Ms Suzanne Dussol Persan
The woman, with 20 years of experience in tourism development, was awarded a medal for her contribution to Vietnam’s tourism. She has been invited to speak at the Vietnam Global Leader Forum (VGLF), an important event to take place in late March in Paris.
Vietnam’s tourism resources are among the most plentiful and diverse in Southeast Asia. However, its tourism achievements are far behind some neighboring countries. What can you say about Vietnam’s tourism potential?
Tourism plays an important leading role in a country. Only the tourism industry can generate five sources of income to balance socio-economic development.
It brings foreign currencies to Vietnam. It creates the restaurants, hospitals and entertainment industries. It generates tourism agents, tour guides and interpreters. It creates businesses, shops, and handicrafts. And it accelerates the development of transport infrastructure.
Vietnam is rich in tourism resources. And Vietnam is also rich in culture.
A report from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism says 80 percent of travelers do not return to Vietnam. What does the figure mean?
First of all, travelers don’t come back because of the low quality of services. In addition, pollution, environment degradation and the inconvenience caused by noise all explain foreign travelers’ disappointment.
My motto is: we will never have a second chance to make a first impression. This means that once travelers have a bad impression at the first meeting, they won’t meet you again.
What should Vietnam do to retain travelers, and to turn Vietnam into a global tourism brand?
In the early 1990s, with the market economy opening, Vietnam became a favorite destination for foreign investors and travelers who highly appreciate Vietnam’s natural beauty.
Unluckily, the situation has worsened in the last few years. However, we still have time to make Vietnam a choice for foreign travelers again.
In order to reach that goal, it is necessary to develop tourism in accordance with international standards.
First, conserve the flora and fauna – forests, lakes and beaches – in the natural environment.
Second, protecting cultural heritage, architectural works and historical relics. Culture and tourism have close relations.
Third, upgrading the infrastructure and transport network.
Fourth, ensuring security for travelers and controlling misbehavior.
Do you have any plans to build up Vietnam’s tourism brand?
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism appointed me to the post of Vietnam Tourism Ambassador in France for the 2015-2018 tenure. In 2015, I set up Alliance Maison Vietnam (AM-VN), a not-for-profit fund in France aiming to exchange social and cultural values between Vietnam and France, and popularize Vietnam’s culture, arts and food to the French people.
I was born in Vietnam and left the country at the age of four. I came back to Vietnam for the first time in 1992. I was surprised about the charm and beauty of Vietnam.
I am passionate about Vietnamese traditions, history and culture. I am proud of my origin and I have stayed here.
I have made an investment in An Hoa Residence, a hotel in Vung Tau. In France, I still run AM-VN.
How can the Vietnam Global Leader Forum become a rendezvous for the Vietnamese community all over the world to gather and carry out activities for the long term, not just for some events?
Organising the forum every year, with the participation of high-ranking leaders of Vietnam.
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