A number of RoK tourism companies, including Honey Moon, Lotte Hotels & Resorts, Travolution, SM Entertainment, and Football Faentasium visited Hanoi on June 1 to look for Vietnamese partners.
"We saw a significant rise in the number of Vietnamese tourists in the recent three years. We upgraded our museums with technologies and services to serve international visitors. With the marvellous victory of the Vietnamese football team and its ROK coach Park Hang Seo, we hope to partner with Vietnamese travel firms to attract more tourists," Shin Yeongeun, deputy general manager of Football Faentasium, told VIR.
Lotte Hotels and Resorts, a South Korean luxury hotel chain operated by Lotte Hotel Co., Ltd., the hospitality arm of Lotte Group, is also turning more to the Vietnamese market.
"We visit Vietnam every year to promote our services and products, thus contributing to a rise in Vietnamese tourism at our hotels and resorts. We now want to work with Vietnamese and South Korean companies operating in Vietnam to introduce our hotels and resorts in South Korea and abroad," said Sean OHM, regional director of the Singapore Branch of Lotte Hotels and Resorts.
Travolution came to Vietnam for the first time with similar intentions. As a startup company, it has so far attracted only a handful of Vietnamese tourists and is striving to increase this figure.
"We are going to translate our website to Vietnamese and work with more Vietnamese companies," said Inho Bae, CEO of Travolution.
Not only travel companies, but also South Korean districts are targeting Vietnamese tourists. SongPa-Gu—a district of Seoul—is a member of the working group to Vietnam this time. This was the first official visit to Vietnam by the district.
"Every year, we attract about three million tourists, 15 per cent of whom come from Southeast Asia. As the number of Vietnamese visitors remains modest, we want to lure in more of them," said Dae San Lee from SongPa-Gu's Global Tourism Division.
Seoul, which was ranked seventh among the most attractive tourism spots in 2017 by Lonely Planet, is famous for innovative tourism products and services. Last year, the city opened 20 new tourism sites.
Seoullo 7017, Seoul’s recently opened overpass-turned-park, is not only one of the city’s newest landmarks, but one of the best places to explore the city’s unique history and culture.
Other places to visit include Oil Tank Culture Park in Mapo, Seoul Night Markets, and Seoul Lantern Festival, just to name a few.
The promotional move proves how attractive the Vietnamese tourism market is to RoK people. According to the Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO), the number of Vietnamese tourists to the RoK reached 302,260 in 2017 by November 19, up 29.9 per cent on-year. At the time, it forecast that the figure would hit 330,000 at end of 2017.
“Vietnam is a very promising tourism market. With strong growth, Vietnam ranked 8th among RoK's tourism markets, up two notches from 2016,” said Jung Chang Wook, director of KTO in Vietnam.