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INDOCHINA


Tantalising trio


Indochina is currently one of the travel industry’s biggest growth stories, with Vietnam leading the way thanks to direct fl ights. But what makes this region such a seller, asks Laura Gelder


G


ame on! Indochina, it seems, is now competitively competing with its mainstream neighbour Thailand.


And it’s not just the improved air access that is helping, but a combination of beach, heritage and a growing hotel stock, too. “Vietnam is our biggest-growing destination in Indochina,” says Lesley Wright, Sales and Marketing Manager, Travel Indochina. “The tourism sector here is maturing to include offerings for luxury beach and spa clients as well as cruise visitors. Beach tourism is also continuing to increase to Vietnam’s central region around Hoi An, Lang Co and Danang, the latter being Vietnam’s fastest-growing city.” Vietnam’s growing beach offering in


From top left: Beach, AVANI Quy Nhon Resort & Spa, Vietnam; Laos fauna; monks, Laos; Song Saa, Cambodia


the central coast and Nha Trang joins established tourism must-dos such as the bustling cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh; sailing the emerald waters of Halong Bay; the markets and crumbling ancient architecture of Hoi An; the imperial city of Hue, with its whimsically named Forbidden Purple City and Perfume River; and the river scenery of the Mekong Delta. Expect to hear more of the above


following the launch of a new hotel marketing group – Central Coast Vietnam Destination Marketing Organisation – which is positioning Danang as the perfect combo with Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, using Vietnam Airlines’ new fl ights to Siem Reap. “The next upcoming destination in Vietnam is the archipelago of Con Dao,” says Pham Ha, founder and CEO of Luxury Travel Vietnam Ltd. “It has intimate villa resorts and undeveloped beaches.”


INDOCHINA


But Vietnam shouldn’t eclipse its more humble neighbours because there are lots of new properties springing up there too. Cambodia’s high-end hotel stock is mostly concentrated in the capital Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat gateway Siem Reap, but it is also building on its beach product, with its fi rst private island luxury resort, Song Saa, leading the way. The 27


“With currency based on the US dollar, clients’ money will go a long way in Indochina. It has a range of three- to five-star properties and is well-served by more


and more quality airlines” LESLEY WRIGHT, INTERNATIONAL SALES AND MARKETING MANAGER, TRAVEL INDOCHINA


www.sellinglonghaul.com


November 2013 45


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