No doubt Vietnam competitive with regional countries

Vietnam has become the tourism destination with the highest growth rate in South East Asia, reports released by leading hotels in Vietnam and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) shows.

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The reports all show that more and more foreign international tourists choose Vietnam, the country with the highest population in South East Asia, as their destinations.

Manager of Caravelle Hotel, John Gardner said that in the eyes of foreign tourists, Vietnam has become more competitive to the countries in the region which have a strong tourism industry such as Indonesia or Thailand. Though Thailand has been stabilising gradually after political uncertainties, the troubles in other countries have made Vietnam stand out from regional countries as the safest area in the region. The feeling of safety and peace nowadays has become more important for tourists than it was 10 years ago, according to Mr. Gardner.

“With a lot of resorts located throughout the country, Vietnam is ready to serve a wide range of guests, from those people, who want to have a trips where they can associate business with tourism, to those, who want to simply enjoy beautiful landscape and the wonderful natural environment, and relax,” he said.

Previously the favourite destinations in Asia Pacific region for Australian people were Indonesia (mostly Bali), Fiji and Thailand. However, according to VNAT, the number of Australian tourists to Vietnam in 2010 increased sharply by 128 percent, the highest growth rates among the foreign tourists coming from non-Asian markets. Analysts say travelling to Vietnam has become a trend, not a temporary change. A survey on tourism intentions conducted by Visa and the Asia Pacific Tourism Association shows that up to 16 percent of Australian people are planning to travel to Vietnam in the next two years.

Caravelle Hotel, a well known hotel in HCM City, said the number of tourists from Australia has increased two fold. Meanwhile, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has reported the high 48 percent growth rate in the last 12 months.

Kai Speth, General Director of Metropole Hanoi noted that Australia proves to be the nation which suffered the least impacts from the global crisis, while the value of the Australian dollar has been increasing, which has prompted people to travel abroad more than before. He said that Australia has been highlighted as one of the biggest strategic markets of the hotel in recent years.

“We have been attending all the trade and tourism exhibitions in Australia. Therefore, our efforts to polish our image have been useful, and now is the right time for us to reap success,” he said

Meanwhile, The Nam Hai, a resort of international stature located on the coastal area of the central region has been ranked by Conde Nast Traveler journal as one of the 20 most attractive resorts in Asia. The resort has also reported a sharp rise in the number of tourists from Australia: the number of tourists from the country increased by 69 percent just in the first eight months of the year.

Damien Van Eyk, an Australian, and managing director of Exotissimo, a travel firm which specialises in organising tours to South East Asia, said that there are more and more factors that make Vietnam more attractive in the eyes of Australian tourists. First of all, the two countries are relatively close to each other in geographical position, which means it is very easy to travel between the two countries. Second, verbally transmitted advertisements have been effective: after Australian tourists return home, they have talked much about the beauties of Vietnam to their relatives and friends, persuading them to travel to Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Gardner has pointed out some other factors which have helped attract more tourists to Vietnam. In particular, the infrastructure in Vietnam has become better, and the Australian dollar has been appreciating against the Vietnam dong. This means that Australians can buy more things with their money in Vietnam. Besides, the budget airline Jetstar has been providing regular flights connecting Vietnam’s HCM City with big cities in Australia and all for very competitive airfares.