European countries in general and the UK in particular are considered important markets for Vietnam’s tourism sector.
For the last few years, the number of British visitors to Vietnam has increased considerably. Every year, Vietnam receives about 100,000 British visitors and this trend will continue to increase robustly in the future when direct flights between the two countries begin in December, 2011.
For years, most of the UK’s major travel agents such as Explore UK, Wendy Wu, Trailfinder and SAGA have sent their visitors to Vietnam through its local partners with an increasing number of visitors to Vietnam. British visitors often choose south to north Vietnam tour packages which include important destinations such as Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh. Long day tours focus on exploring cultural features in different areas and regions or relaxation tours for older visitors. Notably, Indochina tours through Vietnam, Lao and Cambodia are top choices for British visitors.
In addition, British travel agents have also developed special Vietnam tours to attract visitors. According to Gecko Travel, Vietnam has numerous picturesque landscapes and natural scenes which offer opportunities for eco, countryside, beach, adventure, cultural and cuisine tours. Wendy Wu, another British travel agent, focuses on road tours which create a chance for travelers to visit famous attractions en route and stay in villages.
To attract more British visitors, Vietnam’s tourism sector in general and travel agents which target the UK market have developed suitable tours and tourism promotion plan to the UK. In addition, Vietnam has implemented numerous tourism promotion activities to embellish its image in the UK market. Through cultural activities, in June 2011, the Vietnam Embassy in the UK in partnership with Oc-Eo Art Gallery, a big Asia art gallery in UK, launched an exhibition entitled “Land of Hidden Charms”. The exhibition introduced the culture and beauty of Vietnamese people and Vietnam’s country.
In order to promote tourism cooperation, in early July 2011, Vietnam Airlines officially announced the deployment of direct Vietnam-London Gatwick flights from December, 8th 2011. Vietnam Airlines will provide four flights a week, of which two flights will depart from Hanoi and two from Ho Chi Minh City. With the direct Vietnam-UK flights, the number of British visitors to Vietnam will increase sharply. Vietnam will become a gateway to welcome British visitors to Indochina. Vietnam Airlines are the first and the only airline with direct Vietnam-UK flights. This shows its great effort in promoting cooperation ties between Vietnam and the UK. Direct Vietnam-UK flights will contribute to completing and developing Vietnam Airlines’ network. London will become the forth gateway in Europe that Vietnam Airlines exploit direct flight besides Paris, Frankfurt and Moscow. Vietnam’s position which is a gateway to/from Indochina will be also strengthened.
In addition, to promote tourism activities in the near future, Vietnam and the UK will enhance exchanges on tourism information, market research, tourism development planning and management, and experience on developing special tours to attract British visitors. Vietnam’s travel agents will have a chance to meet with British partners to seek business opportunities, develop market and attract visitors.