Model-turned-actress and businesswoman Lý Nhã Kỳ, the first tourism ambassador of Việt Nam, has announced her decision to quit the 2013 tourism ambassador race through a heartfelt letter and even refused to talk to media.
“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, Kỳ 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 helping raise public awareness of Việt Nam’s tourism development,” she continued.
She also remembered good memories “which helped her live a more meaningful life” when Hạ Long Bay was named one of world’s 7 new wonders of nature and Hà Nội was granted the right to host ASIA 2019 last year.
Kỳ hoped the country will find a more worthy candidate who is able to fullfil all expectations of Vietnamese people.
Lương Trọng Nghĩa, her manager, confirmed with Tuổi Trẻ on Thursday:
“She is too tired [for the position].
Mixed public opinions regarding her position really upset Kỳ’s mother and hurt her family.
She does not want to be a disrespectful daughter.”
Nghĩa said Kỳ will continue to run her own business and is happy to give assistance to promote the country’s tourism any time.
He added Kỳ will be willing to be contacted by local media in the coming days.
Praise and criticism
Despite mixed public opinion on her performance as last year’s ambassador, Kỳ, who is one of those credited with successfully promoting Hạ 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, Kỳ is capable of calling for financial support for Vietnamese tourism as well as making tourism promotion products on her own, Trần Nhật Hoàng 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 Hạ Long Bay and helping Việt Nam become the host of the Asian Games (ASIAD) in 2019, Hoàng elaborated.
However, local press voiced concerns about the possibility of Ky’s reelection that her scandalous lifestyle may taint Việt Nam’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 Kỳ’s public statements as the tourism ambassador, we don’t care much about her personal life or scandals,” said Nguyễn Văn Tình, head of the ministry’s International Cooperation Office.