Co To island in northern Quang Ninh province (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) -
Vietnam welcomed more than 39,500 Italian tourists in the first eight months of 2017, with more Italian tourists expected, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

Speaking at a workshop held in Ho Chi Minh City on September 7 as part of the International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City 2017, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien said the number of Italian visitors to Vietnam has grown annually by 13-18 percent in recent years.

The event allows Vietnamese and Italian travel companies to explore tourism cooperation and popularise their products, he said.

Italian Undersecretary of State for Cultural Heritage and Tourism Dorina Bianchi said though the number of Italian visitors to Vietnam is not big, her country’s people are interested in new emerging destinations, including Vietnam.

Vietnam’s nature advantages and delicious food will attract tourists, she said, adding that enhancing bilateral tourism cooperation, including the launch of a direct air route between Vietnam and Italy, will help optimise potential in the field.

Additionally, if visa exemptions for Italian holidaymakers are extended to more than 15 days, it could help promote tourism growth, she noted.-VNA