Brand positioning, proper planning needed to capitilise on urban tourism potential
29 Mar 2023
In Việt Nam, the urbanisation rate has reached nearly 40 per cent, with over 860 urban areas. Tourists at an attraction site in Nha Trang City. VNS Photo Mai Hương HÀ NỘI Urban tourism has the potential to contribute to the socio-economic development of a locality significantly but to capitalise on this potential, experts have identified strong brand positioning, proper planning, and development as key areas to focus on. In Việt Nam, the urbanisation rate has reached nearly 40 per cent, with over 860 urban areas. Cities are the driving force of socio-economic development, facilitating economic restructuring towards industrialisation and modernisation. However, not all cities are tourist destinations, even though most have outstanding tourism potential. Việt Nam has numerous urban areas, especially coastal cities or key tourist destinations like HCM City, Đà Nẵng, Nha Trang, Phan Thiết, Vũng Tàu and Phú Quốc. To improve tourism competitiveness and attractiveness, cities with strengths in tourism development must create and position a brand. According to Nguyễn Thu Hạnh, President of the Science Union for Sustainable Tourism Development, brand positioning is one of the important strategies for cities with a focus on tourism. Vũng Tàu City, for example, is rich in advantages such as convenient traffic locations, seaports, a large oil and gas centre, a four-season climate, and beautiful beaches. This urban area also converges different cultures through religious monuments, churches, communal houses, and pagodas. Hạnh describes Vũng Tàu as a "smart, modern and dynamic coastal city" with a system of industrial parks, high-tech zones, event centres, festivals, entertainment, and shopping operating on a digital platform. Phú Quốc, located on the southwest coast, is considered a centre of eco-tourism and high-class beach resorts. With around 150km of coastline, the length of beaches suitable for tourism development is about 50km. Sustainable planning and development In recent years, experts have warned that coastal cities are at risk of sea level rise and unusual natural disasters due to climate change. In response, architects Nguyễn Việt Huy and Đỗ Đình Trọng, from the Hà Nội University of Civil Engineering, have proposed measures to minimise the harmful effects of natural disasters and develop stable technical and economic-tourism infrastructure systems that can adapt to climate change. To achieve this, it is necessary to think differently and have a more open and positive view of climate change. Building construction plans should be based on integrated planning that promotes the socio-natural potential of the region while adapting to climate change. Additionally, rational exploitation and strengthening solutions are essential to manage and use freshwater resources and protect coastal lands, sea mouths, and estuaries. Associate Professor Phạm Trung Lương, Vice President of the Việt Nam Association for the Protection of Marine Resources and Environment and a member of the National Planning Advisory Group, emphasises the importance of promoting sustainable marine tourism urban development. To achieve this, he recommends reviewing and adjusting the planning of existing sea tourism urban areas, especially for coastal spaces. Separate services, shopping, and entertainment areas should be planned with little impact on the lives of residents, ensuring that tourism activities can take place 24/7, thereby promoting the development of the urban night economy, in which tourism will be the core.
