Photo: Duc Anh
Forum the most important tourism event in the ASEAN region.
Vietnam will hold the ASEAN Tourism Forum (AFT) 2019, with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism assigned to make preparations.
The AFT is the largest and most important tourism gathering among ASEAN countries. A wide range of important events will be held within the framework of the forum, such as a meeting of ASEAN tourism ministers, a meeting of ASEAN tourism ministers and China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and India, a meeting of ASEAN tourism departments, and Travel Exchange (an annual ASEAN leisure travel trade event), among others.
As host country Vietnam has the opportunity to promote and introduce its tourism sector to seek cooperative partners.
A Tourism Ministerial Round Table will be organized to discuss the Pakse Declaration, which expresses a desire within ASEAN to integrate its ecotourism destinations. The theme of AFT 2016 is “Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community”.
‘’Vietnam is one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in Southeast Asia, driven by the entrance of international hoteliers, an improved visa policy, and investment into key infrastructure,” the Asian Cities Report Vietnam Hospitality, produced by real estate consultants Savills Vietnam in first half of this year, stated.
Vietnam has been listed by the World Tourism Organization in the Top 5 ASEAN countries in terms of visitor numbers, with approximately 8 million arrivals in 2015 and a compound annual growth rate of 9 per cent over the last five years, the report noted.
First half figures from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) auger well for Vietnam reaching its target of welcoming 8.5 million international tourists and catering to 60 million domestic tourists this year, VNAT believes. The target of VND370 trillion ($16.56 million) in revenue is also well within reach.
Tourist arrivals from Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia all grew in the double digits. Arrivals from Northeast Asia have also seen high growth. Those from Hong Kong increased 128.3 per cent, China 47.9 per cent, South Korea 34 per cent, Taiwan 15.8 per cent, and Japan 12.4 per cent.
Arrivals from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, which have visa exemptions, all saw impressive growth in the first half. Growth in German, Italian, UK, Spanish, and French arrivals was 117.1 per cent, 30.1 per cent, 24.6 per cent, 22.7 per cent and 13.8 per cent, respectively.
The Association of Tour Operators of Russia said that in the first quarter Russian tourist arrivals in Vietnam were the highest in Europe. Arrivals from Russia totaled 108,750, followed by the UK with 68,600 and France 67,500. Russian tourists heading to Vietnam have grown strongly since Russia closed its tourism representative offices in Turkey and Egypt. In 2015 arrivals from Russia were 130,000.