Travel companies should shake hands to draw high-spending tourists hinh anh 1Golfers are Vietnam's high-spending guests. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA)
– To draw high-spending tourists, Vietnam needs to create high-quality products and services as well as increase marketing of popular destinations in the country and build a national tourism brand, according to experts.

Defined as a spearhead economy by the Government, the tourism sector has contributed significantly to the nation’s economic growth over the past time.

However, there are shortcomings in the field such as lack of connectivity and difficulties in creating high-quality products to bring excellent experiences for foreign visitors.

Chairman of the National Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) Tran Trong Kien, a member of the Private Economic Development Research Board (IV Board), told reporters about these issues on the sidelines of an event to announce the second Vietnam Tourism High-Level Forum 2019 to be held in early December.

Nothing is impossible if tourism businesses “shake hands”

- What do you think about the Vietnam Tourism High-Level Forum 2018?

Mr. Tran Trong Kien: Many initiatives raised at the Vietnam Tourism High-Level Forum 2018 have been implemented this year. The first thing is Vietnam’s tourism has a good growth rate and a more open visa policy. Tourists to Vietnam have had better experiences. Popular destinations in the central and southern regions, especially Phu Quoc pearl island in the southern province of Kien Giang, have received more investment.

The infrastructure policy has been gradually improved such as investment in building Long Thanh airport and developing Chu Lai airport into a strategic one of the central region, along with the expansion of Phu Bai (Hue) and Dong Hoi (Quang Binh) airports.

Travel companies should shake hands to draw high-spending tourists hinh anh 2Tourists visit a historical relic site in the north (Photo: VietnamPlus)

It could be said that the initiatives raised at the Vietnam Tourism High-Level Forum 2018 have contributed to creating positive changes in the tourism industry. Besides the achievements, we need more time to address shortcomings in the field.

This year, the forum will continue seeking ways to promote Vietnam’s tourism and offer better experiences for holidaymakers as well as connect airports to reach more regions.

- In your opinion, what is the most essential thing to do to improve Vietnam’s tourism?

Mr. Tran Trong Kien: I think we should exert more efforts in increasing experiences for visitors. This will create a foundation for the tourism sector to attract more vacationers. If each visitor has good experiences, they will share with others. This means we now have over 18 million international visitors, there will probably be about 80 million potential tourists.

When providing good experiences for visitors, I believe that we are absolutely able to achieve that figure if we “shake hands” to do together, from state management agencies and travel companies to local communities.

Travel companies should shake hands to draw high-spending tourists hinh anh 3Let tourists have enjoyable experiences in Vietnam (Photo: VietnamPlus)

- Vietnam has leaped 10 places in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) for the two consecutive years, ranking 67th among 141 economies. In your opinion, what does this mean for the tourism sector?

Mr. Tran Trong Kien: I think this has significant meaning for the tourism sector because there are few countries to report such growth in the two consecutive years of the World Economic Forum on competitiveness as Vietnam. Meanwhile, many countries in the region reported declines.

The endeavours of the whole sector, particularly people who directly involved in and the tourism consulting council have helped Vietnam’s tourism become a highly-competitive economic sector.

Strategies needed to attract high-spending tourists

- Having high competitiveness, but Vietnam’s tourism economy still depends a lot on Chinese tourists. In your opinion, would this fact post any risk?

Mr. Tran Trong Kien:
I think Vietnam is fortunate to be a neighbour of China, a country with the largest number of visitors in the world today. Vietnam’s position allows us to serve such a large number of Chinese tourists.

Travel companies should shake hands to draw high-spending tourists hinh anh 4Rich and attractive dishes contribute to bringing Vietnam's tourism image closer to international friends. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

I believe that China is always an important and strategic market of Vietnam’s tourism. The key is seeking to make effective and sustainable use of this source.

Particularly, many high-spending Chinese visitors have come to Vietnam, staying longer and coming back regularly. How to attract this high-end source of tourists is an important goal of the tourism sector.

- But in fact, Chinese visitors acquire bad reputation of not spending high when visiting Vietnam. Is there any contradiction?

Mr. Tran Trong Kien:
I believe that Chinese visitors even spend higher than those from Western European countries. The difficulty here is how to seek ways to access high-spending tourists. To do so, the tourism sector should develop high-quality products, increase marketing of popular destinations, and build a national tourism brand.

Particularly, all relevant sectors must work together to put forth initiatives. In the current environment in Vietnam, no individual businesses could take this responsibility by themselves and they could not be successful without coordinating with the Government and other organisations.

I believe that if we have more discussions at the upcoming high-level forum, we can achieve several targets such as tapping the Chinese market in a more effective and sustainable manner, and accessing tourists who can afford high-quality products and come back regularly.

- Thank you so much./.