Travel Travel

13/10/2017 - 08:53

How to effectively establish a tourism cooperation

The alliance between Hue - Da Nang - Quang Nam is considered a "typical" cooperation for tourism development in the country, but in reality there still remain many concerns.

Hue enterprises need to be more active in establishing connections

Hue enterprises are not allowed to participate

Director of a tourism business in Hue shared that recently there was a fam trip of major international travel agencies coming to examine the tours in the Central region. Hue is a destination that cannot be ignored by the delegation as the customers of these agencies are quite fond of heritages. The director also said: "Once a link for joint development was established, the local businesses need to cooperate, provide services and exploit the source of customers together. However, within a day and night in Hue, it is impossible for Hue’s businesses to gain direct access to their partners, despite their advance request. This is not the first time, as such a phenomenon of “hiding” partners has been happening for many years.

Korean visitors are growing steadily in the Central region. In the first 6 months of 2017, the number of Korean visitors to Hue reached about 120 thousand arrivals, and the number of Korean visitors to Da Nang was nearly 5 times higher. Promoting and stimulating demand through fairs in Korea are being prioritized by members of the alliance. According to many businesses, there are two types of fairs. The first is fairs where travel agencies from different countries meet, and sell products and tours to each other. This type of fair is currently being attended by Hue, Da Nang and Quang Nam. However, Hue  cannot attend the other type of fair, where Korean travelers and travel agencies purchase tours. It is certain that no attendance means the products related to Hue will not be promoted and sold, or their promotion and sale is very limited if any.

When designing tours to Hue, many businesses only let tourists stay for only one night, some even let them visit briefly, have lunch and move to another place. The objective reason is that Hue can only keep guests one night due to lack of products. However, there are opinions that whether the tourists stay or not depends on the tour operators. Many companies do not want their customers to stay in Hue. It is clear that despite the alliance, the competition is still very intense between destinations, even when the saying "three places - one destination" has become common over the past 10 years.

At the end of 2016, the tourism festival between the three localities was for the first time held for enterprises to meet and to fortify the supply of tourism products for each other. Recently, there was a festival of supply and demand between enterprises in Hue and Da Nang, but it received insignificant interests from Hue enterprises. The evidence is clear that there were only a few attending companies, and others claimed that they did not participate because of differences in direction of development. "At the end of the day, Hue enterprises need to take the lead in establishing cooperation," said Mr. Truong Thanh Minh.

Enterprises from Hue and Da Nang exchange information at the conference on supply and demand that has recently taken place in Hue.

More specific and diverse

The greatest success of tourism cooperation is the utilization of the collective strength to promote each other to new markets that it is very difficult for Hue alone to  reach. According to the representative of the Department of Tourism, through the existing links, it must be recognized that the contents, especially the connection between enterprises need further improvement and more binding. As of right now, the terms are still general. No matter what may happen, it’s the businesses that can create specific products and provide services to each other.

Mr. Le Ngoc Sanh, chief of the Tourism Department said that the links between localities only stopped at promoting their destinations, while the depth that is the cooperation between businesses is not yet developed.

Objectively speaking, Hue enterprises are still small, limited in economic potential, thus they are on the weaker side of the alliance. Meanwhile, other advantages of Hue are still inferior, such as airports and other tourism products, the elements that constitute an attractive destination. Over the last time, tourism sector has repeatedly exchanged with the enterprises about the need to build their own products based on the advantages of Hue. When coming to Hue, if the products are attractive enough, the tourists would certainly want to stay, thus forcing big travel agencies to include the products in their tour. Then, of course, Hue enterprises will become their partners.

Take the VKstar áo dài show, which is filled with Korean tourists almost every night, for example. Its success is partially thanks to the activeness in establishing connections with travel agencies; the more important part is the appeal of the show. This is a unique show in Hue, so if the tourists want to see it, they will have to come here. In order to increase diversity for tours, major tour operators are starting to introduce the show to their tour program.

The activeness in establishing connections is very necessary for enterprises. But for relationships that are more competitive than cooperative, government agencies must play the role as a bridge. There needs to be more specific and binding commitments between enterprises, and protections for them from the Government. Only then can the new alliance become effective, and each member will be able to exercise the same rights and benefits.

Story and photos: Duc Quang