Upbeat about Viet Nam's hospitality market
28 Mar 2023
Many airlines have announced the resumption of flights between China and Viet Nam, which is welcome news for the Vietnamese hospitality sector. The Chinese authorities are gradually easing restrictions after their sustained zero-Covid policy. Travellers want to engage in positive practices, including wellness activities, contributing to local communities, and minimising their impact on the environment. Although several major international markets have already reached performances similar to 2019 levels, Southeast Asian markets have only 70% of the 2019 level. Before the pandemic, China was the largest outbound travel market in the world, with as many as 150 million overseas trips in 2019. Much of the recovery in Southeast Asia will depend on the opening of China, and Viet Nam is no exception. Viet Nam has only achieved 60% of the 2019 occupancy level, and the return of international guests was underwhelming in 11M/2022 with only 2.95 million arrivals. Without Chinese travellers, South Korea has become Viet Nam’s largest source of international arrivals; in 11M/2022, they accounted for 764,000 arrivals or 26% of international arrivals. There have been strong upticks from new source markets like India with 109,000 arrivals between January and November, with 27,000 arrivals in November alone, increasing 50% compared to the same period in 2019. Domestic demand is driving tourism recovery in Viet Nam. By November, there were 96.3 million domestic arrivals, exceeding the 85 million in 2019. Mr Mauro Gasparotti, Director of Savills Hotels Asia Pacific commented: “Operations are still fragmented in Viet Nam and certain locations perform better than others. The recovery of coastal resorts has been slower than anticipated, especially for those that rely on international demand. For example, Nha Trang – Cam Ranh and Da Nang have only achieved 50% of 2019 occupancy levels. Several hotels in Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi have recovered well with encouraging results from business travellers, long-term guests, and MICE groups. However, room rates in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City are still 15% to 20% less than in 2019. Upscale to luxury properties have recovered better. The luxury segment was resilient throughout the pandemic and continues to perform well, with rate recovery outperforming the overall market. With the announced resumption of air services from China, Viet Nam’s coastal destinations that are heavily reliant on international tourists could anticipate stronger demand rebound in 2023.” Viet Nam has come under increasing attention of international operators keen to establish a brand presence. Established destinations such as Nha Trang, Da Nang, and Phu Quoc as well as emerging destinations like Ho Tram, Quy Nhon, and Phu Yen are attracting international players. In the next three years, an additional of approximately 80 branded hotels and resorts are slated to be operational, adding to the existing base of 132 properties. In 2023, notable openings include Angsana & Dhawa Ho Tram, JW Marriott Cam Ranh, Hyatt Regency Nha Trang, La Festa Phu Quoc Curio Collection by Hilton, and Voco Ma Belle Hotel Da Nang. Ms Uyen Nguyen, Head of Consultancy at Savills Hotels APAC added: “The cooperation between developers and hotel operators is beneficial if the process is facilitated and executed properly. Brands bring expertise, a good reputation, and access to extensive marketing and distribution networks, but they also have several requirements to be met. As this is usually a long-term partnership, developers should know their business inside out before approaching hotel management companies.” New trends are emerging, such as a rise in millennial travellers and travellers with hybrid lifestyles who can work remotely from anywhere in the world, including their favourite holiday destination. Given tourism’s pressure on natural resources and the environment, there is rising demand for sustainable tourism options. Travellers want to engage in positive practices, including wellness activities, contributing to local communities, and minimising their impact on the environment. “To create a positive long-term outlook, developers must examine industry trends that align with the needs of new travellers and market trends before they build. To be feasible and effective, products must demonstrate a certain understanding of concepts and require key stakeholders and industry leaders to collaborate. The current market uncertainties have slowed or postponed construction and launches, however, it has also given developers the chance to revamp and advance their business more sustainably. We expect an improved recovery after Q1/2023. Overall, we remain optimistic about market potential and look forward to a far more positive year,” Mauro added.
Visa exemption means international tourists can visit Phu Quoc for up to 30 days
28 Mar 2023
