(Eagle News) – The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, in cooperation with the Embassy of Vietnam, has launched a campaign to further promote Vietnam as a tourist destination for Filipinos.
Dubbed “Soulful Vietnam,” the campaign hopes to make Filipinos more aware of tourist spots in this Southeast Asian country which has seen increasing tourist arrivals in the past 10 years.
“Last year, we had 150,000 Filipinos going to Vietnam. The Philippines is a very important market for Vietnam tourism and today we do a roadshow in Manila to provide more information about Vietnam tourism,” said Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, vice-chair of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, during the recent launch of “Soulful Vietnam” tourism campaign in Manila.
“We would like to welcome all of you to Vietnam, a beautiful country and unique culture and tradition. We have a very nice cuisine, would like to provide you the best products for Vietnam,” she said.
-Increasing international tourist arrivals-
In 2018, Vietnam had 15.5 million international tourists, up 2.7 million compared to 2017.
Of this figure, 1.8 million came from the ASEAN countries.
The most number of tourists came from North East Asia with 10.23 million tourist arrivals, with a record number of 4,966,468 tourists coming from China.
“Vietnam is a beautiful country, as beautiful as the Philippines,” said Vietnam’s ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Ly Quoc Tuan.
“There are a lot of tourist attractions that Filipinos can visit from the North to the South,” he said.
These attractions include the famous Ha Long Bay which has been recognized twice by the UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage site; Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital which is more than 1,000 years old; Danang which is a new developed city of Vietnam adjudged as the most city worth living in; Ho Chi Minh City, which is also known by its former name, Saigon, and is considered Vietnam’s financial center; and the provinces in the Mekong Delta which is famous for rice plantations and floating markets.
Other tourist spots include Ba Na Hills in Danang; Sapa, the Queen of the Mountains; and the Hang Son Doong cave, considered as one of the largest caves in the world, towering at more than 200m high, 150m wide and 5km long. This cave is in Vietnam is so big it has its own river, jungle and climate.
“We can say that we would like to introduce more tourist attractions to Filipinos, as I do to Vietnamese. That’s why I would like to introduce Vietnamese to visit Boracay, Cebu, El Nido, Coron, said Ambassador Ly.
He stressed the importance of tourism between the two countries to promote “people to people connection.”
“There are many, many tourist attractions that we would like the people from Vietnam to visit the Philippines and Filipinos to visit Vietnam,” he said.
-Vietnam-PHL relations getting stronger, says Ambassador-
Ambassador Ly pointed out that relations between the Philippines and Vietnam are “getting stronger” and noted that diplomatic relations between the two countries would be turn 43 this year.
“I’m confident to say that it’s getting stronger and stronger. This year it’s turning 43, the anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the Philippines. The ties were set up in July 1976, one year after we had our unification,” he said.
“So far, the relations developed very well. We have the strategic partnership set up in 2015, and we have a very good trade relations between Vietnam and the Philippines,” noted the ambassador in an interview with Eagle News Service.
He said that the two-way trade volume between the Philippines and Vietnam had also recorded increase – from $3.2 billion in 2016 to $4.2 billion in 2017.
In 2018, the numbers further increased to $4.7 billion.
“You see, politically, economically, and culturally, people to people connection are increasing between the two countries. Relations are very strong and very good,” Ambassador Ly said.
There are many similarities between the two countries, the Ambassador noted.
Both count rice as its staple food. Another is that both have beautiful beaches.
This was what the vice-chair of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism also noted.
“Vietnam has more than 3,000 kilometers of coastline. We have very beautiful beaches,” Madame Nguyen said.
“Like Philippines, you also have very good beaches. Philippines also famous for sea tourism,” she said.
But she also has an invitation for Filipinos to visit Vietnam for its delicious food.
“Our food is very delicious, healthy,” she said noting that the food is a a combination of the Chinese and French style of cuisine. “Many people like Vietnamese food. It is very tasty and healthy.”
And with Vietnam’s “timeless charms” slogan, there are endless and diverse reasons to visit this unique and beautiful Southeast Asian country, she said.