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Saigon Beer-obsessed province bans tourist area shops from selling other brands

Saturday, September 26, 2015, 13:58 GMT+7
Saigon Beer-obsessed province bans tourist area shops from selling other brands
Saigon Beer banners are seen in front of stores in Thien Cam tourist area in Ha Tinh Province, located in north-central Vietnam.

Restaurants in a tourist area in the north-central Vietnamese province of Ha Tinh, which has made waves as the alleged loyalist supporter of Saigon Beer, will be admonished, and even penalized, if they are found selling other beer brands.

Pham Danh Hiep, deputy head of the Thien Cam tourist attraction in Cam Xuyen District, did not conceal the bizarre regulation as he spoke to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Friday.

“Almost every business here has to sign written commitment to only sell Saigon Beer with local authorities,” Hiep said.

Visitors of the tourist area may be surprised to see all hotels and restaurants are open behind the ad panels for the beer brand.

Business owners said they are required to do so as per the request from the area management board.

“We are all told to sell Saigon Beer, and during the peak season, we will be reprimanded or fined if they find us putting other beer brands on sale,” a restaurant owner said on condition of anonymity.

Before the peak travel seasons, the Thien Cam management board will cooperate with relevant agencies to hold a meeting with service providers in the tourist area, and tell them the benefits of selling Saigon Beer, Hiep revealed.

Local residents in the nearby Cam Yen Commune, in the meantime, will be reminded of the policy of “drinking Saigon Beer to support the province’s budget revenue collection” every morning via the public loudspeaker system.

“We just follow the fiat by the Cam Xuyen District administration,” Nguyen Quoc Sy, chairman of the Cam Yen Commune, told Tuoi Tre.

Such a way of spreading the message has been in place for three years and has “yielded practical results,” Sy said.

Saigon Beer now accounts for 70 percent of the sales of alcoholic drinks in the commune, he added.

People in Loc Ha District too are asked to do so twice a week also via the loudspeakers.

Saigon Beer is a brand of the Saigon Beer - Alcohol - Beverage Joint Stock Corporation, commonly known as Sabeco and which is Vietnam’s largest brewery.

The Saigon Beer-Ha Tinh brewery annually contributes around VND380 billion (US$16.96 million) to the province’s budget revenue, according to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade.

It has been revealed that the Ha Tinh administration wants to hike sales for the Saigon Beer-Ha Tinh brewery as much as possible to collect bigger tax revenue from the company.

Ha Tinh authorities will thus not miss any opportunity to encourage local residents to consume Saigon Beer made by the local brewery.

The provincial administration has issued many fiats requesting public servants, state offices, businesses and consumers to drink products of Saigon Beer-Ha Tinh brewery, and beverage shops in the province are also asked to persuade their patrons to only use the domestically-made alcoholic drink.

Seven officials of the provincial education department have even been admonished for not drinking Saigon Beer in their party earlier this month.

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