Doubts raised about plan to advertise on BBC
In fact, the idea of advertising on the BBC was approved by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) last year. However, at that time, many travel firms voiced concern over the feasibility of the plan. The travel firms wanted to know if MCST thoroughly considered the main audience of the channel and if the travelers watched this channel for tourism information.
According to Nguyen Quoc Ky, Director of Vietravel, it is necessary to set up advertisement plans based on thorough analysis. It is also necessary to know what the key markets are for Vietnam and how high the tourism demand is in the markets.
Meanwhile, Baron Ah Moo, CEO of Indochina Land’s Hotels and Resorts, said that BBC is really a famous politics and economics TV channel, but the main audience of the channel is businessmen.
The businessmen watch BBC in order to get information about political situations, labor markets and investment policies in countries. Therefore, tourism advertisement pieces will not catch the attention from audience, even if they are broadcasted on BBC World.
Luu Duc Ke, Director of Hanoitourist, related that when he asked a Spanish senior marketing expert about the efficiency of tourism advertisement pieces on CNN and BBC, he said that the audience absolutely does not expect to get tourism information on CNN and BBC. The marketing expert said that it would be better to advertise on Discovery or Geographic, which specializes in tourism.
Mr. Baron Ah Moo said that Vietnam needs to thoroughly consider the taste of travelers, listen to advisors and travel firms in order to build up specific advertisement programs for different markets.
The argument of state management agencies
An official from the Culture, Sports and Tourism Centre, who asked to not be named, said that there are three factors for which the International Cooperation Department under MCST decided to advertise on BBC.
BBC is a channel shown worldwide, including Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. BBC is broadcasted in 200 countries and territories. Statistics showed that 276 million families watch BBC and the channel is viewed in 1.5 million hotel rooms worldwide. In Japan, for example, hotel rooms do not have CNN, but have BBC.
Moreover, BBC has good experience in advertising tourism as it has done this for more than 40 nations, including the big tourism countries like Australia, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.
The noteworthy thing is that the mode BBC offers to Vietnam proves to be very reasonable. BBC has offered to send a delegation to Vietnam to make a video clip which will be broadcasted on BBC. The total expenses prove to be reasonable, $204,600.
Regarding the main audience of BBC, the official said that at first, Vietnam needs to advertise its national image, so that travelers can have a good impression of the country, and then it needs to advertise tours. The more people the information can reach, the better for Vietnam’s tourism, no matter who the people are.
“It is quite good to aim to businessmen, and it is also good to target popular travelers. Tourists not only watch tourism channels, they also watch other channels, especially news channels.”
“In the global economic crisis, tourists tend to travel to near-by countries. Therefore, Asia Pacific should be the choice. Europe has always been one of the key markets for Vietnam. Meanwhile, North America has always been a big market,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ky thinks that there are four markets Vietnam needs to target on, East Asia, North East Asia (Japan, China and South Korea), ASEAN and inner-region, Australia (which bears less financial crisis’ impacts than Europe and US), and cruise tourism.
Vietnam not keen on advertisement
Pham Hoang Tuan, Deputy Head of the Tourism Promotion Division under Vietnamtourism in Hanoi, said that Vietnam is still not keen on advertisement, pricing and offering tourism products.
Having returned from ITB (in Germany) and MITT (in Russia) trade fairs, Dang Bao Hieu, Director of Focus Travel, said that he was disappointed when seeing that the publications advertising ‘Impressive Vietnam’ were very poor.
Ky from Vietravel said that state management agencies should have overall advertisement campaigns which aim for long-term development, rather than short-term ones.
“I cannot see any bandmaster, who takes the responsibility for promotion tourism at the national level,” said director of a travel firm.
In April, the International Cooperation Agency under the VNAT will kick off the advertisement plan. It remains unclear about the broadcasting time. However, in general, there are two main tourism seasons, in June-July and September-October. Therefore, the advertisement pieces will appear in June 2009 at the soonest.
Source : vietnamnet.vn
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