Thursday, October 15, 2009

How to sell Vietnam as a tourist destination

Ok, no complains, or less, but more advise. How can Vietnam improve in international tourism?
1.) The markets
Campaigns must be targeting the right market. Chinese and korean tourists don't want to spend a lot of money, so you must sell Vietnam as a cheap destination (if you find enough low price hotels). European and US tourists want something special good server, value for their money. So sell luxury. But understand luxury as a concept, not a price. A luxury shopping center opens the door for you and the door boy knows your name. It's doesn't have loudspeakers with techno music outside.

2. ) Public picture: Most people see a girl from behind in a white Ao Day in a rice field on a bicylce. Call it a cliche, but actually it works fro Vietnam. It means: Young population, tradition, nature and authentic, even something secret (because you can't see the girls face). Should be enough for a branding, isn't it?

3.) Infrastructure: Roads, roads, roads and some airports.

4.) Less government, more market: Let the professionals do the job. Don't protect the formally state own businesses and let the market work itself.

5.) Diversify: Present the thousands of things you can do in Vietnam instead of Top 10. One reason why people don't come back to Vietnam is that the Top Ten are done in 2 weeks. And they don't know what else to do.

6.) Find the unique selling point: Tourism is not about the price, it's about imagination. Create a picture and sell this. It must be different from all the CNN campaigns you can see now. That;s actually the mist difficult and painful part.

7.) Be more professional, Use the experience you get for nearly free from foreigners in that business and learn from it.

I was inspired by this website I think they make it wrong: HCMC is so great because of the many choices you have. It doesn't make sense to promote PHO24 or Khai Silk, everybody know them already. It would be better to show 1000 restaurants and 100 bars and 10.000 shops.

See what Tim Russel on ComeandgoVietnam wrote about it


Anonymous said...

Great insights! But I think it's hard for the voice to reach the policy makers, they still think in old styles, or still trying to imitate others (most of the time).

I saw Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand...all neighbors promoting their images abroad beautifully & aggressively, but not Vietnam

...and I'm a Vietnamese.

Not to mention common hassle that foreigners, or tourists in general face:

1. Over-price purchases.
2. Bad English (or no at all).
3. Troublesome transportation, money exchange, map/direction, etc.

Kenan Maden said...

Nicely wrote it but it should not be more harsh. I came in vietnam in last year and i really regretful to Vietnamese people, shopkeepers and to all for warm welcome, advises for Travel in Vietnam.