Festival focuses on tourist spots
  • | VNS | March 24, 2011 10:03 AM

This year\'s HCM City Tourism Day 2011 will highlight special aspects of five popular destinations – HCM City, Da Lat, Binh Thuan, Phu Quoc and Hai Phong, organisers of the annual event said.

Popular place: Flowers bloom in Da Lat, one among five highlighted destinations on HCM City Tourism Day. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Ha

La Quoc Khanh, deputy director of the city\'s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said at a press briefing that a photographic exhibition will present markets in Sai Gon market, flowers in Da Lat, beaches in Mui Ne, Phu Quoc island, and the red flamboyance of poinciana flowers in Hai Phong.

The central province of Quang Binh had become the first destination to be promoted under the department\'s plan begun last year to highlight a different destination or destinations every year.

"The HCM City Tourism Day is an important festival that can stimulate tourism demand at a difficult time," Khanh said.

It can be seen as a supermarket where travel companies promote and sell their products, and customers can freely choose what they like."

Other countries have achieved significant results by organising similar events, notably Singapore (29 years) and Malaysia (22 years), he said, adding that this was the seventh year in Vietnam.

However, this "supermarket" remains a relatively new concept in Vietnam and both travel companies as well as customers were yet to use such events as a major resource, he said.

Hence, most travel companies who participate in the event focus on promoting their brand name instead of selling their product directly.

However, 92 per cent of travel firms that joined the event last year have registered to so again, proving its success, Khanh said.

"Using the insights gained by the department from Tourism Day festivals in other countries, it has given practical suggestions to travel firms on ways to participate in the event and gain maximum benefits," he added.

Khanh said major firms like Saigontourist, TST and Viet Media Travel are expected to leave significant impressions on this year\'s event.

In the context of inflation and an increase in prices of most goods and services, the festival will enjoin participants to stand by the Government\'s efforts to keep prices stable as much as possible, Khanh said.

The city Tourism Association has petitioned the Ministry of Finance to cut value-added tax by 50 per cent, corporate income tax by 50 per cent and allow travel companies to pay taxes two months late, an association representative said at the briefing.

The four-day event is being organised at the city\'s September 23 Park in downtown HCM City from April 7.

The event will feature a travel fair, a Southern food festival, Golden Voice of HCM City Tourism contest, tai tu traditional music performances as well as the photo exhibition.

Though the organisers were expecting to attract 80 companies to fill 150 booths, an additional four booths have been booked this year.

"The event aims to help travel companies publicise their brands and promote their services for the coming summer season," Khanh said.

A dominant theme of HCM City Tourism Day 2011 is "Tourism Brand" and those brands that have made a mark in domestic and overseas markets will be honoured at the festival.

It will name the top ten names in many categories including: destinations, inbound travel companies, outbound travel companies, domestic travel companies, tourism websites, luxury hotels, shopping stores, hotels for businesspeople, hotels for MICE (Meeting-Incentive-Conference-Event), tour companies and restaurants.

A grand closing ceremony honoring top Vietnamese tourism brands will be broadcast live on the HTV9 channel.

Organisers said they expect to attract 200,000 people to the HCM City Tourism Day 2011 festival who will book tours and take advantage of other tourism services.

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