LIFESTYLE

Ly Nha Ky quits Vietnam tourism ambassador race

Tuoi Tre

Updated : 03/14/2013 20:09 GMT + 7

Model-turned-actress and businesswoman Ly Nha Ky, the first tourism ambassador of Vietnam, today announced her decision to quit the 2013 tourism ambassador race through a heartfelt letter and even refused to talk to media.

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“My health condition is not good… Slanderous words against my last year’s position have had a tremendous influence on my family and relatives,” she wrote.

In the letter, Ky also reassessed her work as the last year’s tourism ambassador: “I did my utmost not to betray trust and expectations from people and the state leaders. Some supported and some did not when I officially took the position."

"Some people even tried to hurt me in different ways. But then the mission to promote the country was most important to me.”

“My greatest happiness is that I have contributed to making people more interested in promoting the country’s image to the world as well as to help raise public awareness of Vietnam’s tourism development,” she continued.

She also remembered good memories “which helped her live a more meaningful life” when Ha Long Bay was named one of world’s 7 new wonders of nature and Hanoi was granted the right to host ASIA 2019 last year.

Ky hoped the country will find a more worthy candidate who is able to fullfil all expectations of Vietnamese people.

Luong Trong Nghia, her manager, confirmed with Tuoi Tre on Thursday: “She is too tired [for the position]. Mixed public opinions regarding her position really upset Ky’s mother and hurt her family. She does not want to be a disrespectful daughter.”

Nghia said Ky will continue to run her own business and is happy to give assistance to promote the country’s tourism any time.

He added Ky will be willing to be contacted by local media in the coming days, not today [March 14].

Praise and criticism

Despite mixed public opinion on her performance as last year’s ambassador, Ky, who is one of those credited with successfully promoting Ha Long Bay in the race to gain worldwide recognition as one of the new natural world wonders, stands a very good chance of becoming the new tourism ambassador, which is a voluntary and unpaid position, said a VnExpress report.

Armed with attractive looks, great popularity, excellent foreign language skills and good relations in art and business circles, Ky is capable of calling for financial support for Vietnamese tourism as well as making tourism promotion products on her own, Tran Nhat Hoang from the ministry noted.

The high-profile beauty is also very dedicated to the job, as she spent a considerable amount of time and her own money in promoting Ha Long Bay and helping Vietnam become the host of the Asian Games (ASIAD) in 2019, Hoang elaborated.

However, local press voiced concerns about the possibility of Ky’s reelection that her scandalous lifestyle may taint Vietnam's tourism reputation.

The hesitation mostly stemmed from some shocking recent public statements and scandals, including showing too much skin and showing off her wealth and deluxe costumes on the internet.

“We’re only responsible for Ky’s public statements as the tourism ambassador, we don’t care much about her personal life or scandals,” said Nguyen Van Tinh, head of the ministry’s International Cooperation Office.