The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) will begin airing a commercial promoting Vietnam as a tourism destination in July, an official said.
The 15-second commercial, which is still being edited, will be broadcast three times a day for three months, according to Nguyen Van Tinh, director of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's International Co-operation Department.
The commercial was completely produced by the BBC. The total production and broadcasting package will cost US$100,000, he said.
"It will focus on promoting coastal tourism, and introduce various beach destinations from north to south, including Ha Long, Nha Trang, Mui Ne and others in the central region," he said. "Only the most impressive scenes were selected for this 15-second spot."
Tinh said Vietnam is targeting tourists in markets like Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the UK, and the US.
BBC was chosen to promote tourism in Vietnam between May and July 2009 under a $200,000 contract .
Vietnam also purchased a 30-second commercial from the US news network CNN. The spot ran, every day, for the last three months of 2007 at a total cost of $300,000.
There has been skepticism about the effectiveness of these efforts. Some critics argue that CNN and BBC are news networks and are, therefore, not ideal platforms for tourism promotion.
Tinh told Thanh Nien that although he cannot provide statistics proving how effective the promotional campaigns were, he believes it's wise to advertise Vietnam's tourism on BBC, which he called "one of the biggest media outlets in the world."