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Int’l celebrities and opportunity for advertising Vietnam’s tourism

Last year Vietnam’s famous tourist destinations like Sapa, Ha Long Bay, Con Dao Island welcomed world stars. The chance to lure international VIPs to Vietnam is open.
Last year Vietnam’s famous tourist destinations like Sapa, Ha Long Bay, Con Dao Island welcomed world stars. The chance to lure international VIPs to Vietnam is open.

In mid-November 2011, the big family of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie chose Con Dao Island in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau for their four-day vacation. The star couple and their children stayed at the five-star Six Senses, walked on the beach, swam in the blue sea and enjoyed Vietnamese cuisines.

The couple also paid a visit to the Con Dao prison, one of a famous relic of the war. Before leaving Con Dao, Jolie said: “Con Dao is very beautiful. My kids like the island very much. We hope to return here in the future.”

The two Hollywood stars and their Vietnamese origin adopted child tasted Vietnamese folk cuisines like cua lot (soft-shelled crab), Vietnamese salad, braised pork and bun thit nuong (vermicelli with roast pork), etc. at a restaurant in HCM City.

It was a big surprise that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent his Christmas holiday in Vietnam. The young billionaire and his girlfriend visited the Hoa Lo prison in Hanoi and welcomed Christmas on a cruise ship on Ha Long Bay, a world natural heritage. The Facebook CEO and his friends rowed kayak boats to discover the famous bay and Sung Sot cave.

Why did Zuckerberg select Ha Long Bay for the Christmas Day? “Just because Ha Long Bay is very beautiful. I, my girlfriend and my group had a very interesting night on the bay. I will return there if I have a chance,” he said.

The Facebook CEO and his friend also had interesting experience in Sapa, Lao Cai province when they visited villages of ethnic minority groups in the northwestern region of Vietnam. They walked and pedaled through the villages of Dao, Tay and Xa Pho groups. They played folk games like nem con, blind man buff, etc.

At the hotel, American visitors enjoyed traditional songs and dances performed by Mong children and tasted Vietnamese dishes like rice, Pho, spring roll, fried vegetable, roasted fish, roasted pork with Sapa mushroom.

“Mark Zuckerberg and his friends praised our cuisines. His girlfriend Priscilla Chan asked us about recipes,” an employee of Topas Ecolodge Resort in Sapa said.

The visits by Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and the Facebook CEO to Vietnam shows that Vietnam is more appealing to international visitors. These are also rare chances to advertise Vietnam’s tourism to the world.

Many foreign newspapers published articles and photo stories about Zuckerberg’s tour in Vietnam, especially the pictures featuring the billionaire on a buffalo.

From a unfamiliar resort, the four-star resort named Topas Ecolodge in Sapa has been known widely after Facebook CEO’s tour.

The resort’s deputy director Le Phuc Thien said that visitors to resort’s website has risen by 6-7 times after Zuckerberg’s trip.

“Previously our major visitors were European but I believe that the number of local tourists will strongly increase in the coming time,” Thien said.

Nguyen Van Tuan, chief of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said that world celebrities’ visits to Vietnam are very good opportunities for advertising Vietnamese tourism to the world. However, the agency is not experienced with this.

“We are working on a PR plan through foreign news agencies whenever world VIPs visit Vietnam. This is a new method so we need to think how to make it works,” Tuan said.
(Source: VNA)
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