The annual International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City, now in its 11th edition, will kick off next week with at least 6,000 business opportunity meetings between local and foreign firms, the organizers said.
The ITE HCMC 2015, which will take place in the southern Vietnamese metropolis from September 10 to 12, allows participants to schedule and book appointments and meetings beforehand via the free-of-charge Pre-scheduled Appointment System (PSA).
As of Thursday, the PSA had received 6,000 online bookings for meetings, the organizers said at a press meeting the same day.
The three-day event is being organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ho Chi Minh City administration and its Department of Tourism, and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
The organizers will supply help to those travel agents who fail to arrange meetings by Sunday and potential partners will work directly with one another at the event, taking place at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center in District 7.
The expo is expected to see 250 pavilions run by 350 international and regional buyers from 21 countries and territories, according to the organizers.
The organizers will also invite 210 international customers from 33 tourist markets to work with travel agents.
“These potential customers have been carefully selected by a consultant panel consisting of 18 leading tourism firms in Vietnam,” Nguyen Bao Anh, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Tourism Promotion, told reporters.
The expo this year is expected to attract 25,000 international and domestic visitors, with the presence of such exhibiting cities and countries as Berlin, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam.
One of the highlights of the ITE HCMC 2015 is that the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will sign bilateral cooperation deals on tourism with Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, according to Nguyen Quoc Hung, deputy head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
“At the previous ITE HCMC, Vietnam and these countries reached agreement on promoting the ‘Five Countries – One Destination’ campaign and the coming cooperation will realize such consent,” Hung added.
On its last day, September 12, the exhibition will be open to the public, allowing visitors to enjoy internationally renowned performances, fantastic lucky draw prizes and exhibitors featuring promotional travel programs such as discounted air tickets and seasonal tour packages, according to the organizers.
There will be free shuttle buses carrying visitors from Pham Ngu Lao Street in District 1 to the exhibition venue.
Since its maiden edition in 2005, the ITE HCMC has established itself as one of the most important trade platforms regionally and internationally.
The event last year was attended by 320 exhibiting companies from 21 countries and territories and welcomed 22,000 international and domestic visitors, a 20 percent increase from 2013, cementing its status as one of the fastest-growing international tourism trade events in the region, according to the organizers.