VIETNAM Local tourism leaders from prominent hotels and resorts have come together with golf course owners and travel operators to join forces and brand Vietnam’s central coast as Southeast Asia’s next hot new tourism destination.
They have formed a new group called the Central Vietnam Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO), an initiative aimed at promoting the scenic and culturally significant region as an emerging competitor to places such as Bali, Phuket and Koh Samui.
Extending from the city of Hue, just north of Danang, and down to the town of Hoi An to the south, Central Vietnam features a treasure trove of attractions that are quite unfamiliar to the international market.
With its white sand beaches, idyllic tropical islands, unique culinary tradition and an ancient culture recognised with three Unesco World Heritage sites, the area has a lot of appeal as a leisure and incentives destination.
More recently, world-class golf courses have become a signature feature of Central Vietnam – with stunning courses designed by golf pros including Colin Montgomerie, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo and Luke Donald.
“Our region represents a single destination with tremendous potential,” said Central Vietnam DMO chairman John Blanco. “We are fortunate to have a uniquely marketable product.”
The founding partners of the DMO include The Nam Hai, Crowne Plaza Danang, Hyatt Regency Danang, Fusion Maia Danang, Furama Resort Danang, Grand Mercure Danang, The Ocean Villas, Angsana Lang Co and La Residence Hue – plus Montgomerie Links and Danang Golf Club.
The Central Vietnam DMO marketing campaign coincides with the launch of direct Dragonair flights between Hong Kong and regional capital Danang on March 28, 2013. The new three-times-weekly service will complement existing services to Hanoi in North Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City in the south.
Carriers from Singapore and South Korea are also boosting flight frequencies in the region.
In 2012 Danang recorded 2.7 million visitors, of which 630,000 were from overseas. Since 2007, domestic and international arrivals to Danang have seen an average increase of 20 per cent year-on-year.
“Vietnam has seen healthy growth in tourist arrivals over the past decade. However, most only visit Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City,” said Blanco, "we believe that now is the time to ensure that this stunning part of the country receives its due share of international attention.”
Promotion of Central Coast Vietnam DMO will be coordinated through the new website www.centralcoastvietnam.com