return icon Vietnamnet.vn

Travel firms unprepared for regional integration

VietNamNet Bridge – The ASEAN Economic Community has been in place for more than one month, but many domestic travel agencies have not prepared products to attract more visitors from other ASEAN countries.

 

VietNamNet Bridge – The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) has been in place for more than one month, but many domestic travel agencies have not prepared products to attract more visitors from other ASEAN countries.

{keywords}

Statistics showed that while Vietnamese visitors to other ASEAN countries have been on the rise over the past years, tourist arrivals from many of the regional markets have fallen.

For example, Cambodia welcomed more than one million Vietnamese in 2015 while Vietnam attracted only 227,000 tourists from the neighboring country, a year-on-year drop of 43.8%.

Similarly, around 880,000 Vietnamese visited Thailand last year, but only 214,000 Thais traveled to Vietnam, down 13.1%. For Singapore, the respective figures were over 387,000 and 236,000 Singapore tourists.

Meanwhile, Vietnam saw modest increases in visitors from other ASEAN markets.

Travel firms attributed such declines and modest growth to ineffective marketing, poor products and high prices, among others.

Marketing programs and products for ASEAN tourists are limited in comparison to Europe, Japan and other traditional key markets. Meanwhile, a number of countries in ASEAN list Vietnam as one of their major markets and opened tourism offices to carry out marketing campaigns and assist enterprises in wooing Vietnamese.

In terms of manpower, while Thailand and Singapore have Vietnamese-speaking tour guides, there are few Vietnamese guides proficient in the languages of other ASEAN countries. Finding a tourism worker able to speak Khmer or the language of Indonesia is hard in HCMC, Vietnam’s biggest tourism center.

A source from the HCMC Department of Tourism said the number of tour guide cards issued to qualified candidates in the past years was quite small.

In addition, just some of more than 1,500 firms in Vietnam licensed to provide international tourism services concentrate on ASEAN. The number of domestic firms having representative offices or branches in ASEAN countries is small as well.

With the AEC of around 500 million people in place, tourism workers can find jobs in any member state of the bloc. But how Vietnamese tourism workers can compete with their peers in other countries remains a big question. Local travel firms and agencies have not discussed and found ways to attract more tourists from ASEAN, which accounts for one-fifth of total international visitors to Vietnam.

Commenting on competition from other regional markets, TST Tourist director Lai Minh Duy said it is tough for HCMC to compete with other destinations in the region in terms of manpower, service and price.

Duy noted that his company is unable to compete with counterparts in the region without support of relevant agencies and business associations.

“We need coordination of management agencies to identify which products are suitable and who we are competing with. Regarding manpower, a lot of training courses have been organized but they have been inappropriate,” Duy said.

However, some firms have prepared to cope with fiercer competition by expanding sales networks, opening representative offices and restructuring operations to stay competitive.

Nguyen Quoc Ky, general director of Vietravel, said that in order to win competition, the company has opened offices in Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia. Offices in Malaysia and Indonesia will be up and running in the coming time.

Ky said gaining a strong foothold on the home market is not enough given the nation’s deeper international integration.

Dao Loan

       
related news

Tourism sector faces challenges in AEC

VN, S Korea discuss tourism upgrades

Five ASEAN countries target 50 million int’l tourists

SGT

MORE NEWS

Vietnamese retail market appealing to foreign investors

The nation is becoming an attractive retail market for companies globally with many regional and global FDI investors recently revealing their plans to increase capital and expand distribution networks here.

Eel porridge evokes hometown nostalgia

A warm bowl of Quang-style eel porridge with a fragrant aroma not only can win the hearts of diners, but also create nostalgia for the Quang people who live far from home.

Vietnamese banks that 'disappear' from the market

Some banks used to be very popular, with hundreds of thousands of customers, but they gradually disappeared from the market because of many reasons.

Discovering Hanoi’s famous incense making village

The craft village with a tradition of more than 100 years impresses visitors for its space that is filled with vibrant colors such as blue, red, yellow, etc. of beautifully shaped bouquets of incense.

Vietnam to reassert its position on the world coffee map

Vietnam is the world's second largest coffee exporter, but its impact on the world coffee market is not commensurate with its position, experts say.

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS MARCH 27/2023

Coffee exports to Netherlands enjoy three-digit growth

Youngest female Vietnamese Associate Professor receives Kovalevskaia Awards 2022

Prof. Dr. Le Minh Thang on March 7, 2023 was presented the 2022 Kovalevskaia Awards 2022 by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

Third pedestrian street opens in Hue City

The Hai Ba Trung Pedestrian Street was opened on Sunday evening in Hue City, becoming the third walking street in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

Entertainment and cultural events of the week (March 27-April 2)

Entertainment and cultural events in Vietnam's major cities on March 27-April 2.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES MARCH 27/2023

Vietnam wins 17 prizes at International Robothon 2023

K'Duong breaks three youth weightlifting world records

Vietnamese weightlifter K'Duong broke three youth 55kg world records during the 2023 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Youth Championships on March 26 which is taking place in Albania.

Struggling hoteliers seek Government support to revive from COVID-19 crisis

Small- and medium-sized hotels in HCM City are struggling with low occupancy rates and labour shortages, and are in need of support to recover from a COVID-19-induced slump, according to the municipal Department of Tourism.

Lion Championship MMA returns, first fight in Hanoi on April 1

The second season of the Lion Championship mixed martial arts will be back with great fighters and frightening fights in April.

Driftwood space launches in Hoi An

The first ever wood recycle space – driftwood village’s studio – has been launched in the ancient’s Cam Ha Commune on the most favourite bicycle riding road connecting the Old Quarter and An Bang beach.

Hoi An to host International Choir Competition

The event has received registrations from 20 teams representing nine countries and territories, and will feature 13 events with eight grades held at the city’s theatre.
back_to_top