HÀ NỘI — The Indian Tourism Ministry is discussing with Vietnamese counterparts to issue favourable policies for Vietnamese travel agencies, who bring more guests to India, according to a representative.
Gyan Bhushan, economic adviser at the ministry, said India received around 10.56 million foreign tourists in 2018, an increase of 5.2 per cent over 2017.
“A total of 31,427 tourists from Việt Nam visited India last year, which marked a growth of 32.21 per cent against the previous year,” he said at the Incredible India Roadshow event held in Hà Nội on August 26.
“We aim to encourage a greater flow of tourists from Việt Nam through a multi-pronged approach, including proactive marketing strategies in partnership with the tourism stakeholders.”
The event gathered 17 tour operators, destination management companies and tourism departments from two State governments of India, who met dozens of counterparts in Việt Nam to introduce their tourism products and services.
Bhushan said Indian tourism authorities have set up free hotlines 24/7 for tourists in 12 languages to assist tourists in need.
“The line will be soon available in Vietnamese,” he said.
Bhushan said India aims to double the number of foreign tourists in the next five years.
He said Indian companies will promote tours attracting Vietnamese people like spiritual tours to Buddhism sites in the Himalaya range and health tours to practise yoga and meditation.
“We will exploit fresh routes that are not yet popular,” he said. “Besides, food demands of Vietnamese tourists will be a focus. We will send chefs to get trained in Việt Nam or invite Vietnamese chefs to India to train local chefs.”
Bhushan said direct flights between Hà Nội and Calcutta, and between HCM City, Hà Nội and New Delhi will be opened later this year.
A Vietnamese representative from a local travel agency (right) meets with a representative of an Indian travel agency at the event. As many as 17 Indian travel agencies took part in the event. — VNS Photo Lê Hương
“We will organise more FAM tours for tour operators in Việt Nam to India,” he said.
The tourism ministry has launched a new Incredible India website and a mobile app which showcases India as a holistic destination, listing major experiences like spirituality, heritage, adventure, culture, yoga and wellness.
India introduced e-visa facility to nationals of 169 countries including Việt Nam, valid for entry through 28 designated airports and five designated seaports.
“I’m impressed with development and economic and tourism growth rate of India in the past few years,” said Ngô Hoài Trung, vice chairman of the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism.
“In the past three years, the growth in tourist exchange between the two countries remains high, 30 per cent per year on average. Last year, more than 131,000 Indian visitors came to Việt Nam.”
Pranay Verma, Indian ambassador to Việt Nam, highly appreciated Việt Nam’s tourism potential to Indian tourists, in his speech at the event.
“India and Việt Nam have a lot to learn from each other through experience-sharing in the field,” he stressed.
“There have been lots of efforts from both sides in recent years to enhance tourism co-operation,” he said. “Many roadshows have been organised in Việt Nam and India for publishing tourist potentials of both countries. There has also been a proposal for encouraging Bollywood film makers to shoot films in Việt Nam for attracting Indian tourists to Việt Nam.”
However, the ambassador was not satisfied with the number of tourists exchanged between the two countries.
“I think such a roadshow is a good opportunity for me to get closer to Vietnamese counterparts,” Peter Damian, managing director of Imaginesindia Tours, told Việt Nam News.
Damian said before joining the event, he did not know anything about the Vietnamese market.
“I believe in my first impression,” he said. “Vietnamese people are so friendly. I have talked to some potential partners in Việt Nam here and hope to set up long relationships with them.”
India will organise the second edition of India's most definite inbound B2B event, the India Tourism Mart 2019 (ITM-2019) on September 23-25, 2019 in New Delhi. — VNS