According to statistic of the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, the number of tourists from the UK visiting Vietnam has steadily increased over the period from 2007 to 2013. In 2013, there were over 184,660 British tourists visiting Vietnam. While in the first 8 months of this year, that number was 144,800, increasing 17.2% compared to that of the same period of last year. Vietnam tourism considers the UK market as one of the key markets in Europe.
British tourists travel to Vietnam for many different purposes such as conference, seminar, business; but most of them choose Vietnam tours to resort, explore Eastern culture and discover natural landscapes. It is said that 65% of British tourists choose Vietnam as their destinations for the cultural and natural environment. Especially, there is a part visiting Vietnam for low cost economic benefit.
Vietnam tourism’s products are quite rich and diverse. Vietnam tourism industry, however, still takes priority over types associated with exploring landscape, cultural characteristics and island tourism. Vietnam has many advantages in attracting British tourists because Vietnam is an emerging destination in possession of diverse products that fit the tastes of the UK market. Furthermore, the geographical distance between Vietnam and Britain is not huge, only about 12 nonstop hours.However, tourism industry has faced with a number of difficulties introducing destinations in Vietnam to British tourists, namely, starting to research the market systematically not long ago; having no regular marketing plans; having no representative office in the UK; and so on. In addition, Vietnam tourism has to compete with other attractive destinations in the region.
Acknowledging such difficulties, Vietnam tourism industry begins implementing measure to attract more British tourists to Vietnam, for example, releasing suitable tourism products; strengthening promotion; encouraging cooperation between Vietnam Airlines and British Airways; simplifying entry procedures; and establishing a representative office in the UK. Currently, Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is waiting for approval of the government to the policy exempting 9 key markets in Europe including England from visa. It is assessed as a favorable to promote tourism between the two countries.
There is a large number of British tourists aged 50 and above choosing resort tourism at beach first. Therefore, it is suggested to focus on exploring tourism potentials in the Central South region. For those who are interested in culture, history, and nature, tourism strengths in North Central Region, Red River Delta and Mekong Delta should be exploited. Tourism industry should strengthen coordination with the Embassy of Vietnam in Britain and the British Embassy in Vietnam to approach the UK market, keeping updated with trends to make Vietnam one of leading choice in every trip of tourists in the United Kingdom.