Kong: Skull Island introduces Vietnam's Ha Long Bay to the world (Photo: meogia)

Vietnam’s tourism promotion plan in 2024 mentions many activities, including attending international trade fairs and organizing promotion programs in foreign countries. Vietnam will also consider advertising its tourism through movies.

Nguyen Chau A, CEO of Oxalis Adventure, said his company is negotiating with a representative of Indochina Productions, the filmmaker of Kong: Skull Island and Peter Pan, to plan for the "Expo in Hollywood" exhibition scheduled in September in Los Angeles.

The exhibition will reserve a whole day for Vietnam. It is expected to draw the participation of 200 filmmakers, including Amazon, Netflix and Disney. 

The total expense for the event organization is estimated at VND10 billion and 100 percent of which will come from enterprises’ contributions. There will be 15-20 Vietnamese stalls of large firms at the exhibition and stalls introducing Vietnamese cuisine.

This will be a big event to be presided over by state agencies, including the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism (VNAT), large travel firms, filmmakers and logistics firms. 

Mr A said if the event is organized successfully, it will help promote the film industry and advertise Vietnam’s destinations.

Local tourism agencies, especially in Hanoi and HCM City, have supported the idea.

Also, regarding tourism promotion activities, local authorities and travel firms have proposed that VNAT soon deploy the promotion plan for 2024. The watchdog agency needs to complete the plan in November every year, which local authorities will refer to when building their promotion programs.

The deputy director of the Hanoi Tourism Department, Nguyen Hong Minh, said localities and travel firms spend their money on tourism promotion programs every year, but they lack a "conductor" who coordinates activities. 

Meanwhile, they still cannot take full advantage of the presence of Vietnam’s representative agencies in other countries to boost Vietnam tourism.

Minh said that Vietnam needs to set up tourism representative offices in large targeted markets, not just the Laos market as suggested by VNAT.

Most recently, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, in Resolution 82 dated May 18, 2023, requested ministries to create a plan on setting up tourism promotion offices in foreign markets.

Raising awareness 

According to VNAT, following the strong growth of the tourism industry in 2023, Vietnam received 4.6 million foreign travelers in the first quarter of 2024, an increase of 72 percent over the same period last year and 3.2 percent over the same period in 2019.

The tourism sector plans to attract 17-18 million foreign travelers this year. MCST Deputy Minister Ho An Phong said Vietnam has gained encouraging results in attracting tourists recently, but the results remain modest compared with the potential.

Vietnam hopes that it can regain the results made in 2019.

“Though the tourism has recovered and gained pre-Covid results, we still lag behind by 4-5 years,” Phong said.

Phong emphasized the need to reform tourism promotion activities, especially amid the world’s changes after Covid-19. It is necessary to change the way of boosting tourism and of approaching markets. If Vietnam cannot continue to promote tourism regularly and impressively, Vietnam’s tourism brand will be forgotten.

Vietnam’s tourism promotion covers many fields and areas, and targets many potential markets, while resources are limited, which explains why results remain modest. The mobilization of different sources in society, especially cooperation from localities and the business community, will play an important role in developing tourism.

Mr A from Oxalis Adventure said that, if a country wants to develop its tourism, it needs to have strong destinations and carry out promotions well. He believes Vietnam needs to heighten tourists’ awareness of Vietnam as an attractive destination, and this needs to be done in all the markets that Vietnam targets.

Ngoc Ha