Traders in city lukewarm to grand sale program

VietNamNet Bridge – As the clock is ticking to the launch of the Impressive Vietnam Grand Sale 2010 meant to woo travelers, traders in HCMC are still not ready to join the list of shopping venues to benefit from the program, a tourism official said.

The two-month program due to kick off in early August and last through September will offer both locals and foreigners discounts of 10 to 40% at shopping centers, supermarkets, and retail outlets among others in the major cities of Hanoi, HCMC, and Danang. Dozens of venues in Danang and Hanoi as of on Tuesday were available via the website of the Vietnam – Your Destination program at, while a list from HCMC was still not present.

The Impressive Vietnam Grand Sale 2010 is part of the national tourism marketing campaign called Vietnam – Your Destination launched by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), with other stakeholders to include air carriers and tour operators and hoteliers as well. Under the guidance of VNAT, the departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the departments of Industry and Trade of the three cities will team up to carry out the program.

While Hanoi and Danang have made the first move, a tourism official in HCMC simply said the list was not completed.

“We have yet to bring out a list because it’s not completed,” said the source from the Travel Division of HCMC’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

He explained that the city met difficulty when calling traders to join the program as they are still confused whether to join it given several similar activities taking place in the city each year.

“VNAT has just launched a program this March while HCMC is having the yearly promotion program of its own in September so traders are still considering whether to join in,” he said.

The city’s Department of Industry and Trade in collaboration with the department of Culture, Sports and Tourism every year runs a promotion program, using the State budget to organize this year’s event scheduled for this September.

Preparation like marketing activities and budget for the program had been fixed before VNAT announced the Impressive Vietnam Grand Sale 2010, the official said.

According the Travel Department under the national tourism authority VNAT, the department needs some days for preparation before officially promoting the program to customers. That means time has virtually run out for the three cities to submit their lists of shopping venues.

VNAT has said that it will petition the Prime Minister to give visa fee exemption to international travelers during the two months as well as refund the value added tax (VAT) to such visitors.

However, the incentive policies along with detailed contents of the Impressive Vietnam Grand Sale 2010 until now are not available and disseminated to both local and foreign tourists although the kickoff has four days to go.



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