The unstable situation in the Philippines and Thailand have
caught the headlines and scared off dozens of travelers. The violent ending of
the kidnap drama in Manila has seriously damaged the country’s image, with
protests in Hong Kong after Chinese tourists’ lives were taken in the drama.
Thailand’s political unrest has had immediate effect on the country’s important
tourism sector, which accounts for 6 per cent of its gross domestic product and
15 per cent of the Thai workforce.
“This is a really good time for Vietnam to promote the country’s image as a safe
destination and take the opportunity to develop its tourism industry. Foreigners
don’t need to worry about their safety in Vietnam,” said Doan Thanh Tra,
marketing manager of Saigon Tourist.
Mai Tien Dung, deputy director of Hanoi’s Department of Culture, Sports and
Tourism, said as safety played a vital role in steady tourism development,
Vietnam could benefit from international travellers’ concerns over safety
conditions in the country’s neigbouring destinations.
Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, deputy director of the Vietnam National Administration
of Tourism (VNAT)’s Tourism Marketing Department, said increased foreign visitor
numbers would result from effective tourism promotion campaigns, the global
economic recovery and foreign visitors’ concerns over insecurity in some
For coaxing more tourists this year, the government has increased budget
spending on 2010’s tourism promotion activities to $3.64 million, from $2.56
million in 2009.
“Besides, the VNAT will launch a series of tourism promotion programmes this
month, including tourism fairs, exhibitions and road-shows in China, Spain,
Brunei, Germany, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, Japan and Singapore,” Huong
Vietnam’s tourism is on the rebound with increasing foreign and domestic
According to the VNAT, in the first eight months of this year, Vietnam received
4.2 million foreign visitors, up 33 per cent compared to the corresponding
period last year.
Most of the markets increased against the same period last year, in which the
greatest number of tourists came from China with 598,248 visitors, increasing
98.4 per cent, followed by Cambodia, Thailand and South Korea increasing nearly
104, 36 and 29 per cent, respectively.