Vietnam continues to meet and surpass visitor expectations, as the country’s tourism leaders and investors work to enhance an already impressive offering. Natalie Hami reports.
Home to a thrilling mix of history, culture and culinary diversity, Vietnam possesses an array of alluring attributes that continue to entice travellers from around the globe.
Highlighting the country’s tourism popularity at the recently-concluded WTM London 2017, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) proudly shared that the destination welcomed a total of 10,024,899 travellers in the first 10 months of 2017 – an increase of 28.1 per cent on the same period last year.
Meanwhile, central to Vietnam’s tourism prowess and ability to compete with other popular and well-established destinations in the region was its hosting of the 25th APEC Summit (APEC Vietnam 2017) – Asia Pacific’s premier economic forum.
The APEC Summit works to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region, and is considered a major boost to tourism. The event culminated during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, held in Da Nang.
Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Tourism, Nguyen Xuan Binh highlighted that the business forum was an opportunity for the city’s tourism industry to show its prowess and potential for cooperation and investment. Adding to this, a number of investments were proposed during the event that are expected to boost tourism, including the first underground shopping centre on Son Thuy Beach in coastal Ngu Hanh Son district.
According to the Da Nang Investment Promotion and Support Agency, Da Nang has attracted 43 new foreign direct investment projects worth $60 million in the first eight months of this year, 4.6 times the amount for the same period last year.
Furthermore, for the second year, Quang Ninh Province will be hosting National Tourism Year 2018, a significant cultural and economic-social event of national scale, further boosting the destination’s tourism potential.
SPREADING THE WORD
And while all of these exciting events and developments unfold, vibrant Vietnam’s tourism players are ensuring that the destination continues to climb the tourism ranks by informing global travellers of the many options on offer.
CEO and founder, Trails of Indochina, John Tue Nguyen explained to TTG that social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, are extremely useful for sharing the DMC’s unique and tailored experiences, destination favourites, insider tips and business updates.
He added: “Via our email marketing, we are further engaging with our audiences, providing hotel and destination updates, featured hotel partners, as well as company announcements and innovations.”
Ever-eager to promote Vietnam’s distinct beauty, Trails of Indochina has recently rebranded and adopted a new approach to travel, with the introduction of 10 travel themes.
Shedding more light on this, Nguyen said: “As a way to connect travellers to the peoples and cultures of Southeast Asia, Trails of Indochina’s offerings are now segmented into themes: active, arts and crafts, culture and history, culinary, family, philanthropy, photography, romance, slow journeys and wellness experiences and itineraries.”
Meanwhile, hospitality entities such as The Anam Resort, Cam Ranh and Amiana Resort Nha Trang also make use of social media and other traditional means to promote their offering.
“We are promoting the business across a range of platforms, from more traditional consumer and trade print publications, to a range of digital publications and social platforms, including Facebook and Instagram,” said general manager, The Anam Resort, Cam Ranh, Herbert Laubichler-Pichler.
“We recognise that our customer base uses an increasingly diverse range of platforms, and varying our approach ensures that we are accessible to all groups and ages.”
Amiana Resort Nha Trang reaches out to a wider global audience by attending exhibitions, such as ITB Asia and Shanghai World Travel Fair, according to the resort’s marketing communication manager, Vu Thi Hong Lan.
Despite an eclectic blend of natural attributes, Vietnam’s hospitality stakeholders are currently focusing on the leisure and MICE segments.
Director of sales and marketing, Hyatt Regency Danang Resort & Spa, Ima Sheeren told TTG: “We are promoting both the MICE and leisure segments, as our destination is becoming more popular among international travellers.”
Sheeren highlighted that the property’s facilities, its long stretch of beach, accommodation (inclusive of guest rooms, suites, residences and villas) and extensive event and meeting facilities suit any occasion.
She added: “With three UNESCO World Heritage sites within 100 miles, travellers can also explore the best of central Vietnam.”
Managing director, Divine Holiday Management, Terence Cardoz is also keen on bolstering the MICE segment, whilst additionally exploring a number of key markets. He stated: “There is still a lot of demand from the Indian sector both for FIT, groups and MICE, but I would now like to focus on getting a share from the Australia, Canada and the US markets, as there is a lot of inbound from these countries for Vietnam.”
Cardoz also noted that Vietnam has the potential to cater to destination weddings and film shoots.
Moving on, Asia DMC is taking inspiration from nature by focusing on tailor made tours, which are sustainable and ethical, according to its director of business development, Armand Cheveux.
“One of our strongest suits is the creation of various experiences, which can be added to a tour; a twist or a new approach to see a certain destination (as promoted in our new brochure ‘spirit of travel’) to make any trip, even a ‘classic’ one, a unique one.”
Vietnam’s breath-taking beauty, charming culture and evolving tourism portfolio not only ensure unforgettable experiences, but also strengthen the country’s reputation as a ‘bucket list’ destination.