This is what the HCM City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has found out from its survey conducted on 1856 tourists, including 1048 foreign ones, according to Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon.

The sizes of products, quality, sale prices and the originality are the most important factors which travelers would consider when buying souvenirs. Most travelers want to buy the products which symbolize the localities they go to.

However, the products have not been available. In HCM City, for example, the fine arts and handicrafts shops display the souvenirs which can be seen in other localities as well, while there is no product symbolizing HCM City.

Well-known souvenirs makers just focus on making high grade souvenirs, which are valuable fine arts products with big sizes. Meanwhile, what foreign travelers want – small sized portable products – cannot be seen in the city. Especially, the products made manually by skilful craftsmen are always expensive. It is very difficult to find the products with high quality and reasonable prices.

The survey has found out that fine arts and handicrafts are the top choice for foreign travelers. Besides, foreigners would like silk products, manual embroidery products, decoration products and fashionable clothes.

Though travelers are not choosy about the shopping places, they would be interested in doing shopping at traditional markets. A lot of foreign travelers said they like going to the Ben Thanh Market in HCM city, where the goods are diversified for choice and they can meet local dwellers and learn about their culture.

Meanwhile, domestic travelers would pay attention to decorative fine arts products, fashionable products, sweets and silk. Like foreign travelers, Vietnamese would go to the Ben Thanh Market, but they would prefer going to big shopping malls.

The survey has also found out that producers have not paid appropriate attention to diversifying products to satisfy different tastes of travelers. They just think of making fashionable products for domestic travelers and fine arts for foreign travelers.

According to the HCM City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, there are 70 shopping points which can meet the requirements to serve tourists, which include nine shopping malls, 16 general supermarkets, six fine arts and handicrafts shops, 8 embroidery picture shops, six gold and gemstone shops.

In the tour schedules designed by travel firms, tourists always have long time to go shopping after finishing the excursion programs and preparing to leave Vietnam.

Vietnam is now thinking about how to persuade travelers to spend more money in Vietnam, after an international survey pointed out that the spending level in Vietnam is much lower than that in other regional countries.

Experts have noted that souvenirs prove to be the things travelers would spend money on when they visit any countries. However, Vietnam made souvenirs still cannot catch up the eyes of foreign travelers. In many cases, travelers felt angry because they bought counterfeit products

Cong An TP HCM City newspaper has reported that the products available at the Ban Don tourism site in the central province of Dak Lak are exorbitant in prices, though they are just counterfeit goods.

Especially, the travelers to Ban Don tourism site all want to buy “Ama Kong panacea” which is believed to help men become stronger and help improve the vitality. However, local residents said most of the products available here are counterfeit ones.

By Thu Uyen - VietnamNet Bridge - November 17, 2012