First int’l tourism fair opens in Hanoi

The first Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM)—featuring more than 100 foreign and 260 domestic stalls representing six airlines, 134 travel operators, and 105 hotels and resorts—opened in Hanoi on April 18.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan praised the organisation of the VITM, saying it meets the demands of both businesses and tourists.

He asked the Vietnam Tourism Association (VTA) to work closely with partners and businesses in the interests of maximising contributions to the tourism industry’s development through mobilising investment sources and improving its professionalism and effectiveness.

The government supports the annual hosting of such an event and encourages foreign friends to continue attending the event in the coming years.

VTA Deputy Chairman Vu The Binh highlighted tourism as a bright spot in Vietnam’s economy with its added values second only to crude oil exports.

The number of Vietnam’s international visitors has leapt from 1.3 million in 1995 to 6.8 million last year. Domestic traveller figures have also increased remarkably from 6.9 million to 32.5 million over the same period.

Despite encompassing more than 30,000 businesses and creating jobs for 1.5 million workers, tourism in Vietnam still faces daunting challenges to promote and improve its international reputation.