Branding firm contracted for tourism marketing strategy

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Vietnam plans to hire a brand consultancy firm to work out a five-year (2011-2015) marketing strategy for its tourism sector, a senior official has said.

"The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) intends to choose the Cowan Consultancy Company to build a strategy to promote Vietnam's destinations," Nguyen Van Tuan, director of the VNAT said in an interview in the Tuoi Tre newspaper on Tuesday (February 15).

"This will be the first time that a professional consultancy firm is hired to make the administration's marketing activities more effective," he said.

Cowan, which has an office in Vietnam and several other countries in the region, entered the star-shaped logo and the slogan "˜Vietnam - A Different Orient' which were named on January 26 by VNAT as the first prize winner of a contest to select the tourism sector's logo and slogan for the 2011-2015 period.

Tuan said his agency was collecting opinions about the new logo and slogan from tourism experts, travel firms, ministries, departments, and the media before seeking the government's approval by March to use them, replacing the existing "Vietnam - the Hidden Charm" slogan.

He also said the VNAT will ask the government to increase the budget for tourism promotion activities from VND41 billion (US$2.1 million) last year to VND70 billion ($3.6 million) this year, adding that his agency has already suggested the government and the Ministry of Finance to take out $1 per foreign visitor from the country's tourism revenues for marketing programs this year.

In an interview on the government website on February 5, Tuan had said that Vietnam has for the first time designated tourism as an economic spearhead, targeting a GDP contribution of 4.5 percent from the sector.

He said the country targets 5.3 million international arrivals and 30-31 million domestic tourists this year, generating revenues of VND100 trillion ($5.13 billion).

Vietnam received a record five million foreign arrivals in 2010, an increase of 34.8 percent over 2009.

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