Deep Tourism Brand Development

12:06:54 AM | 1/19/2015

“Vietnam tourism has created a breakthrough. In Jan-Nov of 2014, the number of international visitors was estimated at over 7.2 million, an increase of 5.4 percent compared to the same period in 2013. The number confirmed that the quality of tourism in Vietnam is gradually improved in accordance with the in-depth tourism development strategy of our country”, said Mr Nguyen Van Tuan, General Director of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) in an interview with Vietnam Business Forum. Thanh Nga reports.
Could you review the outstanding successes of Vietnam’s tourism in 2014?
2014 was a tough year for the economy of the country, having a big impact to the operation of the tourism industry. However, the number of tourists in most markets increased over the same period in 2013, particularly: Hong Kong market rose 61.2 percent, Germany 51.3 percent, Russia 25.2 percent, Spain 22.6 percent; Cambodia 18.2 percent; Italy 12.9 percent; Laos 12.9 percent; South Korea 12.0 percent. Just within the 11 months of 2014, Vietnam welcomed more than 7.2 million international visitors, an increase of 5.4 percent compared to the same period in 2013.
Recently, the tourism industry has been constantly promoting the image of Vietnam, attracting more international tourists to the country. Besides, infrastructure and air service development also facilitated tourists to Vietnam, the security and safety of guests are guaranteed. It can be affirmed that the Vietnam tourism brand is gradually being confirmed on the international market. Plus, more and more international tour operators choose Vietnam as their tourist destinations. These are positive signs for the tourism industry in 2015; with Resolution 92 recently issued by the Government, the tourism industry is expected to gain more success in the upcoming years.
What strategies has the tourism industry adopted in order to effectively exploit resources for sustainable in-depth tourism development?
The tourism industry has organised many activities such as participating in international tourism fairs, tourism promotion and promoting the image of Vietnam in some key markets; besides, stimulated focused tourism areas, initially forming local centres of tourism development with more varied tourism products. Specifically, Vietnam successfully built tourism development tetragon Hanoi-Ha Long-Hai Phong-Ninh Binh in the North, Da Nang-Hue in the Central Coast, Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa Province) and Phan Thiet (Binh Thuan) in the South Central Coast, Ho Chi Minh City and surrounding provinces in the South, and Da Lat-Lam Dong in the Central Highlands. 
Tourism business system has highly developed, initially forming travel corporations, for example, Saigontourist, Vietravel. Businesses, corporations like Vingroup, Muong Thanh, SunGroup (Da Nang) have also launched high-quality hotel chains.
Notably, the tourism industry has focused on implementing Master Plan Strategies and 3 Travel Area Plan, building an Overall Tourism Development Strategy and Tourism Brand Development Strategy. Since then, localities and businesses have created their own strategies, products and brand to suit the overall program.
In 2014, Vietnam's tourism industry launched the Vietnam tourism brand identity which is "Vietnam - Hidden Beauty", "Vietnam - Timeless Charm". This is the first time Vietnam had a tourism brand identity, and thus, the international presence of Vietnamese tourism will become more professional and synchronous.
In the upcoming time, VNAT and EU Project will organize three training conferences for businesses, tourism culture management authorities of 63 provinces and cities to introduce and guide the application of the Vietnam’s tourism identity kit "Vietnam – Hidden Beauty". Branding strategy should be in the long run with the synchronisation and determination of the political system, organisations, businesses and citizens.
Many experts believe that in order to stimulate and successfully build Vietnam’s tourism brand, it is necessary to have the participation of the whole community, what do you think about this opinion?
It can be said that tourism is an integrated economic sector with profound cultural content, which is interdisciplinary, inter-regional and highly socialised. Tourism activities bring positive results, contributing to economic restructuring, unemployment reduction, and poverty alleviation.
There are many factors contributing to tourism brand development, in which the community plays an important role. For example, the old quarter of Hoi An, which is a World Cultural Heritage Site, is preserved almost intact; local people still live there; however, they consider it an ecological museum. There are many factors contributing to the existence and development of Hoi An brand, but not to mention the great efforts of the community, especially the community of Hoi An people who are always aware of their role in helping to build Hoi An tourism brand from the visitor reception, heritage preservation to visual environment protection, and joint efforts with local authorities in conservation and development policies.