Requirement to increase competitiveness of tourism products

Developing a diversified, unique, and attractive product system is considered as the leading factor creating competitiveness for Vietnam's tourism.
Requirement to increase competitiveness of tourism products

This is also an important solution to promote tourism in accordance with the direction of the Prime Minister at the national conference on tourism 2023, with the motto "Special products - Professional services - Convenient procedures - Competitive prices - Hygienic environment - Safe and friendly destination”.

Despite possessing natural resources, rich culture, a long history, beautiful landscapes, and friendly people, according to many experts, Vietnam's tourism product system is still not commensurate with its potential, especially due to the lack of adaptation to changes in the behaviour and needs of tourists after the pandemic.

The evidence is that despite the initiative to reopen tourism quite early, the number of international visitors to Vietnam is still limited, and does not meet expectations; the tourism recovery rate ranks behind many countries in the region.

Visitors pay more attention to tourism product lines with values of mental and physical health, and products associated with environmental protection and sustainable tourism development.

In addition, the trend of combining cultural value and experiencing the daily life of local people, experiencing traditional cuisine and folklore art; the trend of using tourism with high-class services, eco-tourism, convalescence, and freelance tourism; the trend of applying self-service booking technology, self-touring; and the trend of no-touch travel have led to increasingly fierce competition in the online travel business. These are major factors influencing the construction and promotion of tourism products.

Nguyen Huu Y Yen, General Director of Saigontourist Travel Service Company shared, through the actual operation, it can be confirmed that the coordination with overseas partners to determine the trend and content of tourism products plays a decisive role in developing tourism products for international visitors.

Up to now, Saigontourist's tourism product system for international tourists has had to be completely renewed on the basis of updating information from more than 400 partners in source markets around the globe during and after pandemic. This is the basis for this travel agency to analyse, evaluate, and process data, thereby making investment decisions, renewing or completely building new product lines suitable for each customer, including visitors to Vietnam by air, sea and river.

Specifically, in order to attract more than 15,000 international cruise passengers, in the first quarter of 2023, Saigontourist had to build all new tourism products on the basis of actual requirements of partners in the US.

Besides refreshing and diversifying products, creating a highlight for tourism products also plays a very important role. According to Nhu Thi Ngan, General Director of Hanoi Tourism JSC, it is necessary to build a difference in products to create attraction for the target market.

Accordingly, each province, city, and destination must determine its own advantages in tourism development, becoming the perfect pieces of the Vietnam tourism picture; thereby tourists coming to Vietnam have the opportunity to experience many unique products.

This requires the involvement of state agencies in planning the overall development of tourism, identifying the strengths of each locality to orient the development of appropriate products.

In addition, it is necessary for tourism businesses to participate in promoting links to create unique products, routes, and experiences.

Huynh Phan Phuong Hoang, Deputy General Director of Vietravel, suggested: Along with the four main product lines being exploited, namely sea and island tourism, ecotourism, cultural tourism and urban tourism, Vietnam needs to focus on researching four other product lines associated with current trends, including: Medical tourism; Meeting, Incentive, Conference, and Event (MICE) tourism; tourism combined with events; and sports tourism. In addition, nightlife products associated with community culture, entertainment, and art and culture programmes also need attention.

A representative of Vietravel Holdings noted that, after the pandemic, following the economic crisis, tourists tend to be price-sensitive, so competition on price is an important factor in attracting visitors.

Currently, Vietnamese travel companies are almost playing an intermediary role, aggregating services from other service industries and sub-sectors, so a mechanism and the participation of management agencies are needed to link products and services, forming a product chain with competitive prices to attract visitors.