Phu Quoc Island is an ideal choice for travel and long-term relaxation, with a complete visa exemption policy for international visitors, a temporary stay of up to 30 days, a populous and rich nature, and impressive architecture. Superior visa policy Phu Quoc is currently the only destination in Việt Nam with a unique visa policy. According to current legal regulations, from July 1, 2020, foreigners and Vietnamese holding foreign passports entering, exiting, and residing in Phu Quoc island are exempt from visas with a temporary stay period of no more than 30 days. Foreigners can enter an international border gate of Việt Nam (including air and sea), stay in the transit area at that border gate, and then transfer to Phu Quoc island to be exempt from visas following this regulation. Phu Quoc is famous for its beautiful and dreamlike beaches. Phu Quoc has its visa policy because it is the only island that meets four conditions of visa exemption for foreigners under Vietnamese law. It has an international airport, is a separate space, has definite geographical boundaries, is separate from the mainland and is consistent with the socio-economic development policy that does not jeopardise Việt Nam's national defense, security, social order, and safety. As an isolated island located in the Gulf of Thailand, located at southwest of Việt Nam, the means of transportation to Phu Quoc are very convenient with air, sea, and land routes. Tourists visiting this island can enter and exit through three international border gates including Phu Quoc International Airport Border Gate, Ha Tien International Border Gate, and Duong Dong Port International Border Gate, Phu Quoc. Hon Thom, the world's longest cable car, is in the South of Phu Quoc island. Currently, many international routes with multiple daily flights operate in Phu Quoc, including India, Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia. Many other countries continue to research and open flight routes to Phu Quoc. Transportation on the island is also extremely convenient. Tourists can easily travel by tax and bus or experience the Duong Dong - An Thoi bus and vice versa. In particular, tourists who have purchased tickets to Sun World Phu Quoc will receive free bus tickets for Duong Dong - An Thoi route. Attractive nature, with many impressive architectural works Phu Quoc is a favourite destination for tourists all over the world. Tourists visiting pearl island will enjoy the fresh air with warm sunshine all year round and explore the rich and dreamlike island paradise. These are the beaches listed as the "most beautiful on the planet," with fine white sand and limpid water to the bottom, such as Bai Kem and Bai Sao; the small islands of An Thoi archipelago, such as Hon Thom, Hon May Rut, Hon Mong Tay, and Hon Dam Ngang with pristine beauty, diverse marine - forest ecosystems, colourful coral reefs or amazing rocky cliffs. There are also romantic sunsets when the sun dyes the ocean red on the island's southwest coast, or the end point of Ong Doi Cape - a "one of a kind" place where tourists can watch the sunset and sunrise at the same place. The attractive natural beauty of the An Thoi archipelago of Phu Quoc captivates tourists. As well as freely exploring the sea and islands with many appealing activities such as swimming on the beach, kayaking, diving and seeing coral, canoeing around the islands, and night squid fishing, tourists visiting Phu Quoc also discover the unique indigenous culture, the world of products, rich and fresh cuisine such as pepper, seafood, Phu Quoc fish sauce; visiting many historical sites such as Phu Quoc Prison, and Dinh Cau tourist attraction. Possessing a rare natural beauty, Phu Quoc is compared to well-known tourist paradises such as Maldives, Phuket (Thailand), and Bali (Indonesia). In 2022, Phu Quoc was named "the world's most attractive natural island" at the World Travel Awards ceremony, surpassing six destinations from other continents, including many islands that were once known as paradises like Zanzibar of Tanzania or Lofoten of Norway. Previously, the world-famous travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler announced the list of 35th Readers' Choice Awards, with Phu Quoc being the only Vietnamese representative to be honoured as one of the "Top 10 most loved islands in Asia". Phu Quoc also won many titles, such as the 25 most beautiful islands in the world in 2022 by Travel Leisure or the 15 best islands for retirement, voted by International Living. The diverse and rich marine life of Phu Quoc. In addition, Phu Quoc also gathers world-class works honouring architectural art and culture, such as Sunset Town, Asia's largest show of multimedia technology on the water - Kiss The Stars, Sun Signature Gallery architectural art "museum", luxury resorts with impressive architecture such as JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort, New World Phu Quoc Resort, Premier Village Phu Quoc Resort, Sun World Phu Quoc beach entertainment complex with the world's longest cable car. All of these works blend the quintessence of human architecture with indigenous culture, and they have been constructed in harmony and sophistication with the nature of Phu Quoc. Asia's largest show of multimedia technology on the water - Kiss The Stars. Tourists visiting Sunset Town in the South of the island will be able to witness with their own eyes, check-in at the Kiss Bridge in the middle of the ocean. With unique architecture created by the collaboration between Sun Group and famous architect Marco Casamonti, honouring the value of love and friendship, Kiss Bridge will be a symbolic work for limit less connection. It will soon be included in the world's most famous bridges list. Impressive and worthy of admiration architectural works of Phu Quoc pearl island. With a superior visa policy that creates maximum convenience for international tourists, amazing nature, rich culture, friendly and warm people, and impressive architectural works, Phu Quoc is on its way to becoming the world's new destination. This island deserves to be the ideal choice for long-term vacations, lavish weddings of the global elite, programs, MICE activities, and international events.
