|Temple of Literature: The Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam in Ha Noi, a famous tourism destination. — VNS Photo Minh Dong
HA NOI (VNS) — The Viet Nam International Travel Mart (VITM) 2015 officially opened in Ha Noi yesterday, adopting the theme "Viet Nam – The Land of Heritage."
Officials said this year would focus on introducing natural and cultural heritages that have won UNESCO recognition, as well as numerous other attractive destinations in Viet Nam.
Images of the country's long-standing cultural traditions, beautiful natural environment, diverse cuisine and friendly people will be promoted widely, said Vu The Binh, chairman of the Viet Nam Society of Travel Agents (VISTA), co-organiser of the event.
"We selected the theme to impress on our international partners that Viet Nam is rich in heritage, beauty spots and natural resources to develop tourism," he said.
"The issue is how Government, travel businesses and people can co-operate with each other to bring these values to the world.
"Organising the VITM is part of efforts to promote Vietnamese tourism to international friends and offer an opportunity for domestic and foreign tourism businesses to exchange and seek co-operation contracts to expand markets," said Toshak Chokhani, director of the Abatera Group from Dubai (UAE).
Chokhani said this was the second time his firm was participating in the VITM.
"The VITM provides a place for travel agents to promote their business and seek partners. I have found precious opportunities to have more Vietnamese tourists visit Dubai and to understand more about Viet Nam, which is a big promising market."
Presenting their products and services at 496 booths are 355 domestic travel companies from 44 provinces and cities, alongside 141 other booths taken by firms from 24 countries and territories around the world.
Many booths have eye-catching facades that imitate the architecture and other features of beauty spots in Viet Nam and other countries.
The space at the Viet Nam Exhibition Fair Centre also highlights iconic sites of Ha Noi, like Van Mieu (the Temple of Literature) while a lotus pond invites people to visit the southern province of Dong Thap. An onion field represents Ly Son Island in the central province of Quang Ngai.
Numerous workshops and forums discussing tourism activities, including a seminar on Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism (ESRT) and another on how to increase the attraction of Ha Noi's tourism products will be held during the five-day event.
At the fair, businesses are offering discounts of 20-50 per cent on the prices of around 8,000 tours. Thousands of cheap tickets are also up for grabs.
Various art performances will take place during the event including Korea's bibap show, a non-verbal performance based on a signature dish of Korea - bibimbap (mixed vegetable rice dishes and beef); a fusion of traditional and pop music from Korea; Thailand's famous Muay Thai (kickboxing); Malaysia's Teh Tarik (making pulled tea) and Vietnamese traditional music.
Initiated in 2013, the travel mart has been able to attract increasing numbers of foreign participant to emerge as the largest such event in the country.
The 2015 VITM is expected to attract around 65,000 visitors.
It will run until Monday at the Viet Nam Exhibition Fair Centre, 148 Giang Vo Street, Ha Noi. — VNS