Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Fifty Vietnamese companies met with 15 major tour operators from India at B2B meetings held during the “Incredible India Road Show” on Tuesday in HCM City.
The Indian delegation of officials and tour operators led by Rashmi Verma, secretary of India’s Ministry of Tourism, organised the roadshow for the first time in Việt Nam to strengthen relations in the tourism sector.
Last year was the Year of Friendship commemorating the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership between the two countries, said P. Harish, Ambassador of India in Việt Nam.
Strong tourism cooperation and people-to-people relations are seen as key elements of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries.
The establishment of a direct flight between HCM City and New Delhi by VietJet Air later this year will provide a firm foundation for enhancing bilateral tourism, he said.
“There is huge untapped potential for deepening and widening Buddhist circuit visits to India by Vietnamese, to include places of Buddhist pilgrimage in southern and western India.
“There is also huge untapped potential for medical tourism, keeping in view India’s world-class hospitals and medical infrastructure, and the expertise of Indian doctors and physicians,” he said.
“We are also looking to further expand wellness tourism and yoga retreats in India to cater to the interests of Vietnamese.”
Nguyễn Thị Ánh Hoa, deputy director of HCM City’s Department of Tourism, said the Indian market is one of the markets with potential that need promoting to increase the number of visitors between the two countries.
India is in the top 15 among international visitors in Việt Nam, with 57,000 Indians visiting HCM City last year, an increase of 10.4 per cent compared to the previous year, Hoa said.
Indian arrivals reached more than 27,000 in first four months of 2018.
India is one of the favourite destinations of many Vietnamese visitors, especially for spiritual, cultural and healthcare tours.
Last year, the number of Vietnamese visitors to India was 18,630, she said.
Indian tourism secretary Verma said the Indian tourism outlook was very promising, with an upswing in the growth of foreign tourist arrivals in India in recent years.
In 2017, India received 10.18 million foreign tourists with a growth rate of 15.6 per cent.
India has a rich and diverse natural, cultural and religious heritage which provides a unique opportunity for tourism, according to Verma. —VNS