Representatives of Malaysia malls have been in Vietnam trying to drum up business via tour operators.
But the Malaysians will face an uphill battle luring Vietnamese – Bangkok is only an hour away from Ho Chi Minh City and probably the best-serviced destination in the region, with at least seven airlines offering hour-long flights daily between the two cities.
Retail and tourism representatives from Malaysia met with tour organisers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to introduce a campaign aimed at enticing Vietnamese to visit Malaysia to shop.
At an associated travel mart, 14 representatives of 10 malls and retail groups met with travel agencies to seek possible co-operation, reports TuoitreNews. In the delegation were representatives of such groups as the Batu Road Retailers Association, Fahreinheit88, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and Sunway Putra Mall.
Tourism Malaysia deputy-director general Chong Yoke Har says the sales campaigns are the 1Malaysia Super Sale for all of March, the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival, from June 15 to August 31, and the 1Malaysia Year-End Sale, on the last two months of the year.
Tourism Malaysia has also introduced Miss Shophia, the new shopping symbol for Malaysia and designed to help international tourists find shopping experiences.
Shopping accounts for most of Malaysia’s tourism revenue. As of the end of September last, tourist spending rose 2.9 per cent from a year earlier to RM15.3 billion (US$3.8 billion), or 30 per cent of the total tourism revenue of RM51 billion.
Last year, 229,626 Vietnamese tourists visited Malaysia, a 19 percent decline from 2014, when they spent about RM560.1 million. Chong is hopeful more Vietnamese will return to Malaysia for shopping as the two countries are relatively close and there are nonstop flights.
Meanwhile, Bangkok is closer, accommodation is cheaper and shopping malls targeting foreigners and tourists are clustered close together and well served by public transport.