US travel firms to survey Vietnam tourism

Under the agreement, Joe Mannix, Director of United Airlines in Vietnam said that the UA will only invite high-quality travel firms, which are really interested in the Vietnamese tourism market.

“This is an efficient way to promote Vietnamese tourism abroad that the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) highly appreciates,” said Pham Huu Minh, Director of VNAT’s Tourism Promotion Department.

He added that the tourism watchdog also helped travel agencies and local tourism departments co-ordinate with foreign airline agencies to boost promotion of Vietnamese tourism.

According to Mannix, United Airlines will work with Vietnamese hotels and travel companies to organise tours for American travellers and forecasts an important increase of these travellers in the coming time.

He said that promotional activities of Vietnamese tourism in the US were still very limited.

The slogan “Vietnam – The Hidden Charm” and Vietnam’s world-famous beaches are not yet known by most Americans. The VNAT should have marketing strategies to attract US strong travel groups.

Luu Duc Ke, director of HCMC-based Ben Thanh Tourist Co.’s branch in Hanoi, said if Vietnamese tourism could convince multinational travel groups to send visitors to Vietnam, they themselves would market Vietnam as an attractive destination and even invest in hotels and resorts in Vietnam.

United Airlines is the sole airway providing direct flights from Vietnam to the US with seven flights per week.

The Airlines recently also sponsored a visit of eight American journalists to Vietnam, in the hope of boosting the number of Americans traveling to Vietnam as well as introducing Vietnamese image to American tourists.

The VNAT reported that 332,329 Americans visited Vietnam by the end of October 2006, an increase of 17% over the same period last year.

Source: Nhan Dan