Vietnam plans to open ‘Kong tourist route’ as movie hits screens

The country has also officially appointed director Jordan Vogt-Roberts as its tourism ambassador

A screenshot of Kong: Skull Island movie

Vietnam wants to make more use of the ‘Vietnamese factor’ in the Hollywood blockbuster Kong: Skull Island than just appointing its director as the country’s tourism ambassador.

The film, a reboot of the King Kong franchise, hit theatres worldwide on Friday as the Vietnamese tourism ministry officially announced that it had appointed director Jordan Charles Vogt-Roberts as the country’s tourism ambassador for the 2017-20 tenure.

The U.S. filmmaker was the only nominee for the post, having won 100 percent approval vote by a council on Thursday.

The major part of Kong: Skull Island was shot last year in three Vietnamese provinces in the north and north-central regions, namely Quang Binh, Ninh Binh and Quang Ninh.

Nguyen Van Tuan, director general of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), has therefore come up with the idea of creating a tourist route, to be named the “Kong: Skull Island Road in Vietnam,” which will connect the three said provinces.

The VNAT chief announced his plan at a meeting on Friday, tasking relevant agencies with studying the feasibility of opening such a route.

The VNAT also has plans to invite world-famous tourism bloggers to visit and write about the movie’s settings in Vietnam.

The fact that the movie has 70 percent of its content shot in Vietnam would also be a plus for Vietnam to promote its tourism at international fairs, the tourism director added.

“The movie’s worldwide premiere has already been the greatest promotion for Vietnam,” Tuan said.

“What we need to do next is taking advantage of this effect to increase the number of international tourists to Vietnam, and provide the best experiences to them.”

Vietnam was one of the three destinations selected for filming of the “Kong: Skull Island”, the others being Hawaii and Australia.

In Vietnam the film was shot in Trang An, Van Long and Tam Coc in the northern province of Ninh Binh; Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Rao Nan River and Yen Phu Lake in the central province of Quang Binh, and Ha Long Bay in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh.

Director turns tourism ambassador

A decision to appoint director Jordan Vogt-Roberts as Vietnam’s tourism ambassador in the next three years was signed on Friday by Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien.

The decision takes effect from this month.

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 (L to R): Actor Tom Hiddleston, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and actress Brie Larson from Kong: Skull Island pose for a picture as they were in Vietnam for filming the blockbuster in 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Tuan underlined that the director has been selected not only because he had chosen Vietnam as the settings for his movie, but also because of his love for the country.

Jordan Vogt-Roberts has said he is happy to accept the post, and had been willing to provide his profile to complete necessary appointment paperwork as requested by the Vietnamese side, according to the VNAT chief.

He is expected to introduce Vietnam, its people and tourism to worldwide audiences of his films.

“His appearance and role will help to promote Vietnam to the world, then increase the number of foreign tourists, especially in English-speaking markets, to Vietnam”, Tuan said.

The director has also been the first-ever foreigner to be awarded the post and will work to promote Vietnam’s tourism through activities related to communication, art, and photography, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

According to the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism’s regulations, a tourism ambassador is responsible to attend events to promote Vietnamese tourism in the country and abroad.

He or she will also cooperate with domestic and foreign organizations to mobilize social resources for the promotion of Vietnamese tourism.

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