Vietnam has the potential to develop various tourism products but should identify its special advantages to build its own unique tourism products, a Malaysian tourism official has said.

Mohd Akbal Setia, Director of the Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board in Vietnam, commented on Vietnam s rich culture, UNESCO-recognised cultural and natural heritage, beautiful beaches and bays, good cuisine and hospitality.

Sharing his home country’s experiences in this field, Mohd Akbal Setia said Malaysia has made the best use of its strengths, including its diverse culture.

A fusion of cuisines, luxurious cities, tropical forests, mountains and beaches has helped Malaysia develop an array of competitive tourism products.

Malaysia also pays attention to creating new tourism products to satisfy the demands of holiday makers across the world.

The official stressed that Malaysia wishes to cooperate with Vietnam in this area, creating the best conditions for the two countries’ people to travel.

Established in November, 2011, the Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board in Vietnam has actively responded to Vietnam’s tourism activities.

The board organised six stands at the first Vietnam International Travel Mart held in Hanoi from April 18-21.

Vietnam’s 2020 tourism development strategy has also identified Malaysia as one of the country’s key markets.

The Vietnam Administration of Tourism has organised a host of activities to promote Vietnam’s tourism, such as Vietnamese Night within the framework of the ASEAN Tourism Forum in 2005.

Vietnam attended a tourism fair launched by the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents in 2007, and in 2011 the country joined 60 Malaysian businesses and press agencies in a tourism promotion campaign.

Since the two countries established a 30-day tourist visa exemption scheme, the number of Malaysian arrivals to Vietnam has increased from 105,000 in 2006 to 233,000 in 2011.-VNA