Many travel agencies in Europe are promoting Vietnam as a destination for tourists rather than a stopover of tours to Southeast Asian countries, said local tour operators after a recent road show abroad.
Promoting Vietnam as an independent destination has started for two to three years, with groups of tourists from France, Germany and the United Kingdom coming to Vietnam since then, but the trend is clearly seen now, they said after attending the World Travel Market 2012 (WTM 2012) in the United Kingdom early this month.
Some agencies such as Kuoni Connection, Southern Cross and Tandem have had publications to introduce and sell tours at the fair.
“If Vietnam is just a stop in a journey, there is little likelihood that tourists will visit Vietnam again, but with promotion publications, the likelihood will be higher,” said Bui Viet Thuy Tien, managing director of Asian Trails Co., Ltd.
A representative of a resort in Danang City said that with this trend, beach resorts in Vietnam, especially those managed by multinational groups, would receive more direct bookings from foreign travel agencies.
“We have a global booking and sales system and global deals, and thus it is more convenient to take bookings from foreign agencies,” he said.
According to Tien from Asian Trails, tourism images of Vietnam are closer to travel agencies in Europe thanks to a series of promotion activities of hotel groups having projects in Vietnam in recent times such as InterContinental, Sheraton and Bayan Tree. Besides, Vietnam Airlines carried out numerous promotion activities when it opened a direct flight to the United Kingdom.
“I met a lot of partners. They said that sales representatives in Europe of international hotel groups in Vietnam have closely cooperated with partners to both sell products of resorts and promote the destination,” Tien said.