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KEYWORDS: Vietnam Travel News, Tours Vietnam, Vietnam News, Vietnam Travel Information, Vietnam News, Vietnam People, Vietnam Information DESCRIPTION: Nguyen Thanh Huong, deputy head of the Tourism Promotion Department, reveals ambitious plans for the industry this year. AUTHOR: TITLE: Vietnam Tourism promotion set for big boost, Vietnam Travel News /
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Vietnam Tourism promotion set for big boost

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Tourism promotion set for big boost
Nguyen Thanh Huong, deputy head of the Tourism Promotion Department, reveals ambitious plans for the industry this year.
Thanh Nien: Following up on last year’s successes, the tourism industry has made ambitious plans for 2008. What are they and what should it do to achieve them?
Nguyen Thanh Huong: The industry has set a target of five million international and 21 million local tourists - and a turnover of $4 billion.
The industry has a lot of work ahead and hopes for concerted efforts from everyone.
We have to create high-quality, competitive and attractive tourism products while enhancing the industry’s image abroad.
Besides promotion through traditional channels like inter-national fairs, we should also market our products through modern channels like Internet, TV and print.
What promotions is the industry planning this year?
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has planned a clutch of events to promote tourism in the domestic and international markets this year.
The events for the domestic market will focus on diversified products and services, and for the international market on Vietnam’s culture, people, and landscapes.
The annual National Tourism Festival is being held in the Mekong Delta.
Then there will be the Return to the Roots (to be held at historical and natural spots) and Miss Vietnam Tourism pageants.
Vietnam will host the Miss Universe contest for the first time in Nha Trang, the first International Fireworks Contest will be held in Da Nang, and the biennial Hue Festival and a major campaign to nominate Ha Long Bay as one of the world’s new Seven Wonders will also be held.
We will have promotion campaigns to raise the country’s profile in international markets.
Vietnam will take part in international tourism fairs in Germany, Britain, Spain, Russia, Hungary, Japan, and China to market its tourism products and find buyers and tour operators.
The first promotional event will kick off January 23 at the ASEAN Tourism Forum to be held in Thailand.
The forum will offer a good opportunity for ASEAN members to promote their tourism industries.
Vietnam will host the forum next year.
Vietnam will organize a familiarization trip for more than 500 international journalists from newspapers and television in 2008.
In 2007 Vietnam tourism advertised on CNN.
Has it brought any benefits? Will there be commercials on other international channels too?
Vietnam’s images have appeared regularly on popular global media for the first time.
This has caused a significant and positive impact on the country since the channel [CNN] is watched by 20 million households in the Asia Pacific region.
The most important benefit is the fresh perspective it has provided Vietnamese officials into tourism promotion abroad.
We will suggest advertising on other channels while we report the results to the government.
We hope the profile of Vietnamese tourism will rise in other markets.
How much will the industry spend in 2008? Where will the funds for the promotions come from?
We are unable to say how much [the promotions will cost] because it is difficult to make an estimation.
We haven’t [yet] figured out the spending in 2007.
However, the budget for this year will be higher because a series of domestic and international events are planned.
One of them is the 2009 ASEAN Tourism Forum to be hosted in Vietnam.
We have to promote the event from this year.
The funds come from many sources including central and local governments and businesses. Reported by Minh Quang
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