Develop custom tourism products for foreigners: envoys

By Lan Huong   March 18, 2022 | 04:29 pm PT
Develop custom tourism products for foreigners: envoys
An Indian couple hold their wedding on Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province, 2019. Photo courtesy of the Indian embassy in Vietnam
Several Vietnamese envoys say citizens of the countries they are stationed in are eager to return to Vietnam and products customized to specific tastes would facilitate their visits.

Vietnam's ambassador to India, Pham Sanh Chau, said at tourism conference Tuesday that more and more Indian tourists have shown great interest in traveling to Vietnam, especially after several Indian tycoons held their wedding ceremonies on Phu Quoc Island and Da Nang City in 2019.

"In February, a group of 250 high-spending Indian tourists planned to visit Vietnam, but switched to Thailand because of relaxed entry rules," Chau said.

"Vietnam should actively promote its tourism image to attract more Indian tourists to the country and tourism officials should prepare plans to develop wedding tourism targeting rich Indians," he added.

The number of Indian visitors to Vietnam has grown steadily over the past years from 19.9 percent in 2015 to 30 percent in 2018 and 28 percent in 2019, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

In 2019, Indian carrier IndiGo launched the first direct flights between the two countries on two routes: Kolkata to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Vu Hong Nam, Ambassador to Japan, said after over two years of the Covid crisis many Japanese tourists were keen on visiting Vietnam.

Nam suggested that the Vietnamese tourism industry promotes its image and launch products targeting Japanese tourists after the recent reopening. Japan used to be one of Vietnam’s major tourism markets before the pandemic, he noted.

Nam also said the Japanese government has always highly appreciated Vietnam’s efforts in the pandemic fight and its reopening policy. Japan was one of the first countries to recognize Vietnam's vaccine passport and agree to resume regular flights between the two countries, he said.

Ambassador to Singapore Mai Phuoc Dung said the island nation has not yet fully reopened its tourism industry, but has resumed quarantine-free travel for Vietnamese tourists, opening up opportunities for post pandemic recovery.

France currently classifies Vietnam as a safe country and many French tourists also love Vietnamese food and people, said ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang.

He suggested that Vietnamese travel companies focus on providing green, sustainable tourism services and products as the French are especially interested in places that are not crowded and have safe medical facilities.

Technology needs to be applied to tourism products to follow the trend of less-contact during the pandemic time, he said.

Vietnam fully reopened its borders Tuesday with relaxed entry rules after nearly two years of closure, only requiring foreign visitors to test negative for Covid without having to enter quarantine.

It has resumed visa exemption policy for citizens from 24 countries, including ASEAN members, several European economies, Japan and South Korea.

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