US embassy cable - 01HOCHIMINHCITY197

IMI: HOTEL OCCUPANCY REBOUNDS, TOURISM CAMPAIGN LIMPS

Identifier: 01HOCHIMINHCITY197
Wikileaks: View 01HOCHIMINHCITY197 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Ho Chi Minh City
Created: 2001-02-28 05:08:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: ETRD KTDB VM
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


2001HOCHI00197 - UNCLASSIFIED
 
 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ6500

PAGE 01        HO CHI  00197  280506Z 
ACTION STR-00   

INFO  LOG-00   AID-00   AMAD-00  EVG-00   CIAE-00  SRPP-00  EAP-00   
      EB-00    EXME-00  E-00     UTED-00  TEDE-00  INR-00   NSAE-00  
      OES-01   OPIC-01  SSO-00   SS-00    TEST-00  DRL-02   NFAT-00  
      SAS-00     /004W
                  ------------------CB5012  280506Z /38    
FM AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4660
INFO AMEMBASSY HANOI 
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
AMCONSUL HONG KONG 
AMEMBASSY TOKYO 
AMEMBASSY BEIJING 
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//FPA/J5/JTF-FA//
JICPAC HONOLULU HI
SECDEF WASHDC
DIA WASHDC
NSC WASHDC
DEPTTREAS WASHDC
USDOC WASHDC
CIMS NTDB WASHDC
UNCLAS HO CHI MINH CITY 000197 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE ALSO FOR EAP/BCLTV AND EB/TPP/BTA 
STATE PASS USTR/DAMOND/KLEIN, OPIC, TDA, AND EXIM BANK 
STATE PASS USAID FOR ANE 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        HO CHI  00197  280506Z 
CINCPAC FOR FPA 
SECDEF FOR ISA/EA/LSTERN 
DEPTTREAS FOR AJEWELL 
NSC FOR GENE CHRISTY 
USDOC FOR 4431/MAC/AP/OKSA/HPPHO 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ETRD, KTDB, VM 
SUBJECT: IMI: HOTEL OCCUPANCY REBOUNDS, TOURISM CAMPAIGN LIMPS 
 
1. HO CHI MINH CITY (HCMC) RECEIVED 1.1 MILLION 
INTERNATIONAL VISITORS IN 2000, OF WHICH 793,000 WERE 
TOURISTS.  307,000 OF THE 1.1 MILLION TOURISTS WERE PEOPLE 
OF VIETNAMESE ORIGIN RESIDING OUTSIDE OF VIETNAM.  HOTEL 
ROOM OCCUPANCY RATES IN HCMC AVERAGED 42 PERCENT, UP TWO 
PERCENT OVER 1999, WITH A SLIGHT INCREASE IN ROOM CHARGES. 
HOTELS UNDER STATE-OWNED SAIGONTOURIST CORPORATION HAD 
OCCUPANCY RATES REACH 68 PERCENT, UP 11 PERCENT, AND SOME 
OF THE TOP FOREIGN-INVESTED HOTELS HAVE EVEN REACHED 100 
PERCENT OCCUPANCY SOME NIGHTS IN FEBRUARY AND ARE FULLY 
BOOKED FOR SOME NIGHTS IN MARCH. 
 
2. ACCORDING TO THE MARRIOTT-OWNED NEW WORLD HOTEL, 
LEISURE TRAVEL HAS PICKED UP FROM JAPAN, THE PHILIPPINES, 
AND CHINA FROM INCREASED EXPOSURE IN PRINT ARTICLES AND 
TELEVISION SEGMENTS (FREE ADVERTISING).  THE LIMITED 
NUMBER OF FLIGHTS INTO VIETNAM FROM THE MAIN FEEDER CITIES 
OF BANGKOK, SINGAPORE, AND HONG KONG, HOWEVER, IS MAKING 
IT OFTEN DIFFICULT FOR TOUR OPERATORS TO SECURE FLIGHTS 
FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS.  THERE HAS ALSO BEEN AN INCREASE IN 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        HO CHI  00197  280506Z 
BUSINESS TRAVELERS FROM THE U.S. AND OTHER COUNTRIES 
EXPECTING A PICK-UP IN TRADE ONCE THE U.S.-VIETNAM 
BILATERAL TRADE AGREEMENT IS RATIFIED.  ALTHOUGH NOT 100 
PERCENT FINALIZED, IT LOOKS AS THOUGH THE LONG-MOTHBALLED, 
JAPANESE-INVESTED MARRIOTT HOTEL IN HCMC WILL OPEN IN 
SEPTEMBER THIS YEAR.  NO OTHER MAJOR HOTELS ARE EXPECTED 
TO OPEN IN HCMC THIS YEAR BESIDES THE MARRIOTT. 
 
3. ADVISED BY A LOCAL PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRM THAT VIETNAM 
SHOULD USE PUBLIC RELATIONS SERVICES TO MOUNT A FOREIGN- 
AIMED CAMPAIGN, A VIETNAM ADMINISTRATION OF TOURISM (VNAT) 
OFFICIAL COUNTERED THAT VIETNAM'S DESTINATION FOR A NEW 
MILLENNIUM CAMPAIGN BEGUN IN 2000 WAS ALREADY QUITE 
SUCCESSFUL.  MANAGERS IN THE TOURISM INDUSTRY ARE 
UNANIMOUS, HOWEVER, IN NOTING THAT THE CAMPAIGN LACKS A 
HEALTHY BUDGET AND MARKETING SAVVY, EXPENDITURES ARE 
SUBJECT TO A LENGTHY APPROVAL PROCESS BY THE MINISTRY OF 
FINANCE, AND EFFORTS TO DATE HAVE TAKEN PLACE ALMOST 
ENTIRELY IN VIETNAM.  A HONG KONG MARKETING FIRM ESTIMATES 
VIETNAM SHOULD SPEND BETWEEN USD 8 MILLION AND USD 28 
MILLION TO HAVE AN EFFECTIVE PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGN.  VNAT, 
HOWEVER, ONLY MANAGED TO SPEND HALF OF THE USD 1.3 MILLION 
EARMARKED FOR IT IN 1999 AND 2000 FOR MARKETING BECAUSE OF 
THE COMPLICATED PROCEDURES FOR DISBURSEMENT.  FOR EXAMPLE, 
THE HEAD OF A FOREIGN HOTEL MANAGEMENT COMPANY RELATED TO 
CONGEN THAT VNAT TOOK NEARLY A YEAR TO SETTLE BILLS 
TOTALING LESS THAN USD 20,000 FOR A DELEGATION WHICH WENT 
TO A COUNTRY IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION AND STAGED EVENTS 
AT HOTELS MANAGED BY THE FOREIGN COMPANY IN 2000.  IN THE 
FUTURE, HE SAID, HIS COMPANY WOULD REQUIRE PAYMENT UP 
FRONT. 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        HO CHI  00197  280506Z 
 
RAY 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
 


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