Key tourism route largely unknown to travelers
Update: Dec 30, 2008
Nearly half of international travelers to Vietnam have not learned of a tourism route named the East-West Economic Corridor which stretches 1,450 kilometers from Vietnam's central city of Danang to Laos and Thailand, shows a survey.

An expert with a team making the survey said that her team had interviewed international travelers in Vietnam, tour guides, tour operators, and travel agents. Around 45% of those people said they did not know the route while nearly 65% of the travelers said that they wanted to explore it.

Most respondents said they searched for information about the corridor via guidebooks Lonely Planet and Guide du Routard and some websites like or, among others.

The survey was presented last week in Hue City in a seminar convened to promote the East-West Economic Corridor. The Tourism Faculty of Hue University and the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) organized the seminar.

The survey showed that the guests had demands to explore culture, history, nature, and exchange with the local community.

Travelers had interest in handicraft products. They were pleased with high-class bus services and imperial boats but complained about food safety, high prices of services like cyclo, and unprofessional tour guides.

Most tourists traveling on the route were Thai elderly people who traveled in groups of some 30 people each. Around 2% of them have returned to Vietnam for the second time.

About spending, the survey found that three-fourths of the guests who traveled to the north of the central region were spending less than USD 500 per day, while over half of them chose budget hotels with an average rate of USD 20 per night.

The survey group proposed local tourism authorities improve human resources, build tourist information centers and websites to promote the route's image.