A media campaign dubbed "Exciting Vietnam", attended by numerous representatives from the diplomatic corps, international organisations and press agencies, was kicked-off at a press conference in Ha Noi on July 2014.
"Exciting Vietnam" is the key event among a series of activities aimed at boosting international arrivals in the country, launched at the end of last month.
Through this campaign, Vietnam will promote itself as a safe, friendly, attractive, and exciting tourist destination, according to Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ho Anh Tuan. The campaign covers 14 events, which will be staged by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Viet Nam Tourism Association in conjunction with Vietnam Airlines, Saigon Tourism and tourism enterprises during the last half of this month. "Representatives from media outlets inside and outside Vietnam will be invited to attend press trips or farm trips to the country under the campaign that features the slogan, ‘Viet Nam - A safe, friendly, attractive destination'," he said. The trips are intended to show the media that Viet Nam remains a secure and safe place to travel. The campaign will invite representatives from travel agencies of Vietnam's key and potential markets, including Japan, South Korea and Russia. "Popular destinations including Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Hoi An, Nha Trang, and HCM City may be added to the trip itineraries," said Nguyen Manh Cuong, Deputy Director of Vietnam Administration of Tourism.
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The campaign will also include larger-scale participation of Vietnam's tourism sector at international tourism fairs and tourism promotion programmes linked to PR programmes inside the country. At the press conference, tourism sector officials answered various questions on promoting Vietnam's sea and island tourism.
Cuong said the tourism sector is inviting foreign investors to potential islands like Phu Quoc [in Kien Giang] and Ly Son [in Quang Ngai] and further off-shore islands. Tuan said that the sector has drafted a plan to develop tourism by the sea route. He said various well-known tourism agencies specialising in sea routes had been invited to explore Viet Nam's coastal potential and they appreciated it. "The biggest obstacle is that we don't have many ports, which can receive big ships carrying 5,000 to 6,000 tourists," he revealed.Regarding the decline in the number of Chinese-language-speaking tourists to the country due to the East Sea crisis since China illegally placed an oil rig in Vietnam's waters in May, Tuan stressed that tourism was trying its best to normalise activities of peoples in the two countries. "We have told everyone and tourism agencies not to discriminate against Chinese-speaking guests," he said.
"Despite recent challenges, Vietnamese tourism has remained stable with regard to the number of tourists and the income. "Last year, the number of international tourists coming to Vietnam reached 7.57 million while domestic tourists reached 32.5 million, and total income from tourism reached VND200 trillion (US$9.4 billion). During the first half of this year, the number of international tourists was 4.28 million, domestic tourists reached 23.4 million, and total income from tourism reached VND125 trillion ($5.8 billion). This was an increase of 22 per cent in comparison with the same period last year.
There are now more than 330,000 rooms for accommodation, 1,300 travel agencies and more than 8,000 tourist guides, who can speak various languages throughout the country. The total number of labour serving the sector reaches 1.8 million.
Earlier this week, the tourism sector launched a promotion programme with the theme "Vietnamese people travel around Vietnam". "During difficult periods, inbound tourism is the driving force supporting sustainable growth of the domestic tourism sector," Nguyen Van Tuan, director of the administration said.The programme called on all Vietnamese people to promote domestic travel, especially to some key destinations including mountains, islands and difficult areas.