Embassy of The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in association with The Policy Times and Millennial India International Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture jointly organized ‘Indo-Vietnam Business Forum 2020| Prospects for Post Covid Tourism between Vietnam and India’ on Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 1230 hrs to 1500hrs from New Delhi.
The programme was chaired by H.E. (Mr.) Pham Sanh Chau, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to India. He addressed the webinar along with senior official of Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism, Government of Vietnam Mr. Akram Hoque, Founder Editor of the Policy Times moderated the show.
At the inaugural session the dignitaries discussed on Trends and Vietnam’s Tourism Developments; his Excellency (Mr.) Pham Sanh Chau, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to India presented his keynote address and welcomed all the speakers from both India and Vietnam tourism industry. In his keynote speech he said, “The potential in tourism for Vietnam and India is tremendous. I would really like to focus on how we can move forward, specially on this challenging situation. We need to prepare to bounce back more fast and vigorously. I’m looking forward to hear all the suggestions in order to come up with a solution and boost up our in bilateral tourism cooperation. The embassy is working very hard to organize several flights; we have been booking Indigo, Vietjet, and Vietnam Airlines to repatriate back our stranded citizens of India. It is the time for tourism business people to resume their operation”. He also discussed on how to bring back Vietnam citizen to Vietnam and vice versa.
In his special address Mr. HA VAN SIEU, Vice Chairman, Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism, Government of Vietnam praised the bilateral relation and cooperation between the two countries and started by saying, “Tourism cooperation between India and Vietnam has developed, and Vietnam has become a popular destination for India, especially for Wedding tourism etc. In particular the air connection between is increasing tremendously”. He also mentioned the tourism industry of Vietnam and current situation of the industry in the country. he further mentioned, ‘The orientation after covid-19 pandemic basically contained in both countries is that national and local tourism association and business should work together to overcome the challenges of the pandemic as well as to explore the opportunities to re-open extra investment international exchange, expand air connection to lift barriers to the difference of culture, cuisine, religious belief and improve the tourism infrastructure”.
Representative from Vietnam Mr. Ngo Minh Duc , Chairman of HG Holdings emphasized on how covid has impacted the economic and international travel, how they were affected and overall tourism sector. He said, “GDP grew by just 1.81% in 1st half of the year (PreCOVID projection of 6.8% in 2020) GDP was still growing at a 0.4% in 2nd quarter of 2020 (an exceptional rate during the pandemic), but was the worst recorded over the past 35 years. Unemployment rose by 33% during the 2nd quarter; The average income per worker decreased by 5%; The tourism sector is likely to miss the 20 millionq foreign travelers that were expected to visit Vietnam in 2020”.
He further mentioned, “They are focusing on improving system and working on new tourism products all companies in the group are working together toq provide technology solutions to meet customers’ business travel demands as the pandemic is pushing digital transformation in Vietnam”.
Mr. Nguyen Tiep, CEO, Astra Network thanked the Ambassador, the Vice Chairman and thanked the other representatives before his presentation. He explained how India and Vietnam cooperating with each other in the past few years and how covid has affected the business as there was no online platforms for the tourism industry to operate tour. He shared, “Vietnam and India has a tremendous opportunity to work together to develop a sustainable opportunity that will bring a long economic efficiency in the future.”
- Also read: INDO-VIETNAM BUSINESS FORUM 2020 WEBINAR SERIES| Embassy of Vietnam Organizing Prospects for Post-Covid Tourism between Viet Nam & India
Indian representative Mr. Chetan Kohli thanked everyone started by briefing the Indian tourism Industry report by the United Nations. He then explained, “Tourism is the backbone of every country for its economy. International tourism is continues to outplace the global economy, at present we are approaching approx 25% in the tourism business in the domestic market in India. we are expecting by next month international flights and all diplomatic missions will operational issues of Visas. We can hope that by December 2020 there will be substantial increasing tourism. And gradually by march 2021 we can expect the tourism business reach a level equal to pre-march 2020 pre covid period. However we need to get all necessary precaution to maintain social distancing”.
Coming into the sectoral session the Indian representatives presented their speech on Prospects of Post-Covid Tourism. Indian representative from tourism industry Mrs. Jyoti Mayal, President, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) , She thanked everyone and started by saying, “Tourism is backbone of the every country and we need to promote tourism not only for business for harmony and peace. Tourism is always a backbone for Vietnam’s GDP too, 6.5% in Vietnam’s GDP is driven by tourism. We are aware the Vietnam is the perfect mix of past present and future to explore the ancient imperial palace towards rapidly growing Ho Chi Minh city. First we need to see how to open borders and how to adopt the new norms of today and look at the future”.
Mr. Riaz Munshi, President, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) said, “We have to start tourism slowly, we need to start with the place where is covid free even they can put certification of covid test so they can travel. Vietnam has a huge potential and opportunity to grow on Indian market”. He explained India’s tourism industry report during the covid.
He mentioned, “In India Vietnam can target all category of people and it is a big market. In case we strategize in a manner we can definitely attract more travelers from Vietnam. As we also know the pandemic is going to change everything and the people are going stay at a place rather than travelling. It is good for Vietnam to promote beach destination rather than promoting big cities. It will complicate the tourist”.
Mr. Pronab Sarkar, President, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) said, ‘Inbound tourism is the big chunk for India’s GDP. Vietnam tourism is the latest venture for the Indian tourism remembering that India has already started road shows to Vietnam to promote tourism and this is showing a very positive side. We hope this year we can achieve 20% of increase in tourism”. He then shared how India is getting ready to re-open the tourism again and waiting for the Vietnam tour operators to collaborate with India and work together.
Mr. Rajan Sehgal, Chairman, President, India Golf Tourism Association, Co-Chairman & Member Tourism Committee, PHDCCI, FICCI&CII- NR said, “ People want to travel in the country which are safe and they will look for safe and responsible travelers. I think Vietnam and India will be very good destination for travel. India will prefer Vietnam travel because of its connectivity, how they handled the covid crisis and they have so many things to offer which India has already witnessed”. He also focused on promoting wedding tourism, honeymoon tourism and film and entertainment tourism to Vietnam.
Dr. Kaulesh Kumar, Secretary General (Founder), Association of Buddhist Tour Operators focused on promoting Buddhist tourism in Vietnam. He mentioned, “more than 90% Buddhist in India, and not only for Vietnam the Buddhist in India is the lifeline of both Asian and Buddhist country”.
The last speaker of the webinar Mr. P. Subhash Chandar – Director of Asia Market & M.I.C.E – ASIA DMC (Vietnamese Company) emphasized on how covid has impacted the economic and international travel, how they were affected and overall tourism sector. He said, “Asia DMC/GSA/Bhaya/LangCo Beach Resort are virtually in hibernation mode, they had to cut down staff, salary and working hours restructure the company and digitize all business. All companies in the group are working together to provide technology solutions to meet customers’ business travel demands as the pandemic is pushing digital transformation in Vietnam. In our ecosystem Asia DMC is the largest destination management company for Indian market with more than 10,000 tourists from India handled every year.
He further mentioned, “With the aim to protect the travelers, our people as well as the hosting communities; to mitigate the transmission risks; and to provide the proper response in a quick and efficient manner to any situation, Suppliers – related standards and procedures”.
After that his Excellency H.E. (Mr.) Pham Sanh Chau shared his valuable remarks and thanked all participants to join this webinar.
At the end of the programme there was question & answer round; Mr. Bui Trung Thuong, Head of the Trade Office, The Embassy of the S.R. of Vietnam to India concluded the programme with the vote of thanks.