New Delhi – A webinar on the
prospects for Vietnam-India tourism cooperation in the post-pandemic era was held
on September 17, bringing together representatives from some 200 travel
companies, hotels, and media agencies in the two countries.
Aiming to identify measures to recover and foster
the two countries’ tourism sectors in the “new normal” following the pandemic, the
was co-held by the Embassy of Vietnam in India, the Policy Times
newspaper, and the Millennial India International Chamber of Commerce –
Industry and Agriculture (MIICCIA).
It was the second programme in the 2020
Vietnam-India Business Forum, which is hoped to connect enterprises in various
fields from the two countries.
Vietnam-India tourism cooperation has thrived in
recent years, especially since the launch of direct air routes. Like so many
things, though, it has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Delegates at the webinar affirmed that Vietnam and
India hold huge potential in tourism cooperation.
Though now is still not a suitable time to resume
tourism cooperation fully, the webinar offered the chance for the two sides to
discuss the obstacles and challenges facing the tourism sectors and prepare
stimulus programmes once the pandemic is brought under control.
It also helped travel companies and hotels introduce
products and bolster their cooperation, thereby enhancing relations between the
two countries in general.
Addressing the webinar, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Ha Van Sieu called on authorities, organisations, and businesses in both countries to
bolster their engagement to overcome the challenges presented by the pandemic.
In addition to support from the Governments, he
proposed introducing flexible booking policies for tourists and urged airlines,
travel companies, and service providers to join hands and share information to
overcome this time of hardship, as well as devise plans on setting up travel
corridors to promote safe travel after COVID-19.
He added that in the post-pandemic era, tourism
management agencies, tourism associations, and tourism businesses in Vietnam
and India need to foster cooperation to address the consequences of
restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 and to explore opportunities
to re-open, attract investment, and arrange exchanges and air links.
Thanks to tourism promotions, the number of Indian holidaymakers
coming to Vietnam increased 25 percent each year from 2016 to 2019, while
Vietnamese visitors to India rose 17 percent.
In 2019 alone, close to 30,000 Vietnamese travelled to
India, while about 170,000 Indians visited Vietnam./.