17:08 | 03/12/2016 Industry
(VEN) - Manufacturers of tourism products have strengthened investment in creative design in order to overcome weaknesses about product models and quality because Vietnam’s design and creative industry, especially for tourism, remains modest and lags behind countries in ASEAN and in the world.
Souvenirs have benefited the tourism sector of many countries over the years, Vietnam Design Association (VDAS) Deputy Chairman Dang Kong Ngoan said at the Vietnam International Conference on Creative Industry (VDS 2016) under the theme of “Creative Design: Research and Product Development for Tourism Industry” held by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency and the Korea Institute of Design Promotion. However, Vietnam is still struggling to find its unique souvenirs.
According to a survey released by the tourism sector in 2014, international visitors only spent about 12-17 percent of total costs for shopping in Vietnam, while this figure was 50-55 percent in Thailand. The General Statistics Office’s data in 2015 revealed that international visitors with self-organized tours to Vietnam with an average length of stay of 12 days spent US$105 a day, meaning that their spending in Vietnam remained low.
He attributed the situation to the lack of unique characteristics in tourism products that have not attracted the interests of international visitors. In particular, these outstanding items in Vietnam such as ceramics, rattan and carved wood are bulky, fragile, difficult to carry and similar at different tourist destinations.
According to many experts, the poor in tourism products is due to models that are not consistent with the aesthetics of customers and high prices. However, inadequate investment in tourism products is seen as the most important reason. Although there are various tourism products and services, visitors cannot distinguish specific products by region because most of them are similar at different tourist destinations. Moreover, connection between manufacturers and service providers is missing.
Vu Hy Thieu, an expert in Vietnamese handicrafts, said that handicrafts serving tourism remain outdated with the same models in around 10 to 20 years. Handicrafts have a large dependence on tradition and can be bulky. In Vietnam, there are few professional designers for handicrafts, while beginners have weak skills and low aesthetics. Therefore, tourism products are often similar, which makes them unpopular with many tourists.
Businesses need to be more active
Kim Anh from the Nordic Interior Joint Stock Company said that the status of copied designs in the manufacturing sector for tourism products is the daily happening. The company’s products were faked in the past, causing damages in economics and prestige. Therefore, in addition to holding the secrets of production, the company has promoted investment in improving product quality under the strict process. Materials for making the company’s products are walnut wood that has been dried to avoid warp and shrinkage caused by temperature. The company has also carried out campaigns to advertise their products and promote branding. As a result, in addition to good consumption in the domestic market, the company’s products have been exported to foreign markets such as Germany, France and Thailand.
Trinh Bich Thuy from the Trinh Fashion Joint Stock Company said that if products are basically designed and produced following the correct process, prices will be higher. Therefore, many items have been copied to sell at cheaper prices. The Trinh Fashion Joint Stock Company has accepted consumption at a certain level regarding premium products, while producing items with cheaper prices to meet the tastes and financial capabilities of the majority of consumers. However, it also requires the support of the state for the training of professional design team and strict implementation of intellectual property rights in order to diversify tourism products.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung said that the design sector in particular and the creative industry in general have many limitations. Vietnam’s goods and services have good quality but low value due to inadequate investment in improving models.
|Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung|
Therefore, Vietnam has been active in the participation in cooperation programs and exchanges in the design sector and the creative industry. In 2017, the Korea Institute of Design Promotion will support the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency to establish and operate a design center. It will offer training and enhance design consultancy for Vietnamese businesses and increase added value in Vietnamese products and services in the international market.