Vietnam Increases Tourism Through Aviation and Collaboration

The impact of the pandemic on travel spending has highlighted the importance of airline promotional programs in stimulating tourism demand.

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Vietnamese airlines, in partnership with domestic tour operators, should create tailored products and promotional activities on flights and at destinations to invigorate both industries. By doing this, they can create a mutually beneficial situation that will help both sectors grow and thrive. These activities could include special discounts, exclusive offers, and unique experiences that will attract tourists from all over the world. Additionally, the airlines and tour operators could collaborate to develop marketing campaigns that will raise awareness of the great opportunities available in Vietnam. With the right combination of services and promotions, they can make Vietnam an even more desirable tourist destination.

 Hoi An Ancient Town in the central province of Quang Nam attracts many tourists. Photo: Cong Huy/ The Hanoi Times

The Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Doan Van Viet, made a request at the conference, “Aviation-Tourism Cooperation: Solutions to Attract International Tourists”, which was held on April 25th in the coastal city of Nha Trang, located in the southern province of Khanh Hoa. He urged that more efforts be made to promote the country’s tourism industry in order to attract more international visitors.

The Deputy Minister’s proposal came from the forecast that in 2023 and the coming year, the tourism industry will face challenges in the context of a global economic downturn, along with risks associated with finance, currency, public debt, energy security, and food supplies. As a result, Vietnam’s economy could be headed for a difficult period.

Through this workshop, enterprises in the aviation and tourism sectors must join forces to eliminate obstacles and come up with solutions for the sustainable growth of both industries in the future,” Viet emphasized.

 Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Doan Van Viet speaks at the event. Photo: VNAT

According to Ha Van Sieu, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, aviation is the key to Vietnam’s tourism industry. With air travel accounting for more than 80% of total travel in 2019, it is clear that it plays an integral role in the industry. Moreover, its high proportion clearly outstrips that of land and sea travel.

To attract visitors to the country, localities must continue to promote their destinations and services, and come up with innovative solutions to tap into the potential of the domestic market.

As Vietnam’s key tourism markets have not yet fully opened, he stressed that domestic tourists remain a vital force for tourism recovery. To attract visitors to the country, localities must continue to promote their destinations and services, and develop creative approaches to tap into the potential of the domestic market.

Pham Thien Trang, Director of Lux Group’s Nha Trang branch, stated that high airfares are one of the primary factors as to why Vietnam’s tourism industry is not as competitive as that of other countries.

Vietnam needs to provide more budget-friendly airfare to entice more tourists, according to her.

“By joining forces with airlines, tourism businesses can create advantageous packages to attract more international visitors.”

Nhu Thi Ngan, General Director of Hanoi Tourism Investment Joint Stock Company (Hanoi Tourism JSC), stressed that after the pandemic, the international market has experienced drastic changes, causing local tourism businesses to consider new strategies to attract international visitors to Vietnam. 

“Airlines’ promotional programs are essential for stimulating tourism demand, particularly since the pandemic has significantly affected travel spending,” she stated. “By forming partnerships with airlines, tourism businesses have the opportunity to create attractive packages that will draw more international travelers to Vietnam.”

She added that, in the current context, the high cost of air tickets for both domestic and international routes is a major hindrance to Vietnam’s competitiveness when compared to other regional destinations.

To overcome this, travel companies have urged local airlines to consider opening up new routes for tourists to diversify options and to launch charter flights for routes that lack commercial flights, Ngan suggested.

Sieu acknowledged that the rise in airfares, particularly during the festive season, has had adverse consequences for travel agencies’ pricing strategies. He proposed that it is essential to back local airlines to establish new routes to cities and provinces with airports.

He added that other focuses include the development of infrastructure and human resources, strengthening the application of science and technology in aviation-tourism development, and promoting the expansion of international flight routes to Vietnam.

 Kiss Bridge on Phu Quoc Island is one of the favorite destinations for tourists. Photo: Quang Hai/ The Hanoi Times

Bui Minh Dang, Deputy Head of the Air Transport Department of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, has stated that international air traffic is anticipated to make a comeback this summer. There are a total of 52 foreign airlines and five Vietnamese ones operating 143 routes, connecting Vietnam to 29 countries and territories.

International air traffic in the Summer is expected to reach 2.5 to 3 million passengers per month, representing a 80% recovery compared to the corresponding months in 2019 prior to the pandemic outbreak.

In the final months of 2023, the international aviation sector is projected to fully recover to its pre-pandemic level. According to estimates, this year international air traffic to Vietnam is expected to reach around 34 million passengers – a figure that is 84% of the total in 2019.

He added that the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam would facilitate opening international routes of Vietnamese and foreign airlines to Vietnam. In addition, the agency will also strengthen coordination with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism to promote aviation tourism cooperation and promote Vietnam as a safe, friendly, and attractive travel destination.