Hanoi (VNA) - 2020 is expected to be a year of positive changes for the tourism sector from quantity to quality, with heritage as one of the strategic points.

At the Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) Hanoi 2020, Vu The Binh, Standing Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association (VITA), gave his opinions on the matter.

A different travel mart

Question: Can you explain why the organiser has chosen “Heritage – Power of Vietnam Tourism” as the theme of the 2020 VITM, which will take place from April 1 – 4?

Vu The Binh: The theme “Heritage – Power of Vietnam Tourism” is suitable to the sector’s development trend. It is because our country has plenty of heritage, which makes our tourism different from other nations. The exploitation, conservation, and promotion of heritage are always an important orientation of Vietnam and the tourism sector is required to follow it.

Question: With the theme, what are the highlights and differences from previous editions the fair will bring about this year?

Vu The Binh: The 8th VITM has been elevated to a national event so all of its activities will also be held at the national level.

Apart from providing stalls for businesses to introduce products to customers and the space for them to connect and cooperate with each other, the fair is looking forward to creating a big tourism forum discussing the sector’s current and future growth.

A number of events of this kind include a national forum on “Heritage – Power of Vietnam Tourism”; and an open forum on Vietnam tourism that will enable firms, researchers and tourism fans discuss the future development of the sector.

Heritage a unique feature drawing foreigners to Vietnam hinh anh 1Visitors on their journey to discover the Trang An scenic site (Photo: VietnamPlus).

Vietnam’s tourism is growing very fast, but it also needs to change from quantity to quality, and B2B (Business to Business) activities will help solve the matter. This year, the mart will welcome a large delegation from the American Society of Travel Agents.

We are also organizing a ceremony to honour outstanding businesses and individuals in the sector.

A “tourism for the future” activity that stages skits played by students majoring in tourism will also take place.

The fair this year consist of enticing activities which are classified into different categories. We hope the VITM will become an open forum and a national festival of the sector.

Heritage a unique feature drawing foreigners to Vietnam hinh anh 2International tourists purchase silver handicrafts in Hoi An. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Heritage: a big draw for international visitors

Question: The “Heritage – Power of Vietnam Tourism” forum is certain to feature a lot of interesting contents, isn’t it?

Vu The Binh: We should seek ways to turn resources of some regions into tourism resources. As you see, in some places a flash flood can sweep away an entire village together with its natural heritage.

So what ideas do enterprises have to deal with this? Can we plant forest for tourism? Can we restore natural resources through tourism activities?

We want to hold an open forum for good ideas to be presented and success stories shared. We have to move on in a methodical, ideological, and experienced manner.

Question: What is the expectation the organiser has for this year’s VITM as it is now a national event?

Vu The Binh: The organiser hopes to see the highest number of participants to date. Currently, more than 85 percent of our stalls have been booked already. I am sure that there is no room available for late comers.

Secondly, we hope the event will have good quality as I have said before. We expect there will be about 250 countries joining the fair. We have received registration for participation from 45 localities. As such, the scale of the event will be larger.

Heritage a unique feature drawing foreigners to Vietnam hinh anh 3International visitors select made-in-Vietnam souvenir crafts. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Question: Considering the mart’s theme highlighting heritage tourism, what is your assessment about this kind of tourism in Vietnam?

Vu The Binh: Tourism must rely on resources to grow, and heritage is one of the most important resources of Vietnam.

Our country has a culture that dates back a long time ago and has heritage that is interesting enough to lure visitors. The point is how we will turn it into tourism products in a suitable and profitable manner.

We exploit heritage but we must preserve it at the same time. If we don’t exploit, it is hard to preserve well. The harmony between those two sides through specific actions is what we want to achieve.

Talking about Vietnam is talking about heritage. That is why the VITM 2020 aims at increasing the presentation level of heritage in tourism and honoring heritage to make them a big draw to tourists./.

Heritage a unique feature drawing foreigners to Vietnam hinh anh 4In relic sites, Vietnamese heritage attracts a large number of visitors (Photo: VietnamPlus)