VNAT’s Chairman Nguyen Trung Khanh: India is an important market for ASEAN, pushing cooperation in digital technology, culture and gastronomy tourism

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- Authorized by the Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, on February 5, 2021, VNAT’s Chairman Nguyen Trung Khanh attended the 8th online Meeting of ASEAN - India Tourism Ministers.

Speaking at the meeting, Chairman Nguyen Trung Khanh emphasized that India is an important market for ASEAN and ASEAN-India tourism cooperation has always been a special priority, taking into account the growing needs of the Indian middle class to travel abroad.

From 2015 to 2019, Indian tourists to Viet Nam increased rapidly with an average annual growth rate of 27%. The first direct flight route between Viet Nam and India was opened in 2019, contributing to the growth of ASEAN-India tourist exchange.

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the tourism performance between ASEAN and India, as well as interrupted some planned activities in 2020. The Chairman hoped that when international tourism is confident to re-open, the promotional campaigns and cooperation activities will resume with the active supports and collaboration from India, especially in digital technology and innovation, culture and gastronomy tourism.

There is a great opportunity for rebound tourists flow between ASEAN and India post-pandemic, however, the challenges are also significant. Therefore, Viet Nam calls for the support, determination and the active participation of all member states and India to implement the ASEAN-India Tourism Cooperation Work Plan 2020-2022, and to encourage the cooperation of private partners at all levels on ASEAN projects, mobilizing greater resources for tourism rebound.

The Chairman believed that with the joint efforts of ASEAN and India, tourism performance will be soon recovered.

Indian tourists visited Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province (Source: Internet)

ASEAN Secretary informed the outcomes of meeting on the tourism-related of the 37th ASEAN Summit and the 17th ASEAN-India Summit held on 12 November 2020, through video conferencing.

The year 2019 was the ASEAN-India Tourism Cooperation Year, some activities had been implemented including: ASEAN-India Film Festival in Mumbai in August 2019; Introduction of the ASEAN-India Tourism Year Cooperation at SATTE 2019 Fair in New Delhi and international travel fairs in ASEAN (eg. ITE-HCMC 2019 in Vietnam); Organizing Indian tourism roadshows in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia; Training course for ASEAN chefs in India; Organizing the Indian tourism survey trips for the media from ASEAN.

It is planed that the training course for ASEAN chefs in India will be implemented in 2021.

Tourism Information Technology Center