with the population of over 82 million, is viewed as
a potential market of the Vietnamese tourism sector.
The German arrivals in Vietnam nearly doubled from 2002
to 2005 and German tour operators see Vietnam as one
of the shooting stars in Southeast Asia.
Germany alone, over 60 tour operators feature Vietnam,
and the arrival figures speak for themselves: 21,719
Germans visited Vietnam in 1999, whereas in 2005 that
number had already tripled with 64,488 arrivals.
German tour operators are increasing the number of tours
to take tourists to Vietnam and say that it appears
to be Southeast Asia’s shooting star, with the highest
growth potential. Many things in Vietnam can attract
Germans such as friendly people, nice beaches, unspoilt
nature and cultural attractions, said Ulrike Beinlich,
German marketing and public relations consultant.
the past, it was a favoured destination for backpackers
and culturally curious travellers, who finished their
Vietnam trip with a beach stay in Thailand or Bali in
Indonesia. In the meantime, Vietnam has also become
popular for beach holidays, as more international holiday
hotels have been built on the coast.
Beinlich said many Germans know Vietnam through the
images of the Vietnam War, President Ho Chi Minh (who
was very much admired by what in Germany was called
the “68 Generation”, Saigon, and books and stories by
Graham Greene and Marguerite Duras.
German individuals who have not yet travelled to Vietnam
imagine it to be something like Thailand in the past:
unspoilt beaches, a great natural environment, a country
without mass tourism.
Reisen Travel Company said beach clients are mainly
repeaters who have already travelled through the country.
Mui Ne in Binh Thuan province, near Ho Chi Minh City,
is one of Neckermann’s favourites, where it even posts
one of its own tour guides.
Polo Reisen Travel Company is also happy with its Vietnam
business. In 2005, this company registered an increase
of 13% in visitors over 2004. So far, 2006 also looks
Weltresen travel company is expecting a 20% increase
(until now, roughly 8,000 visitors to Vietnam) and other
tour operators see the same tendency.
Advertising and marketing needed
raise efficiency of attracting tourists from Europe
in general and from Germany in particular, Vietnamese
travel companies should raise its professionalism in
its activities and organisation and have a long-term
consultancy and marketing, said W.M Van Doorn, co-director
of the Vietnam human resources development in tourism
is ‘like a fish out of water’ for many travel firms
of Vietnam to have access to information of the European
market, including Germany. They lack a professional
contingent of marketing executives and have not yet
established solid partnership with big travel companies
in Europe,” said Nguyen Anh Tuan from the Travel Department
of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
55% of tourists who travel abroad annually are from
Europe, of which the United Kingdom and Germany belong
to the Top Three Countries with the most residents travelling
abroad, said Mr Doorn. He said that tourists from Europe
also take long-haul holiday trips and spend a lot of
is also facing hard competitiveness with regional rivals
like Thailand and Indonesia to attract tourists from
Germany. The largest competitor is Thailand with 420,000
German visitors in 2005 and this year, 460,000 Germans
to do more marketing in German market because you have
a lot of competitors. Vietnam should put emphasis on
the countryside, on the people, on the atmosphere and
on the cultural attractions,” suggested Ulrike Beinlich.
said, “Other Southeast Asian countries have their own
tourist offices in Germany. Thailand has been on the
tourism map in Germany for 30 years. They do a lot of
promotion, marketing, advertising.”
is very good at marketing and you have to learn from
them,” advised Julio Aramberri, a tourism expert from
Spain who specialises in culinary arts and food science.
Beinlich said Germans like taking trans-nation tours
and encountering with locals. They are interested in
unspoilt nature (eco-tourism), beach stays, attractive
hotels and spas. They do not like staying in badly equipped
hotels and being served by unfriendly staff with unreliable
By Huy Cuong