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Vietnam: New destination for Japanese tourists

Mr. Kiyotaka Kamio, All Nippon Airways (ANA)’ General Manager for Vietnam talked with Vietnam Economic Times’ Nguyen Thanh.

VNECONOMY updated: 24/02/2005

How do you comment on ANA’s business in Vietnam?

In 2001 and 2002, ANA had only two flights per week. At that time, the number of Japanese tourists coming to Vietnam was very large and the average room occupancy was up to 90.92%.

Then, we increased number of flights to four per week. In 2003, due to SARS and chicken flu epidemic, room occupancy reduced to lower than 30%. Last summer, the number of tourist recovered to over 280,000.

But at the same time, two million of Japanese tourists traveling to Thailand. We have been introducing Vietnam to Japanese, for whom, Vietnam is a new destination but very potential.

I believe that there will be more Japanese coming to Vietnam in the near future.

How should Vietnam do to attract more Japanese tourists?

Vietnam should improve its hotels, airports, roads, and places of tourist interest. And the most important issue is of security.

We considered Vietnam as the safest destination for travel now. Things concern tourists are what to see, what to eat and what to do.

For Japanese, Vietnamese foods are excellent. Vietnam has four places approved by UNESCO but they are all far from cities and to get there, tourists need means of transport.

The third one is really a bit complicated as tourists like most places with beach such as Hawaii and Bali in Indonesia or Phuket in Thailand. There are also many resorts in Vietnam but they have not meet tourists’ demand.

Our work is to bring Japanese tourists to Vietnam. It is a bit difficult for us to bring Vietnamese tourists to Japan. We have discussed with the Japanese Consulate to Ho Chi Minh City to simplify criteria and procedures for visa for Japan to facilitate Vietnamese tourists.

What are the best and the worst things for Japanese tourists in Vietnam?

The most attractive things are foods and shopping places. Japanese tourists like Vietnamese foods very much. In Japan, Vietnamese traditional long coat has become fashionable for youngsters. Young male tourists prefer entertainment activities to enjoying foods and doing shopping.

Moreover, most of Japanese tourists come to Vietnam just one time and never come back like they do to other places like Hawaii, for example.

The most unattractive thing is army-style uniform of polices and customs officers at airports and border passes.

In other countries, such uniforms has been replaced by more friendly-looking ones.

Nguyen Thanh

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