Travel demand to surge during coming holidays
28 Mar 2023
Outbound tours are preferred by Vietnamese travelers for the upcoming holiday starting April 29, according to travel agents and tour operators. Tourists at a beach in Đà Nẵng City. Domestic tours to islands and beaches are popular during the coming Reunification Day and International Labour Day holidays. VNA/VNS Photo Trần Lê Lâm HCM CITY — Outbound tours are preferred by Vietnamese travellers for the coming holidays starting on April 29, according to travel agents and tour operators. Working people will enjoy five consecutive days off from April 29 to May 3 to celebrate the commemoration of the Hùng Kings (the nation founders) that falls on April 29, the National Reunification Day on April 30 and International Labour Day on May 1, which has prompted a surge in tour bookings. Trần Phương Linh, marketing and IT director of BenThanh Tourist, said some customers can arrange to extend their holiday to nine days for long-haul outbound destinations. BenThanh Tourist reported an increase of 30-40 per cent in tour bookings for the coming holidays compared to last year. Tours to Hong Kong and Taiwan have been fully booked one and a half months ahead of the Reunification Day and International Labour Day holidays, Linh said. Saigontourist is offering more than 200 inbound and outbound tours for the holidays. The company expects to serve more than 100,000 leisure and MICE (meeting, incentive, convention, exhibition) customers. Nguyễn Nguyệt Vân Khanh, marketing director of Vietravel, said more than 3,000 customers have booked tours for the Reunification Day & International Labour Day holidays, with outbound tours accounting for 70 per cent of overall tour bookings. Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan Island, and Dubai are favourite destinations, Khanh said. Nguyễn Minh Mẫn, marketing and communications director of TSTtourist, said domestic tours to islands and beaches as well as tourist destinations in the Central Highlands, and central and northern regions were mostly chosen for the coming holidays. The company expects to serve 2,000 customers during the holidays, Mẫn said. The Vietnam Railways Corporation (VNR) will operate additional 52 train services between April 28 and May 3 to meet rising travel demand for the holidays. In the north, it will add 22 train services connecting Hà Nội with Lào Cai, Hải Phòng, Thanh Hoá, Vinh, Đồng Hới, and Đà Nẵng. In the south, it will add 28 train services connecting HCM City with Đà Nẵng, Quảng Ngãi, Quy Nhơn, Nha Trang, and Phan Thiết. It will also run two more trains connecting Hà Nội and HCM City during the holidays.
What strategies can be used to draw tourists from abroad?
28 Mar 2023
Favorable visa policies, better service quality, innovative destinations, and other hot topics are included in the Plan to Attract International Visitors. document. Dr. Nuno F. Ribeiro, Senior Vice President of Tourism and Hospitality Management at RMIT University Vietnam The risks ahead Vietnam's tourist industry has steadily lost its top spot despite being one of the first in ASEAN to reopen tourism following the COVID-19 pandemic's two-year impact. Just 18.1% of the region's countries have recovered their tourism industries, including Thailand, which reopened at the same time and has a recovery rate of 22%. Vietnam even lags behind nations that reopened later, such Malaysia at 27.5% and Singapore at 30.9%. The tourism sector in Vietnam hopes to receive and accommodate eight million foreign tourists in 2023. This is a significant and difficult objective, especially given that Vietnam's number of foreign visitors in 2022 fell short of expectations. Dr. Nuno F. Ribeiro, Senior Vice President of Tourism and Hospitality Management at RMIT University Vietnam, assessed that Vietnam's tourism might benefit greatly from participation in international competitions in 2022 as well as regular and dense appearances on numerous well-known media channels. However, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia will be Vietnam's rivals as they promptly abolished COVID-19 restrictions and profited from less onerous visa and entry requirements.. Hoang Nhan Chinh, head of the secretariat for the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board (TAB), revealed a depressing statistic: as Vietnam enters the tourism fray again, less foreign tourists are coming. The economic development of the nation and the areas where tourists stay are considerably boosted by successfully luring quality international visitors. Foreign visitors often stay for a long time (8–12 days) and spend a lot ($1,100–$2,000/trip). Prior to the pandemic, there were 18 million foreign tourists to Vietnam in 2019, which is equal to 21% of domestic visitors, but the resulting revenue accounted for two-thirds of the industry's total earnings. Attract tourists