Tour firms urged to improve services

Published: 21/05/2011 05:00

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Representatives of travel agencies from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan called Vietnam’s central region an attractive tourist destination but complained that service quality and promotional programmes needed to be improved, at a tourism promotion seminar held by Vietnam Airlines in the central city of Danang this week.

Representatives of travel agencies from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan called Vietnam’s central region an attractive tourist destination but complained that service quality and promotional programmes needed to be improved, at a tourism promotion seminar held by Vietnam Airlines in the central city of Danang this week.

“The central region is an ideal destination for a vacation,” said HongYi Travel Service Co chairman Cai Jia Huang, noting that the area had long coastlines, good resorts and restaurants, and many world heritage sites.

But there was a lack of convenient means of travel between tourist spots, and ticket prices at some sites were relatively high, Huang said.

Huang also suggested that the country have more press tours and take part more in international tourism fairs.

Charlotte Travel Co Ltd director Jackie Harris said: “Vietnam is a good choice,” but things needed to be done to let the coastal areas compete with destinations like Thailand’s Phuket and Indonesia’s Bali.

The country should provide visitors with easier entry and exit procedures and more standard accomodations, she suggested.

She said getting a visa to enter Thailand or Indonesia was significantly easier than Vietnam. And, while there were 344 three- to five-star hotels in Phuket and 427 in Bali, there were only 48 in Danang, Hue city and Hoi An.

Fantasy Holiday Co general director Zhang Zhibing said Vietnam had consistently ranked third in recent years as the most-attractive destination for outbound tours from south China, trailing Singapore-Malaysia-Thailand and Indonesia-Maldives-Phillipines.

Although Vietnam’s central region had significant advantages in terms of seacooking and resorts, tourism services were less diversified than in some neighbouring countries.

The Vietnam Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has conducted few promotional campaigns in China, while Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand have all paid significant attention to these efforts over the past 20 years, said Zhang.

She suggested that the VNAT establish offices to distribute promotional literature in China. There also needed to be tax exemption policies in well-developed tourism cities like Danang and Nha Trang.

Vietnam should also do more to preserve historical and cultural vestiges, build more hotels, beach resorts and recreation areas, and train more Chinese-speaking tour guides, she added.

She also urged Vietnam Airlines to add more direct flights from Chinese cities to Danang or Nha Trang to meet visitor demand.

Kieu Anh, the chief representative of Vietnam Airlines’ Shanghai office, said the carrier now had over 80 flights per week for routes from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan to Vietnam, but visitors had to transit in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City in order to go to the central region.

The deputy head of VNAT, Nguyen Manh Cuong, said China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, nearby geographically and with similar cultural characteristics, were always considered Vietnam’s key tourism markets.

The number of tourists from those markets accounted for 23-25 per cent of total international visitors every year, he noted, with the number of Chinese visitors last year reaching 905,000, up 74.5 per cent over 2009.

Taiwanese visitors, meanwhile, totalled 334,000, a year-on-year increase of 23.7 per cent.

Cuong said the VNAT would work more closely with tourism associations and travel agencies to further boost promotion in these markets.

Source: VNS

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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