Travel Travel

04/06/2022 - 10:49

Promoting Hue tourism internationally: Need to soon implement and have a specific strategy

It is necessary to strengthen the promotion and promote Hue tourism to international tourist markets when the markets are gradually showing a recovery.

A famous Thai blogger (second from the left) came to experience and visit Hue

Tourists lacking information about Hue

If in 2015, the structure of domestic and international visitors was 67% and 33% respectively, the domestic market accounted for the majority, then by 2019 (when the pandemic has not yet occurred), this rate is almost equal, with 55% domestic and 45% international.

Thus, the international market plays an increasingly important role in the tourist market structure of Thua Thien Hue. In the post-pandemic tourism recovery period, international visitors are considered to play a very important role in tourism to the ancient capital.

But the reality that Mr. Phan Trong Minh, Managing Director of Azarai La Residence Hotel shared, set out for the tourism industry the need of new ways and solutions in promoting destinations. During the hotel's overseas tourism promotions, a separate survey with guests and partners showed that, out of 10 respondents, only 1 to 2 people said they knew Hue, but had not been to or did not bring guests toHue. The vast majority do not know where and how Hue is. Hue destination information with them is zero.

The promotion of Hue tourist destinations to international markets is something that needs to be evaluated. Because the frequency of appearance of Hue tourism image in international markets is very little, including the traditional tourist markets and those identified as potential.

In fact, the promotion of Hue tourism to oversea countries is still organized, but it is not regular and not far-reaching to guest markets.

A dilemma in the tourism indexes of Thua Thien Hue is that the length of stay of guests tends to decrease, which is inversely proportional to the annual growth rate of visitors. Although the number of international visitors is constantly increasing, the staying proportion of international visitors has dropped sharply from 76% in 2015 to only 50% in 2019.

This proves that international tourists tend to spend less time in Thua Thien Hue. This problem in the long term will affect tourism businesses, most obviously accommodation establishments during the recovery period.

According to Mr. Truong Thanh Minh, Director of the Provincial Tourism Promotion Information Center, promoting tourism to international markets is not the same as in the country because the funding required is many times higher. Meanwhile, the work of socializing promotion in the country is easier than that of oversea countries . Every time the industry conducts promotion in foreign countries, very few businesses participate. This is not difficult to understand because businesses in Hue are mainly medium and small, or there are not many units directly exploiting international guests.

Parallel solutions

Mr. Truong Thanh Minh said that although it will be difficult in the short term to promote, the industry determines this is a "golden" time to promote the image of a safe, friendly, scenic, fresh, and culturally specific destination, etc. to international markets.

A recent study shows that the markets of Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia are the two regions that tend to return to Thua Thien Hue the earliest and fastest when the pandemic situation is under control, as well as the favorable geographical location. Meanwhile, Western Europe, Australia, and North America will recover more slowly. It is likely that when international tourism around the world is restored, these markets will return to normal.

Therefore, in addition to promoting traditional forms of promotion and social media promotion channels, and new communication channels such as virtual booths, an important solution is to invite famous bloggers and YouTubers in other markets to come to Hue to experience the services. Through the influence of these celebrities, tourism images will have the opportunity to spread more widely.

Recently, a number of famous Thai and Korean bloggers came to Hue and showed practical effects. For example, at the beginning of May 2022, the tourism industry welcomed the first Singapore delegation as a result of the positive promotion of the group of Singapore and Malaysian bloggers when they came to Hue in 2019.

In promotion, there must be a combination between the State and enterprises. For example, when promoting internationally, the management agency has the role of introducing the destination, and the business will play the role of connecting and cooperating to bring visitors to Hue. Therefore, cooperation and socialization in tourism promotion need to be better in the coming time.

Mr. Phan Trong Minh suggested, “it is time for Hue's promotion and advertising to change and Hue tourism has to accept hiring businesses and professional media units to promote. Like us, operating in the industry for a long time, we have to hire foreign agencies to promote. And it is also time for Hue to have large and professional media companies to develop Hue's image for many years to come. We need to set long-term promotion goals for 5 to10 years, not for 1 to 2 years”.

Leaders of the Department of Tourism inform that the industry is developing a plan for a promotion project with a tourism promotion communication strategy for the period 2021-2025 to 2030, in which, accelerating the transformation, transforming management into a form of e-management, digital promotion, investing in some smart travel experiences, e-promotion. The digital transformation will be implemented synchronously, especially the form of digital promotion will be professionally and systematically invested in terms of content, quantity, and expertise of the technical team.

Story and photo: Quang Sang