The HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in cooperation with Viet Circle tour operator, American Tour International and American Airlines, organized a tourism promotion trip for 14 tour operators in the U.S. from November 28 to December 12, 2010. According to Phan Dinh Hue, Viet Circle’s director, besides studying tourism destinations in the country’s western and eastern coasts, the enterprises had meetings with partners there to bring more American tourists to Vietnam and vice versa.
Previously, on November 22, 2010, the Vietnamese Embassy in Egypt held a seminar to introduce Vietnam’s travel agencies and tours to Egyptian travel agencies, tourists and journalists. In addition to a short film show on Halong Bay, Phong Nha-Ke Bang, Sapa, Dalat and beautiful beaches, there was an explanation on how to apply for a Vietnam visa.
Promoting by fam trips
These were the last fam trips to promote Vietnam’s tourism in foreign countries to attract more tourists in 2011.
Nguyen Manh Cuong, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), says that over 10 tourism promotion trips were made in 2010. “It is common that after such trips, it takes some five or six months to actually have first contracts between Vietnamese travel agencies and foreign partners to bring tourists to Vietnam or vice versa,” he says, giving an example that many trips held in 2009 partly help Vietnam’s tourism fulfilling target of attracting foreign tourists to Vietnam in 2010.
Among the campaigns organized in 2010, the largest one was possibly from the tourism promotion program in late August and early September in Western Europe — the key market for the Vietnamese tourism industry — held by VNAT. In combination with the “Vietnam Cultural Weeks” in Germany and Belgium, VNAT introduced the Vietnamese tourism in Germany, Belgium and France. This was an opportunity for Vietnamese tourism businesses to meet, discuss and seek business partners and meet overseas Vietnamese to exchange tourism cooperation opportunities in Vietnam.
At the beginning of 2010, VNAT had invited some companies to participate in the bids to hold a series of events abroad, including tourism promotion campaigns and meetings between state and corporate officials of Vietnam and their partners from Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
National Tourism Year
Mr Cuong said that the fam trips in 2010 were successful, supporting the country’s tourism campaign in 2011 that focuses on sea tourism. This is the reason why the National Tourism Year 2011 will take place in the central coastal region, mainly in Phu Yen Province, themed “Exotic Beaches and Islands.” The previous hosts of the program were Quang Ninh, Dien Bien, Nghe An, Quang Nam, Thai Nguyen, Can Tho and Hanoi. According to VNAT, it had a trip to the central region from December 3 to 10, 2010 to look into infrastructure, products and services for the upcoming program.
Previously in July, Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh signed a decision to approve programs for the tourism year. Accordingly, the opening ceremony will officially start early 2011, including activities such as International Mountaineering Prize for conquering Da Bia Mountain, cultural exchanges among Vietnam, Korea and some other countries, ASEAN traditional music, ASEAN Choir Games and the 17th Vietnam Film Festival 2011.
Additionally, during the year, there are many activities like Quan The Am Festival (Avalokitecvara Festival) and International Fireworks Competition in Danang City, the first international chorus festival and sports competition of ethnic minorities in Quang Nam Province, the tourism beauty contest and sea and island culture festival in Quang Ngai Province, Bai Choi folk-song festival in Binh Dinh Province and Vietnam sea village festival in Binh Thuan Province.
Mr Cuong says that with the main purpose to promote sea tourism in 2011, VNAT will strengthen cooperation with enterprises, especially those coming back from tourism promotion trips to organize the National Tourism Year more effectively in order to either attract new foreign arrivals to Vietnam or welcome return visitors.