|Tourism companies from 18 different countries and territories home and abroad gathered for the first Viet Nam International Travel Mart (VITM) yesterday in Ha Noi.
HA NOI (VNS)— Tourism companies from 18 different countries and territories home and abroad gathered for the first Viet Nam International Travel Mart (VITM) yesterday in Ha Noi.
The event has been identified as an invaluable opportunity for Viet Nam to promote its unique tourism brand to international friends and investors.
In his address to the opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan thanked organisers for their initiative.
"Holding such an event is very important as we try to develop tourism professionally and effectively and seek to understand the demand and taste of tourists," he said.
"While tourism is still suffering from the impact of the global economic crisis, the co-operation of travel agents and managers through the VITM will play an important role in promoting tourism. It gives enterprises a chance to overcome their troubles and develop their business."
Vice President of the Viet Nam Tourism Association Vu The Binh, who is also head of the VITM organisation board, said that local and foreign travel agents will be able to meet, share ideas and find partners at the fair.
"With the VITM, we want to create a prestigious, professional event to promote national tourism and make our country the first choice destination in the region," Binh said.
A section of the fair has been given the theme ‘Exploring the Hong (Red) River Delta – The Origin of Vietnamese Culture' and is a response to the National Tourism Year being celebrated in that region, which Binh said has abundant tourism potential which is still to be exploited.
The opening day of the fair included a seminar entitled ‘Promoting Cultural Heritage Value for Capital Tourism Development", which was attended by UNESCO Viet Nam representatives, international partners and local travel specialists.
"Viet Nam has an abundance of tourism resources in both urban and rural areas," commented Ando Kasuhiro, an expert from the Japan International Co-operation Agency. "I expect that they will be conserved and actively utilised for tourism. However tourism can bring both positive and negative impacts to a destination, so co-operation with local communities is essential to ensure that a place does not lose any of what makes it so special in the first place."
The first day of the fair also saw attendees visit workshops promoting tourism in South Korea, Malaysia and Cambodia and giving potential visitors a chance to understand these countries' cultures more deeply.
Malaysian delegates introduced traditional dance, singing and cuisine during the event while
South Korea highlighted the growing number of direct flights between Viet Nam and South Korea.
"This means it's the right time for the two countries to boost their tourism ties," said Binh.
In the next few days, the mart will run workshops on responsible tourism, green tourism, air tourism and human resources training.
The VITM will run until Sunday at the Culture - Friendship Palace, 91 Tran Hung Dao Street, Ha Noi. — VNS