Saigon Times reported last week, that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism presented to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung a plan to attract more South Korean tourists through a representative office that will be based in Seoul. No timeframe has been given for the project.
Opening representation is a safe way to go for a destination that lacks a heavy-duty budget to finance full-fledged national tourist office branches. It relies on a company, or organization, to provide staff and office space, while the country provides a supporting budget for promotions linked performance benchmarks.
Besides establishing a representation office, the ministry has also proposed policies to lure foreign tourists such as offering free visas, extending the visa-free period or issuing visas at border gates.
South Korea is Vietnam’s second largest source market, after China, that has achieved a steady growth. There were around 274,000 arrivals from South Korea in the first four months of this year, up 49.3% from the same period last year.
The representative office in Japan will be the first overseas representative office that is partly financed by the Vietnam’s tourism authority in a bid to ratchet up Japanese tourist arrivals from 500,000 visits last year to 1 million visits by 2015.