Rashmi Verma, Secretary of the Indian Ministry of Tourism (third, left) and other delegates at the event (Photo: VNA)

HCM City, May 9 (VNA) – An Indian tourism promotion themed “Incredible India Roadshow 2018” was held in Ho Chi Minh City on May 8 by India’s Ministry of Tourism and General Consulate in the city, giving a chance for travel firms of the two sides to explore partnership opportunities.

Addressing the event, Rashmi Verma, Secretary of the Indian Ministry of Tourism said that that recently, the number of foreign tourists visiting India has increased. In 2017, India welcomed 1.8 million international visitors, with tourism growth reaching 15.6 percent.

Verma said that India boasts diverse natural, cultural and religious heritage such as temples, palaces, fortresses, along with many unique services such as meditation and yoga practice, rowing in Brahmaputra and Ganges Rivers, climbing and skiing in Himalaya range.

Health care tourism and yoga courses are also promising areas of India, she added.

Verma expressed her belief that the opening of a direct air route from Ho Chi Minh City to New Delhi by Vietjet Air later this year will pave the way for a boost in bilateral tourism cooperation.

India has implemented a many programmes to improve its human resources capacity and service quality, infrastructure system for tourism, while strengthening the application of information technology in visa services to give tourists easier access to India, she said.

Indian Ambassador in Vietnam P. Harish said that he believes that more Vietnamese tourists will visit India in the future.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, Vice Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism said that India is a promising tourism market of the city, adding that more efforts should be made to increase tourists between the two sides.

India was in the top 15 largest foreign markets of the city with 57,000 visitors travelling the city in 2017, a 10.4 percent rise over 2016.

In the first four months of 2018, 27,051 Indian visitors came to Ho Chi Minh City, up 37.81 percent year on year. Meanwhile, 18,630 Vietnamese tourists travelled India in 2017, noted Hoa.

At the event, a dialogue was also held for Vietnamese and Indian travel firms.-VNA