Vietnam International Travel Fair in City Grows Popular
International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City 2007, scheduled for early next month, has become an increasingly popular event for sellers and buyers of travel products from around the world as many more have put their names down to join the annual event.
Local and foreign exhibitors have registered for 145 booths at the event, shortly known as ITE 2007, which will take place from October 5 to 7 at Phu Tho Indoor Stadium, up over 40% compared to last fair, said a local tourism official.
Deputy head of tourism promotion under the city's Department of Tourism Ta Nam Binh told a press briefing on Wednesday that exhibitors in this year's event would include 10 foreign tourism bodies and 18 local tourism agencies.
There will also be operators of 58 hotels in Vietnam and golf courses, 49 Vietnam tour operators, seven destination providers, six airlines, and five others in related industries, who will showcase their products at the event, Binh said.
While the number of exhibitors is on the increase, the number of international buyers has also surged by 50% on last year's event to over 110 travel international agencies, most from key source markets for Vietnam's tourism, Binh said.
"Nearly half of the (above-mentioned) buyers will come from the U.S. and Europe, the two important markets for the city's tourism industry. We are very impressed with the result," he told reporters.
In this forthcoming event, several air carriers such as United Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, and Singapore Airlines have pledged to sponsor all air tickets for buyers. They have also helped the organizer to invite buyers to the fair, since such buyers are also clients of the airlines, said one representative.
"All buyers are our top tour operators. We invited them because they are interested in Vietnam as a destination," said Joe Mannix, general manager of United Airlines in Vietnam. The air carrier has invited 12 out of a total 30 U.S. buyers to ITE 2007.
Vietnam International Travel, this year's travel fair will be made more significant by commitments from regional countries to tighten tourism cooperation, as ministers of tourism from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia will cut a deal on the occasion, said La Quoc Khanh, deputy director of the Vietnam Tourism Department.
"The special event will add significance to the fair," Khanh said.
Nguyen Thi Minh Yen, deputy director of Vietnam Airlines' Southern Regional Office, said that the airlines would of for new air services linking the three destinations in the three Indochina countries at the fair.
The national flag carrier will also put some computers for guests to book tickets online at the Vietnam travel fair. "The fair is better than the last one so we've decided to sell more direct services to customers there," she said.
Vietnam International Travel, the fair this year will also see beauty queens in 2006 contests of Vietnam, Chile, Singapore and the Philippines who will act to promote tourism development in the region.
The annual fair is organized by the city's Tourism Department, Vinexad and Binet Exhibitions Pte Ltd., focusing on promoting the Vietnam tourism industry in the three Indochina countries-Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.