Vietnam has been opening its doors to receive foreign tourists for the last 20 years. However, it remains unprofessional in persuading foreign travelers to spend their money in Vietnam.
Foreign travelers don’t spend big money in Vietnam
Cruise travelers (paln) have been well-known as high income clients who are ready to spend big money on shopping at the destination points. However, the travelers do not have many reasons to spend money in Vietnam because of the unprofessional way of organizing sales campaigns.
Though the service fees have been increasing steadily (fixed) year after year, the money spent by foreign travelers to Vietnam has been increasing very slightly. Meanwhile, if not counting the price spiral, the spending of foreign travelers in Vietnam has decreased.
Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon has quoted the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) as saying that foreign travelers stayed in Vietnam for 12 days in 2011 on average, the same with the statistics released two years before. During that time, a traveler spent 1268.4 dollars, or 105 dollars per day.
Thanh Nien has reported that when the five star cruise ship Voyager of the Seas, which carried 4000 travelers, docked at the SP-PSA international port some days ago, a lot of travelers decided to stay in the ship instead of going visiting HCM City and Vung Tau City as scheduled by the tour organizer.
The travelers turned out to be lucky with their decisions. It was a thorny itinerary to go from the port to HCM City, even though the distance between the two points was not long.
Highway No. 51 was in bad conditions, since it rained heavily some days ago, the coaches carrying travelers could go very slowly. The situation was even worse on the Hanoi Highway, and so was on the way from Suoi Tien to the HCM City center.
It took the travelers six hours to come to HCM City and return to the ship. As a result, the duration for them to visit HCM City was shortened to two hours, which was not enough for them to do the sightseeing and shopping.
In fact, travelers could buy souvenirs on the areas nearly the ship docking places. However, these were just the kiosks set up temporarily by professional vendors. Though they were called “kiosks,” they were just the tents made of canvas which just could help partially avoid the heat from the sun.
Here, except for some “special products” which were hung on the ropes, other products were put together in piles. Meanwhile, the salesmen here were all wearing protective masks. All of that raised doubts about the salesmen and the products available.
The strange decisions by management agencies
Phan Dinh Hue, Director of Vong Tron Viet travel firm, said on Thanh Nien that the unprofessionalism can be seen also in the way Vietnam runs marketing and advertisement campaigns to promote Vietnam tourism.
Despite the limited budget for tourism promotion, Vietnam still keeps the ambitious idea of attracting tourists from all markets. In 2012, the number of travelers from far market decreases dramatically because tourists don’t want to spend big money on air tickets in the current difficult period.
However, Vietnam still spends big money to participate the tourism trade fairs in the markets. Meanwhile, it overlooks the nearby markets with potential growth.
While the tourism industry faces big difficulties in the global economic crisis which has forced travel firms to slash tour fees to attract more travelers, the Quang Ninh provincial authorities have decided to raise the ship service fee for nearly 100 percent, commencing from the fourth quarter of 2012.
Prior to that, the provincial authorities also decided to raise the excursion fee at the Ha Long Bay