Apr 27, 2015

Shoestring budget slows Vietnam’s tourism

HANOI : National Administration of Tourism in Vietnam says a shoestring budget is hampering tourism promotion campaigns and ultimately reducing the country’s ability to grow tourist arrivals.

Nguyen Van Tuan- VNAT Chief told local media that the tight budget handed to his agency to promote tourism was used for different activities so channelling more funds to promotions was difficult.

He said that Vietnam tourism revenue is around USD700 million a year, however funds for actual promotions are minimal, well below its neighbors and insufficient to support industry growth.

“It’s hard to launch campaigns with such a modest budget…Vietnam is even lagging behind Cambodia which has a quite young tourist industry.” The chief told: “Cambodia has a very professional tourism industry and Vietnam is way behind Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.”

The entire spend on promoting tourism does not exceed USD2.5 million compared to Thailand USD 86 million and Cambodia with USD3.5 million, according to an assessment from the Hanoi-based Institute for Tourism Development Research.

But the Tourism Authority of Thailand which is responsible for all tourism promotions reported it had an overall USD46 million budget in 2014 to cover all costs including salaries and the upkeep of overseas offices.

Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand gets some funds for promotions that overlap with the TAT, however, nothing on the scale of the TAT’s budget which suggests Vietnam’s assessment of Thailand’s promotional spend on tourism has been over estimated. Singapore and Malaysia also have generous budgets to boost tourism of USD130 million and USD100 million, respectively, the highest in the ASEAN region.

Vietnam welcomed 2,007,884 international tourists for January to March this year, declining 13.7% during the same period last year.


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