Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Le Khanh Hai (Centre) at the event (Photo: VNA)

Moscow (VNA) – A Vietnamese delegation led by Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Le Khanh Hai attended the 4th International Cultural Forum in Saint Petersburg, Russia on December 14-16.

As part of the activities to celebrate the 70th founding anniversary of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the event drawn the participation of over 7,000 delegates from nearly 40 countries worldwide.

In his opening speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed that culture plays a crucial role in society and is also important for each person.

A series of seminars focusing in culture and arts were organised during the event, which served​ as a venue for participants to enquire into humankind’s cultures.

In the framework of the forum and the third International Tourism Forum in Saint Petersburg, a plan to promote tourism links between Vietnam and Russia in 2016-2018 was signed by Russia’s Federal Agency for Tourism and the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST).

The document lays a foundation for the two countries to spur their cooperation in the exchange of tourists and in attracting visitors from third countries, thus forging the bilateral friendship and cooperation.

Under the plan, Vietnam and Russia will support each other in tourism promotion activities in respective nations, while exchanging information on important tourism events in each country.

Connections will also focus on developing investment and tourism projects in the two countries and training human resources.

Russia and Vietnam committed to facilitating the operation of their travel agencies to open representative offices in respective countries and boost tourism collaboration.

They agreed to strengthen coordination within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to promote their tourism products.

The document will help open new opportunities for Vietnam’s travel firms and tour operators to enlarge their activities in theRussian market, affirmed Le Ngoc Dinh, deputy head of the MCST’s International Cooperation Department.-VNA