By Netpal Travel Bureau
On August 17, India-Vietnam Tourism Promotion Conference held in Ho Chi Minh City, government officials and industry representatives from both countries met to discuss how they can promote inbound tourism from India.
Organised by the Consulate General of India in Ho Chi Minh City, the meeting was graced by Pham Van Thuy, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and Pranay Verma, the Indian Ambassador to Vietnam.
Recognising that business connections between travel firms in both countries are crucial to growing the travel market in Vietnam, 34 travel companies from both countries held discussions and exchanged tourism information to drum up demand for travel by Indians to Vietnam.
Besides leisure travellers, Vietnam is keen to promote itself as MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) destination and also as an overseas wedding venue.
In July, a group of 460 business leaders spent three days in Hi Chi Minh City on a trip organised by B2B travel company Asia Destination Management (Asia DMC).
Vietnam has been actively encouraging Indians to visit their country through a series of bilateral conferences and other activities including sponsored trips for businesses. VNAT is hoping that these activities will enable its travel industry to tap into a market which has a population of 1.4 billion.
According to Tran Phong Binh, Deputy Director of Tourism Marketing Department, VNAT, 20 million Indians travel abroad for holidays every year. He said, “Vietnam owns amazing scenic spots and a series of famous tourist destinations such as Ha Noi, Ha Long Bay, Sa Pa, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City, etc. Vietnam has full potential to attract Indian visitors to come, travel and relax.” In his speech, he pointed out that the number of Indian visitors to Vietnam remains modest and an important way to boost this is for better connectivity between the two countries.
Direct flights between the cities are a key factor to promote travel as travellers do not usually enjoy sitting in the airport transit area of a third country, sometimes for hours, waiting for a connecting flight. A direct flight between an Indian city and a Vietnamese one takes about five to six hours but connecting via Bangkok or Singapore could double the travel time to 10 or 12 hours.