Vietnam to showcase heritage sites at int'l travel expo this month

By Minh Hung, Thanh Nien News

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A booth that promotes the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap at the 2014 International Travel Expo. Photo credit: ITE HCMC A booth that promotes the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap at the 2014 International Travel Expo. Photo credit: ITE HCMC

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Vietnam will use the 2015 International Travel Expo next week as a platform to promote its world heritage sites to international tourists. 
“Heritage sites are Vietnam’s outstanding tourism attractions in the region, including Phong Nha Ke Bang, Hue, Hoi An and My Son,” Nguyen Quoc Hung, deputy director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said at a press briefing on Wednesday.
The 11th International Travel Expo (ITE) will be organized at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) in District 7 from September 10-12, with 350 exhibitors from 27 countries and territories in Asia Pacific.
The annual event, which was first launched in 2005, is jointly organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, HCMC People’s Committee, and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
Hung said Vietnam’s exhibition space will be larger this year, featuring four major tourism products: cultural, sea, eco and urban tourism.
“Two provinces hosting Vietnam National Tourism Year in 2015 and 2016, Thanh Hoa and Kien Giang, will also have larger areas to introduce their products at the event.”
Ho Chi Minh City canal boat tour, which was launched on September 1, will also be promoted at the event.
One day ahead of the exhibition, tourism minister Hoang Tuan Anh will sign bilateral cooperation agreements in tourism with his counterparts from Southeast Asian countries.
“Bilateral agreements will focus on specific and strong areas of each country for better cooperation,” Hung said.
Vietnam has signed the “Five countries – One destination” pact with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.
Hung said Vietnam is looking to expand ties with Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
Main events
According to Nguyen Bao Anh, deputy director of HCMC Tourism Promotion Center, 27 cities and provinces in Vietnam will introduce their tourism products at the expo, which has seen an annual growth of 15-20 percent in terms of visitors.
“The 2015 expo is expected to host 210 quality international buyers from key international markets and 100 regional buyers with an expected 28,000 visitors,” he said.
A cave in Phong Nha Ke Bang, one of the UNESCO Heritage Sites in Vietnam to be promoted at the 2015 International Travel Expo. Photo credit: Quang Binh Tourism
Eight seminars will be held during the event, including discussions on the Mekong heritage road, top Asia Pacific cities, international visitors in Vietnam, and tourism markets in Germany, France, Indonesia and India.
A photo gallery, themed “Beauty of ASEAN Community" and “Amazing ASEAN,” will feature photos of major attractions and diverse cultural aspects of the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Popular bands and artists in the region will perform during the event.
A golf tournament of Mekong river sub-region countries will be organized on September 11 at the Thu Duc Golf Course.
The expo is open to trade visitors from September 9-11 and to the public on September 12, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
There will be promotions for tours, flight tickets and lucky draws at the event.
Last year, ITE HCMC attracted 320 exhibiting companies from 21 countries and welcomed 22,000 international and domestic visitors, a 20 percent increase over 2013.

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