India, Vietnam boost tourism cooperation

14:58 | 25/03/2015 Cooperation

A Vietnam-India tourism promotion programme was launched in New Delhi on March 24 by the Vietnamese Embassy in India and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

India, Vietnam boost tourism cooperation

Eight Vietnamese and dozens of Indian travel firms took part in the event.

The VNAT delegation introduced participants to the development of Vietnam’s tourism industry and attractive tourism programes and screened films on the country’s cultural identities, landscape and tourism sites.

VNAT General Director Nguyen Van Tuan said a wide range of programmes and activities have been implemented to strengthen bilateral cooperation, particularly tourism programmes since Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to India last October. India’s second largest airlines Jet Airways has launched direct flights to Vietnam. Meanwhile, Vietnam Airlines planned to open a direct air route to India to promote tourism cooperation.

Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, India emphasised that Vietnam boasts of many attractive tourism destinations and traditional dishes, and the two countries share many spiritual and cultural similarities. With effective promotion programmes, Vietnam will lure more Indian visitors.

Bila pointed out that the key factor to spur tourism cooperation between the two countries is to open direct flights. The recent signing of an agreement between India and Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport would be an important legal framework for transport connectivity between the two countries.

In the framework of the programme, Counsellor of the Embassy of Vietnam in India, Tran Quang Tuyen said bilateral tourism cooperation has remained modest. The number of Indian visitors to Vietnam increased from 12,000 in 2007 to 55,000 in 2014, but accounted for only 0.07% of total foreign arrivals to Vietnam and 0.03% of the total number of Indian outbound tourists.

Meanwhile, only 12,000 Vietnamese tourists arrive in India annually, mainly to visit Buddha’s relics like Gaya, Varanasi and Kushinagar.

The figures demonstrate that tourism cooperation lags behind other fields in strategic partnership between the two countries, Tuyen said.

Earlier, Ambassador to India Ton Sinh Thanh and VNAT General Director Nguyen Van Tuan held a meeting with Bila and directors of some Indian travel firms.

Ambassador Thanh suggested that the two governments should help their airlines open direct flights and advertise tourism to elevate bilateral tourism cooperation.

 Source VOV News