The programme, with the tagline Each Voyage Makes You Love the Country More, aims to encourage Vietnamese to show national pride, Nguyen Van Tuan, general director of VNAT, said.
“We want to encourage Vietnamese people to travel across Viet Nam to boost in-country tourism, particularly in mountainous, remote areas and islands, where tourism can support local economic development,” Tuan said.
The programme is expected to increase revenue for low-income residents in mountainous and coastal regions, he said. On top of the tangible economic benefits, touring in-country would also show stir a love for country.
“When living and economic conditions improve, people will prefer overseas tours,” he said. “However, Viet Nam is long and vast, and there are many places we can visit.”
The tourism administration will encourage people to visit museums and other cultural and historical sites in Ha Noi, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Thua Thien Hue, Da Nang, Quang Ngai (Ly Son island), Khanh Hoa, HCM City and Kien Giang (Phu Quoc island).
They’ll also encourage travel agencies to organise tours to visit people living in coastal regions, particularly fishermen living in Da Nang, Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai, as well as members of the Vietnamese navy.
The tourism administration also aims to promote the country’s tourism options to Vietnamese people living abroad.
It hopes they will come back not just to admire the country’s beauty and help the economy, but also to promote the image of Viet Nam overseas.
To attract more tourism throughout Viet Nam, the tourism administration will encourage tourist sites and airlines to reduce ticket prices to potential tourist hot spots, such as Tay Nguyen, Quang Binh, Phu Yen, Binh Dinh and Can Tho.
The administration will set up group of volunteers to give tourists information. People living in the countryside, or in mountainous or coastal areas, will be encouraged to provide home-stay facilities for tourists.
Several travel agencies have responded positively to the initiative, offering to provide new tours and discounts, but said they need more co-operation from the administration.
They said that to encourage travel agencies to participate in the stimulation programme, the State must put policies in place to support them, including tax cuts, several travel agency directors said at the conference held in Ha Noi last Friday.
They added that the State needed to resolve several difficulties in the tourism industry, such as tour guide quality deficiencies, a lack of people working in hospitality, and issues with security at tourist sites.
“Many young tour guides don’t have enough knowledge about the culture and history of the country,” said Nguyen Dinh Thanh, the director of Vitour Da Nang. “They should take part in professional training before becoming tour guides.”
Rising prices at tourism destinations have also discouraged visitors, he said.
Thanh said Vitour Da Nang would offer new tours, including Heritage Journey and Central Region Heaven, which will include beach resorts and nature tours; and Heritage Journey of the Central Region, offering tours of cultural heritage sites.
Vitour Da Nang would also upgrade accommodation and organise gala dinners and art performances – all at 20 to 30 per cent discounts.
In recent years, more Vietnamese people are taking vacations during national holidays, Tet and summer. About 35.5 million Vietnamese people travelled within Viet Nam in the first 11 months of 2014, and the number is expected to reach 41.5 million next year.