in­volves var­i­ous sec­tors and in­di­vid­u­als at all lev­els, he said.

“As the head of the Na­tional Tourism Steer­ing Com­mit­tee , I re­alise that the growth of the tourism sec­tor is fast in com­par­i­son with the global av­er­age.

“Main­tain­ing this rate of growth is al­ready dif­fi­cult,” he said. “The growth speed will re­sult in prob­lems that can­not be solved by a sin­gle sec­tor, such as the over­loaded avi­a­tion sec­tor.”

Tourism devel­op­ment re­quired proper co-op­er­a­tion be­tween the Gov­ern­ment and en­ter­prises; cen­tral level agen­cies and lo­cal­i­ties; en­ter­prises, the State and each and ev­ery cit­i­zen, he said.

The yes­ter­day’s sum­mit also heard 20 speak­ers from the Min­istry of Cul­ture, Sports and Tourism, Tourism Ad­vi­sory Board, Pri­vate Econ­omy Devel­op­ment Re­search Board, tourism ex­perts and in­ter­na­tional in­vestors.

John Lindquist, a high-rank­ing con­sul­tant from the UK’s Bos­ton Co n s u l t i n g Gr o u p , o p e n e d h i s speech by ques­tion­ing how to push Vieät Nam’s tourism to an­other level after its quick devel­op­ment.

“Vieät Nam should cre­ate a trade­mark and advertise the trade­mark to po­ten­tial cus­tomers,” he said. “In or­der to cre­ate trade­mark, we need bud­get and proper poli­cies.”

He took Ja­pan as an ex­am­ple. Since 2015, Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe has been fo­cus­ing on tourism as a key sec­tor to de­velop. In the past decade, Ja­pan has formed var­i­ous poli­cies like in­creas­ing the pro­duc­tiv­ity of air­ports, eas­ing visa re- stric­tions and in­creas­ing the bud­get for tourism.

“I think Vieät Nam can fol­low this step,” he said.

If Vieät Nam ex­empts visas for tourists from the UK and Italy, the to­tal num­ber of tourists may in­crease 20 per cent, he said.

Craig Dou­glas, vice chair­man of Lodgis Hos­pi­tal­ity Group, shared his con­cerns on so­lu­tions to draw for­eign in­vest­ment to Vieät Nam’s tourism sec­tor.

“Re­cently, there have been tours com­bin­ing work­shops abd sport games to var­i­ous des­ti­na­tions in Vieät Nam which have at­tracted for­eign in­vestors,” he said.

He sug­gested im­prov­ing ser­vices, de­vel­op­ing ad­ver­tis­ing poli­cies to draw long-term tourism in­vest­ment sources and ig­nor­ing short-term op­tions.

He said Vieät Nam should push poli­cies con­cern­ing in­vest­ments in re­sort prop­er­ties.

Dou­glas stressed that Vieät Nam should con­cen­trate on de­vel­op­ing sus­tain­able tourism; other­wise, the num­ber of vis­i­tors re­turn­ing to the coun­try would re­main low.

“One friend of mine has spent their va­ca­tions in Phuket for the past 18 years,” he said.

Wendy Wu, founder of Wendy Wu Tours, pro­posed three so­lu­tions for Vieät Nam, one of which is that the Gov­ern­ment should fa­cil­i­tate en­ter­prises and sup­port them with more le­gal poli­cies.

Loos­en­ing visa poli­cies like ex­emp­tions for tourists from the UK, Aus­tralia and New Zealand would also push the num­ber of tourists up by 25 per cent, she said.

“Vieät Nam should have a strong, reg­u­lar so­cial and dig­i­tal me­dia pres­ence,” said Brent Hill, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of Mar­ket­ing, South Aus­tralian Tourism Com­mis­sion.

“We need to un­der­stand what our re­turn on in­vest­ment can be and mea­sure it, while be­ing con­sis­tent with your brand­ing and po­si­tion­ing. Un­der­stand how tourists are find­ing out about Vieät Nam and what to do. Get data about them, and use am­bas­sadors to help drive both PR and itin­er­ar­ies.”

The ses­sion also wit­nessed the sign­ing of five co-op­er­a­tion agree­ments be­tween South Hoäi An Devel­op­ment Ltd Com­pany and the Rose­wood ho­tel group, Haûi AÂu Avi­a­tion Joint Ven­ture Com­pany and Air Asia, Wendy Wu Tours and Vic­to­ria Cruise and No­va­land

Ex­perts dis­cuss key is­sues on si­dle­lines of Travel & Tourism Sum­mit Prime Min­is­ter Nguyeãn Xuaân Phuùc yes­ter­day re­ceived in­ter­na­tional in­vestors in the field of tourism, who were in Haø Noäi to at­tend the Travel & Tourism Sum­mit 2018.

Wel­com­ing the in­vestors to Vieät Nam, the Gov­ern­ment leader said Vieät Nam boasts great po­ten­tial for tourism, con­sid­er­ing it a spear­head eco­nomic sec­tor.

How­ever, he noted de­spite good growth, Vieät Nam’s tourism devel­op­ment is yet to match po­ten­tial, with the sec­tor at a smaller scale than in re­gional coun­tries. He also high­lighted lim­i­ta­tions such as un­sus­tain­able tourism devel­op­ment and weak man­age­ment ca­pac­ity.

Speak­ing at the event, the in­vestors ap­pre­ci­ated Vi­etä Nam’s tourism po­ten­tial and sug­gested the coun­try ex­pand the list of coun­tries el­i­gi­ble for visa waivers, boost in- no­va­tion and raise pub­lic aware­ness of the im­por­tance of pro­vid­ing tourism ser­vices.

Agree­ing with the guests, the PM men­tioned sev­eral mea­sures to boost Vieät Nam’s tourism such as a con­tin­ued open visa pol­icy and the im­prove­ment of avi­a­tion in­fra­struc­ture.

He em­pha­sised the need to in­crease tourism pro­mo­tion, train hu­man re­sources and de­velop ac­com­mo­da­tion and en­ter­tain­ment fa­cil­i­ties. — VNS

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