VN tourism: ad campaigns aim wrong targets, money spent unwisely

Published: 05/04/2011 05:00



VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam has
been trying to advertise the tourism products that travelers do not need.
Though Vietnam
does not have to spend much money promoting tourism, it has been using money
ineffectively, according to Associate Professor Dr Pham Trung Luong, Deputy
Head of the Tourism Research and Development Institute.

Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi

In a talk
with VietNamNet, Luong said that the Vietnam National Tourism Administration
(VNAT) is compiling a tourism development strategy for 2020 until 2030. The
strategy has six components, including tourism promotion. Especially, Vietnam will
focus on building its national brand.

To date, Vietnam has
just been trying to advertise the products it has, while it has not paid
attention to developing the products travelers need. Vietnam will not follow the same
trails and repeat the current mistakes in the future.

There is
another thing in the new tourism development strategy is that Vietnam will target closer markets by 2020
instead of markets further away from Vietnam. Travelers always consider
travel time needed. Therefore, Vietnam
would focus on attracting travelers from near markets, including Northeast Asia and some priority markets. Besides, Vietnam would also try to target European and
the US

You have said that Vietnam will
focus on building a national brand. What will be Vietnam’s national brand, then?

Since Vietnam’s
tourism development strategy aims to developing sea tourism in the time to
come, therefore, the national brand will be closely related to that strategy.
Sea tourism is really an advantage of Vietnam, because seas are the
places which feature most attractive natural resources of the country. Vietnam now has 10 world heritage sites, while
2/3 of which are located on coastal areas, from Ha Long Bay to Phong Nha-Ke
Bang National
Park, Hue city
ancient capital, Hoi An ancient town. Vietnam’s beaches can compete with
any beaches in the world and the region, but the problem is that they have not
been well exploited.

tourism will also be a priority. The sailboat festival in Binh Thuan province
to be held in mid March will be the first activity to awaken the great
potentials of sports tourism in Vietnam.

But in the region, Thailand has
also been promoting sea tourism?

Vietnam is in no way inferior to Thailand in terms of the beauty of
beaches. Thai sea tourism has reached its highest peak in development and it is
entering a period of saturation. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s sea tourism is still

In tourism,
new things always attract travelers, new beaches, new friendly people and new
landscapes. Meanwhile, Thailand
has been rapidly developing over the last 20 years. The beaches like Phuket has
become familiar to travelers. Thailand
is trying to renew its tourism products. As Vietnam is still in the early stages
of development, it has great advantages to develop.

A British travel firm director who
has been working in Vietnam
for 7-8 years said only five percent of foreign tourists return to Vietnam, while 50 percent of tourists return to Thailand. The
problem is that Vietnam
has been advertising itself as a country rich in culture. Meanwhile, travelers
only need to come one time to learn about culture. Meanwhile, Thailand has
been known as a place to entertain and relax. Therefore, travelers want to come
to the country at any times they need somewhere to relax. What would you say about

He is
right. Vietnam
has not built up the tourism products attractive enough to persuade travelers
to return. Travelers only return if they find tourism products attractive, such
as entertainment services. As for resorts, if travelers think the resorts have
good healthcare services they will return. But travelers will come only time if
they only want to do sightseeing. There are many historical and cultural sites
in Vietnam,
and travelers only intend to come to see them one time in their lives. There
are also many festivals, but travelers will only attend the festivals one time.

You have said that in the past, Vietnam only
tried to advertise the things it has, not the things travelers need. Could you
please collaborate on this?

In the
past, we did not conduct surveys professionally, so we did not realize what the
market needed. Therefore, we tried to advertise the products that travelers
found uninteresting. Meanwhile, there are many market segments and a wide range
of clients: the US
travelers do not have the same tastes as South Koreans, while the tastes of
elderly people and young people, high income earners and low income earners are
not the same.

Most of
South Korean travelers are young who like going to noisy places where they can
go shopping, while they are not as interested in culture. Meanwhile, most of
Japanese travelers are elderly people who have high income. They like quiet
places and like going to see cultural sites. Australian travelers like the
beach, sports, while they are not as attracted to the cultural sites.

As such, we
need to conduct thorough surveys on the targeted markets so as to make
reasonable advertisement campaigns.

In a recent
survey, a question was posed for travelers: “Through which channels did you
know about Vietnam?”
65 percent of polled travelers said they knew about Vietnam
through friends and relatives, 33 percent said through mass media, while only
13 percent through the channels on which Vietnam had to spend a lot of money
to develop. Vietnam
is a poor country, but it sometimes does not effectively use the money it has.

Lan Huong

Provide by Vietnam Travel

VN tourism: ad campaigns aim wrong targets, money spent unwisely - Travel - News |  vietnam travel company

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