through a favorable visa policy Experts noted that Vietnam's current policies are not compelling enough to draw tourists, despite objective factors like the lingering epidemic, the economic downturn, and international wars. Many foreign tourists have retured to Vietnam Dr. Nuno F. Ribeiro said that Vietnam's administrative processes are time-consuming, its marketing initiatives are ineffective, and its proportion of repeat foreign visitors is low when compared to other nations in the region. According to Mr. Martin Koerner, who chairs the tourism subcommittees of the Vietnam Economic Forum and Eurocham, the limit ed and convoluted visa policy is also a significant problem. Also, the immigration processes at border crossings and airports are not welcoming or effective, which gives visitors a bad impression and discourages them from returning. Dr. Ribeiro suggests quick fixes to these problems, such as enhancing electronic visas, expanding visa-free travel to new nations, streamlining administrative processes, and promoting Vietnam's culture and landscape on airplanes. Mr. Hoang Nhan Chinh agrees that the tourism industry should focus on creating favorable visa conditions, such as electronic visas and visa exemptions, and establish long-term visa policies with major tourist markets like the US, China, and India. Furthermore, the application of facial recognition technology and passport readers should be promoted to facilitate immigration management. In the long term, Dr. Ribeiro suggests that Vietnam's tourism industry should identify specific customer segments and markets, switch to a group of tourists who can spend more and stay longer for more experiences, and turn them into ambassadors who will promote Vietnam's tourism through word of mouth. By implementing these measures, Vietnam can attract more international visitors and improve their overall experience.
Developing sustainable rural tourism
20 Mar 2023
In recent years, many provinces and cities throughout the country have bolstered the development of rural tourism, in a bid to promote their natural landscapes, people, traditional crafts and products, to visitors. Rural tourism is considered as a key in facilitating economic development and fostering the building of new-style rural areas. Visitors take a boat tour at Gao Giong eco-tourism site in Cao Lanh district, Dong Thap province. (Photo: dulich.dongthap.gov.vn) Locals and authorities join hands to develop tourism In 2016, agricultural tourism in Dong Thap began to thrive, making Dong Thap an ideal destination for domestic and foreign tourists. Currently, Sa Dec city, and Thap Muoi and Cao Lanh districts in Dong Thap province, have taken advantage of their natural conditions, such as rivers, rice fields, lotus fields, and mango gardens, to build new tourist products. Tu Mach's mango garden in Cao Lanh district welcomes hundreds of visitors every day, generating significant income for his family. Director of the Dong Thap provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Huynh Thi Hoai Thu said, that agricultural tourism helps farmers earn an income 1.5 times higher than farming alone. This is also the optimal solution to utilise local labourers, improve income, increase the value of agricultural products, and raise locals’ awareness of environmental protection and preservation of traditional culture. Agricultural tourism helps farmers earn an income 1.5 times higher than farming alone. This is also the optimal solution to utilise local labourers, improve income, increase the value of agricultural products, and raise locals’ awareness of environmental protection and preservation of traditional culture. To date, a total of 63 agricultural and community-based tourism sites have been established in Dong Thap, including 8 homestays, 2 farm stays, and 53 tourist attractions. The locality plans to launch an additional 40 sites in the coming time. In the 2016-2021 period, community-based tourist sites in Dong Thap served more than 4 million visitors, with a total revenue of more than 486 billion VND. In Thanh Hoa province, the local tourism sector has also been active in integrating natural landscapes, OCOP products, and indigenous culture in tourism development. According to Deputy Director of the provincial Culture, Sports and Tourism Vuong Thi Hai Yen, the locality is working on a project on developing agricultural tourism. In 2022, tourist sites and attractions in Thanh Hoa province welcomed over 11 million visitors and earned more than 20 trillion VND in revenue, 3.2 times and 4 times higher than the figures of 2021, respectively. The province has launched new agricultural tourism products such as tours to grow clean vegetables in Yen Le commune, Nhu Xuan district, in addition to tours to Yen Trung tourism village in Yen Dinh district, and tours to Linh Ky Moc ecological farm in Thanh Hoa city.
