How Vietnam tourism can capitalize on the promising Indonesian market

That more than 3,000 Indonesian tourists visited Ba Na Hills from March 27 to April 15 in a single group was a phenomenon.

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The Golden Bridge in Da Nang City

It was one of the biggest groups from that country to ever visit Vietnam. It also means this market of 260 million people is eyeing Vietnam. How this potential can be exploited is a big question.

Recently Da Nang airport received many flights with Indonesian groups. According to Viking Tour, which brought the 3,000 people who visited Ba Na Hills, they came for MICE tourism.

Tran Xuan Hung, director of Viking Tour, said it was the largest Indonesian delegation to Vietnam since 2006. The visitors’ first destination was the leading tourist resort in Vietnam - Sun World Ba Na Hills with the famous Golden Bridge.

Hung also said the group had considered destinations such as Thailand and South Korea before finally choosing Ba Na – Da Nang.

Attracted by Golden Bridge, Ba Na Hills

When asked why they chose Ba Na Hills, Hung said Ba Na met their specific needs such as the availability of vehicles, food and the capacity to organize a gala for up to 600 people.

Besides, Indonesians and many other Asian tourists like Koreans and Japanese enjoy going by cable car to see mountains.

Ba Na Hills’ landscapes, unique architectural works and recent Tulip Festival wowed the visitors from Indonesia.

Martini Polina, one of them, said: "This is the first time I am coming to Vietnam. I visited Hue and Hoi An and was really impressed with Ba Na Hills. I didn’t know in Vietnam there was such a unique and beautiful tourist area. It was great".

Many other people in the group also said they chose Ba Na Hills since it has recently become a phenomenon because of the famous Golden Bridge.

More than 95 per cent of visitors were happy to have visited Ba Na Hills, according to Viking Tour.

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More than 3.000 Indonesian tourists visited Ba Na Hills from March 27 to April 15 in a single group.

Great potential but needs systematic exploitation

Indonesia has the fourth largest population in the world (more than 250 million), and at least 8 million of them travel abroad each year, 88.6 per cent to Asia-Pacific countries.

According to Vietnam's General Statistics Office, in 2018 there were 87,941 arrivals from Indonesia, up 8.5 per cent from the previous year.

The fact that more than 3,000 people came to Ba Na and Da Nang could well be a turning point. But the question is what Vietnam should do to attract more such large groups.

Research shows that for Indonesians the top factors in a trip are a family-friendly atmosphere, security, friendly and hospitable people, and clean environment. They like to buy food, confectionery, clothes, and coffee.

They have a lot of needs at the same time. In addition, many Indonesians are Muslims, requiring Halal food, therefore, not every place is suitable for them.

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Ba Na Hills has been in operation for the last 10 years, contributing greatly to promoting the tourism image of Da Nang City.

That is why they choose Ba Na Hills to enjoy the cool mountain atmosphere at the Mercure Da Nang French Village hotel, check out castles, see the Golden Bridge, attend a festival, play games, shop, and eat good food.

Nguyen Xuan Binh, deputy director of the Da Nang Department of Tourism, said: "Ba Na Hills has been in operation for the last 10 years, contributing greatly to promoting the tourism image of Da Nang City and offering quality services and destinations to local and international travellers.

"In future we hope that investors will be interested in investing in tourist destinations with different characteristics like what Sun Group and Ba Na Hills have done to create new attractions for Da Nang."

That is why Vietnam’s tourism needs more products and projects of scale and quality like Ba Na Hills, he added.

Another factor in attracting visitors from this market is convenient transportation. According to Binh, there is need for direct flights between famous Indonesian tourist destinations and Da Nang.

"To attract visitors, we need to increase access to destinations by direct flights like direct routes between Da Nang and Indonesia's crowded destinations such as Jakarta, Medal and Bali. If travel costs can be greatly reduced, of course Da Nang will attract more visitors in the future," Binh added.

Vnexpress

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