HCM City has eyes on India as potential tourism market hinh anh 1A corner of HCM City (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City’s Tourism Department is launching plans to attract more visitors from India, which is considered a market of great potential.

At the May meeting on socio-economic issues of the municipal People’s Committee on May 30, Director of the department Bui Ta Hoang Vu said his agency is working with several airlines to promote Vietnam to India. He noted that while 1.6 million Indians travelled to Thailand in 2017, only 170,000 visited Vietnam.

The low-cost airline Vietjet Air is scheduled to open direct flights between HCM City and India this September.

The Tourism Department has developed products designed for this market and held some tourism promotion activities in the country.

Vu added that the department has also asked local restaurants to design dishes specifically for Indian guests.

It was reported at the meeting that an estimated 566,390 foreign tourists arrived in the city in May, up 37 percent year on year. Revenues from tourism came to around 9.3 trillion VND (over 406 million USD), up 3.03 percent.

For the January-May period, the total number of foreign arrivals was 3.18 million, a 32 percent increase, while tourism revenues were estimated at 51.65 trillion VND, up 14.8 percent.

A recent survey jointly conducted by the Tourism Department and the municipal Statistics Office showed tourists both domestic and foreign stay for an average 5 days in the city and spend around 145 USD a day, which showed a reduction in stay duration compared to a survey of the Vietnam National Tourism Administration in 2013 but the spending stays the same.

Chairman of the People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong stressed that tourism has been defined as a spearhead economic sector of the city. He urged the sector to study ways to keep visitors stay longer.-VNA