At the opening ceremony (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Head of the State Steering Committee on Tourism, cut the ribbon to kick start the Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) 2018 in Hanoi on March 29.

He said tourism is expected to be an economic spearhead in the coming time to forge links between people from different countries and increase their solidarity, friendship and mutual understanding.

Tourism potential in Vietnam remains extremely huge and the Southeast Asian country hopes to join hands with other economies in the region and around the world to further promote tourism in the future.

The success of the tourism sector in Vietnam and other countries over the past time was attributed to open-door policies, Dam said.

Besides enterprises, people in each country have more deeply engaged in tourism development, serving as tourism ambassadors introducing the beauty of their land, people and culture to international friends, he added.

He called on people of Vietnam and other countries to coordinate to boost sustainable tourism development, contributing to developing a peaceful, stable and cooperative environment.

The VITM 2018 was held by the Vietnam Tourism Association under the theme “Online tourism – Vietnam moves towards Industry 4.0”, drawing over 670 travel businesses, hotels, tourism services and promotion centres from 21 countries and territories.

Forty-five out of the 63 cities and provinces across Vietnam are participating in the fair.

The event features a forum on online tourism, a symposium on preservation and development of Vietnamese traditional food, and a seminar on start-up in tourism.

At the fair, travel agencies and airlines launched a number of promotion programmes to increase the number of domestic and international tourists.

The VITM 2017 contributed roughly 220 billion VND (9.5 million USD) to the national tourism promotion programme, which is projected to go up in this year’s event.

The tourism fair will run until April 1.-VNA