Copycat tours slow development of tourism industry
VietNamNet Bridge – As several travel companies struggle to come up with new ideas for tours, many are discouraged to see copycat companies take their ideas almost immediately.
Founders of new trekking tours blaze trails
Creating a new tour can take a great deal of time, effort and research. Tran The Dung, Deputy Director of The He Tre Travel Firm in HCM City, conducted a study for a new tour in the northern province of Dien Bien in 2007. He and a friend had to climb 1,864-metres up Khoang La San Mountain to the border line with Laos and China, in Xin Thau Commune in Dien Bien Province.
Using dangerous and rocky roads, they got lost and accidentally crossed into China by 250 metres. Luckily, they realised their mistake and got back on course before meeting any Chinese border guards.
He continued to conduct another study from the mountainous district of Bac Quang to Hong Su Phi in the north-western province of Ha Giang, through Y Ty plateau in Lao Cai Province’s Bat Xat District, which is 1,600 metres high.
“When we got to Y Ty, it’s was 9pm and our motorbike had broken down, forcing us to walk. We saw a wild snake on the road, forcing us to wait for nearly 20 minutes for it to go away,” he recalled.
Before introducing a northeastern tour, it took him three years of research to arrange proper means of transport for tourist to travel across Gam and Nang Rivers, as water levels on the rivers change regularly depending on a nearby hydropower plant.
The General Tourism Administration’s Famtrip started research for a tour to Co To Island in the northern province in 2006. However, travel could not begin until 2013 due to a lack of standard accommodation and services.
Dong Van Market, a favourite destination of northeastern tours
Despite much effort and time spent on starting a new tour, those who pioneer often do not benefit the most from their products because of imitation. Just a short time after they launched a new tour, several other travel firms offered their same tour schedules. They were forced to discount their prices to attract more customers.
The situation discourages those who would otherwise open up new areas to tourism from putting in the necessary work.
An anonymous manager of a travel firm in the North admitted that a new tour quickly becomes popular just a short time after the launch, benefiting many other travel firms.
“While the founder makes a great effort to set up a new tour, they do no benefit much due to fierce competition after the tour is launched," he commented.
"This type of imitation is the cause of the lack of unique and creative products, and hinders development of tourism in Vietnam," Dung added.