Vietnam is still an attractive investment destination
According to Dr Nguyen Quoc Viet, Deputy Director of the Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR), continuing to reform institutions to improve a favourable, efficient and consistent business investment environment is still the most important factor for Vietnam to seize opportunities and attract FDI in 2023. Dr. Nguyen Quoc Viet, Deputy Director of the Institute for Economic Policy Research (VEPR) In the context of a difficult global economy, Vietnam is still an attractive investment destination for many foreign enterprises and corporations. In your opinion, what are the factors that make Vietnam attractive? In my opinion, there are two factors - firstly, suppliers of famous global corporations like Apple have the desire to shift the value chain to Vietnam to balance unforeseen risks due to world geopolitical fluctuations or unforeseen changes in the policies of some countries. Secondly, FDI enterprises already operating in Vietnam continue to expand their production and business scale, making additional and expansion capital accounts for a significant proportion. This shows the confidence of foreign investors in the Vietnamese market. Along with China's reopening, what will Vietnam be affected by the wave of FDI capital movement, Sir? Besides opportunities, attracting FDI in the coming time is forecasted to be more difficult due to many pressure factors. When China decided to live with the Covid-19 pandemic, opening the economy will keep foreign corporations boosting production activities. In ASEAN, Vietnam is under competitive pressure to attract FDI with a number of countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand. These countries have made good use of the ASEAN Free Area Agreement to develop a number of industries in green and sustainable direction, creating certain strengths in attracting FDI. In terms of markets and policies, the above countries are very open in business environment, especially investment procedures are carried out quickly and conveniently with investment trends in key fields and new fields. For example, Indonesia is attracting many investment projects in the production and assembly of electric cars for domestic consumption and export. In addition to the above competitive pressure, new registered FDI has decelerated in the global since the end of last year due to the economic recession, which is an objectively unfavourable factor creating challenges for the economy. So, in your opinion, what should we do to seize opportunities and attract FDI in 2023? Continuing institutional reform to improve a favourable, efficient and consistent business investment environment is still the most important factor. Reform solutions include ensuring property rights, reforming business conditions, amending regulations on investment, land, construction and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of policy implementation. The focus on financial market reform must quickly attract and effectively use capital. With the development of technology, we need to have policies to attract and select quality FDI projects into high-value fields and towards sustainable development and green economy. At the same time, focus on training human resources with vocational skills and technology mastery, promoting strong digital transformation to be ready to attract large technology corporations. Thank Sir!
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Border - Sea Island
Finalist of Contest “Create propaganda products for Cat Ba Archipelago’s World Biosphere Reserve with plastic waste”
On the morning of October 31, Youth Union of Hai Phong City coordinated with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to organize the final round and award the prizes of the Contest “Create propaganda products for Cat Ba Archipelago’s World Biosphere Reserve with plastic waste” in the city’s area.Through the preliminary round, the Organizer selected 12 excellent works representing 02 groups to the final round, with 06 art for each group. These are unique works of arts, invested and convey the clear messages of the contest on plastic waste reduction to the environment, gradually bringing those recycled products into life and serving propaganda, introduction and advertisement on the Cat Ba Archipelago Biosphere Reserve.As a result, the art of “Sailboat on Lan Ha Bay” of students of Chu Van An Primary School (Cat Hai Island District) excellently won the first prize of Group A and the art of “Visiting Cat Ba Bay” of Logistics Division of the Public Security Department won the first prize of Group B. The Organizer also offered the second, third and consolation prizes in each group, respectively./.
Hai Phong Department of Foreign Affairs and Nanning Department of Foreign Affairs (China) held an organized the online meeting to promote cooperation between the two cities in 2023.
Handover equipment and final report of the project "Sewage treatment with high BOD concentration at Ngoc Hai fishing port, Do Son district"