Tourism ministers from Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar met at two important meetings in Ho Chi Minh City on September 7, as part of the 13th International Travel Expo in the city (ITE HCMC 2017).
Regional tourism ministers meet in HCM City
The 3th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) and 4th Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam (CLMV) minister meetings both took place on the day. The ACMECS consists of CLMV countries and Thailand.
Addressing the function, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien stressed cooperation in the two mechanisms have promoted and connected tourist destinations across the region.
He highlighted the southern coastal corridor and East – West economic corridor which connect most countries in the region and the region with source markets.
Thien said he wants to joint regional ministers and delegates in looking for solutions to effectively implement the ACMECS and CLMV tourism action plans for 2016 – 2018, with a focus on promotion activities, connection, product development, engagement of private sector and local communities, and human resources.
He said the conference is an opportunities for regional ministers to work for better coordination in line with the Hanoi Declaration of the 7th ACMECS Summit and Joint Statement of the 8th CLMV Summit.
Nguyen Thanh Phong, Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, took the occasion to introduce the southern economic hub’s potentials, saying it hosted 2.7 million foreigners in the first six months of 2017, an annual increase of 14 percent.
The city aims to make tourism a spearheaded sector by 2020, he noted.
In 2016, the five countries together welcomed 54.8 million international visitors, up 4.9 percent from 2015. The number of intra-region tourists amounted to 8.95 million.
International Travel Expo HCM City underway
The 13th International Travel Expo HCM City (ITE HCMC), entitled “Your gateway to tourism in Asia”, opened at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre (SECC) on September 7.
Jointly held by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and the city’s Department of Tourism, the three-day event brings together more than 700 foreign tour operators from with 40 countries and territories, including the US, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, China, Japan and Southeast Asian countries.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Director of the municipal Department of Tourism Bui Ta Hoang Vu said the fair is an important event to promote Vietnamese tourism among international friends and enhance cooperation in developing the tourism industry among countries.
Apart from an array of networking events, it hosts a series of high-powered seminars on different topics, including those relating to major tourism markets in 2017 and the development of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) tourism in HCM City. Business matching event, online pre-appointments, and buyer-seller meetings also take place.
This year’s event features ITE Awards for the first time to honour travel companies who have made significant contributions to the expo.
Launched in 2005, the annual ITE HCMC is a major international tourism event that connects five lower Mekong countries including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam for both inbound and outbound markets.
In 2016, the expo attracted 270 exhibitors from 17 countries and territories worldwide as well as 32 Vietnamese localities. More than 26,000 people visited the event while over 3,600 meetings between sellers and buyers took place.
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