Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City Successfully Staged the 17th International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City 2023

As one of the outstanding tourism trade promotion activities in Vietnam, the 17th International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City 2023 (ITE HCMC 2023) was held from 7 until 9 September 2023 at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre (SECC) in Ho Chi Minh City.

Photo by Lieu Cap on Unsplash

As one of the outstanding tourism trade promotion activities in Vietnam, the 17th International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City 2023 (ITE HCMC 2023) was held from 7 until 9 September 2023 at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre (SECC) in Ho Chi Minh City.

ITE HCMC (www.itehcmc.travel) is an annual expo that promotes the growth of the international visitor market to Vietnam, besides helping to increase the flow of visitors between countries. One of the pivotal objectives of the expo is to increase the market share of international tourists in Vietnam and ignite a tourism promotion breakthrough.

Delegates were treated to the ITE HCMC 2023 Gala Dinner at the premier event venue GEM Center in Ho Chi Minh City. Phot by ITE HCMC 2023 Organising Committee.
Delegates were treated to the ITE HCMC 2023 Gala Dinner at the premier event venue GEM Center in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by ITE HCMC 2023 Organising Committee.

This event also seeks to optimise tourism income via trade connections between the tourism enterprises from Vietnam, together with the Mekong delta countries, and the enterprises from the traditional and potential markets worldwide.

In his speech during the launch of ITE HCMC 2023, Mr. Phan Van Mai – Member of the Central Committee, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Party Committee, and Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee – said that Vietnam tourism in general and Ho Chi Minh City tourism in particular have been recording positive recovery signals.

Mr. Phan Van Mai delivering his speech during the launch of ITE HCMC 2023 at SECC on 7 September 2023. Photo by ITE HCMC 2023 Organising Committee.
Mr. Phan Van Mai delivering his speech during the launch of ITE HCMC 2023 at SECC on 7 September 2023. Photo by ITE HCMC 2023 Organising Committee.

Vietnam welcomed more than 8.7 million visitors in the first eight months of 2023, reaching 70% compared to 2019, of which international visitors were 7.8 million. This number is also 5.4 times higher than the same period in 2022. The total revenue from tourism reached more than VND482 trillion.

At the same time, Ho Chi Minh City alone have been welcoming 25 million visitor arrivals in the first eight months of 2023, reaching 63% compared to 2019, including under 3 million international tourist arrivals. This number signals an increase of 105.2% over the same period in 2022, while tourism revenue reached over VND100,000 billion.

Delegates checking out the ceramic products hailed from the renowned Bat Trang village that is 13 kilometres away from Hanoi. Photo by ITE HCMC 2023 Organising Committee
Delegates checking out the ceramic products hailed from the renowned Bat Trang village that is 13 kilometres away from Hanoi. Photo by ITE HCMC 2023 Organising Committee.

With the theme “Connectivity, Growth, Sustainability”, The 17th ITE HCMC laid out a rich and diverse series of professional activities for more than 3,500 delegates from 44 provinces of Vietnam, including the 199 international buyers from 42 countries and territories.

ITE HCMC 2023 continues to be the only international tourism event in Vietnam with an International Buyers program. It allows international tourism businesses to expand their markets and seek tourism partners in Vietnam and the lower Mekong region.

This year’s expo presented more than 400 exhibitors and brands consisting of National and Local Tourism Promotion Agencies, Tourism Associations, Tourism Research Institutes, Companies, Travel Agencies, Accommodation Establishments, Airlines, and Transportation Providers, among others. ITE HCMC 2023 continues to affirm its position as the largest tourism fair in the Mekong region.

Ho Chi Minh City booth at the ITE HCMC 2023 expo. Photo by ITE HCMC 2023 Organising Committee.
Ho Chi Minh City booth at the ITE HCMC 2023 expo. Photo by ITE HCMC 2023 Organising Committee.

The expo exhibitors offered many new solutions for sustainable tourism development and relevant issues such as digital transformation, human resource restructuring, destination marketing and communication strategies, improving competitiveness, and quality of tourism services along with green tourism trends, medical tourism, sports tourism.

Over 6,000 business-to-business (B2B) trade appointments between buyers and exhibitors were made during the three-day expo.

Exhibitors meeting buyers during the ITE HCMC 2023 expo. Photo by ITW HCMC 2023 Organising Committee.
Exhibitors meeting buyers during the ITE HCMC 2023 expo. Photo by ITE HCMC 2023 Organising Committee.

Among the activities scheduled during the expo were the presentation by the ProChile Trade Office, Embassy of Chile, regarding tourism in Chile entitled “Chile, Where the impossible is possible”; the Korean Experience programme by Korea Tourism Organisation in Vietnam; Japan Tourism Introduction conducted by Japan Tourism Promotion Agency; Quang Ninh Tourism Introduction Programme; and Kien Giang Tourism Connection Conference.

In its effort to bring sustainable tourism development solutions during the expo, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism cooperated with Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Promotion Centre in holding forums and seminars such as the high-level tourism forum entitled “Digital Transformation to Promote Tourism Development” that was participated by leaders from the government; Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism; People’s Committees; representatives of Tourism Departments of provinces and cities across the country; Department of International Cooperation; together with leaders of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism; and affiliated departments.

High-level tourism forum held during ITE HCMC 2023. Photo by ITE HCMC 2023 Organising Committee.
High-level tourism forum held during ITE HCMC 2023. Photo by ITE HCMC 2023 Organising Committee.

The other forums held were “Vietnam Tourism & Hospitality – Opportunities & Challenges”; the 4th ASEAN Regional Public Relations and Media Forum; and the Thematic Event Series on Destination Communication.

A seminar held during ITE HCMC 2023. Photo by ITE HCMC 2023 Organising Committee.
A seminar held during ITE HCMC 2023. Photo by ITE HCMC 2023 Organising Committee.

The Organising Committee of ITE HCMC also coordinated with localities (Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Ben Tre, Ninh Thuan) to arrange destination familiarisation programmes for international buyers and media to experience new tourism products within and outside Ho Chi Minh City before and after the expo.

International delegates getting ready to embark on the Saigon After Dark Tour on scooters organised by Vespa Adventures in Vietnam during ITE HCMC 2023.
International delegates getting ready to embark on the Saigon After Dark Tour on scooters provided by Vespa Adventures in Vietnam during ITE HCMC 2023.

Other than the delegates, over 25,000 visitors from the general public came to the expo, thereby stimulating domestic and international tourism. These visitors were feted to incentives from travel businesses, airlines, restaurants, and hotels, such as discounted tours, cheap air tickets, and lucky draws.

- Visitors thronging the booths during ITE HCMC 2023. Photo by ITE HCMC 2023 Organising Committee.
Visitors thronging the booths during ITE HCMC 2023. Photo by ITE HCMC 2023 Organising Committee.

In addition, relevant awards were also given out during the expo, including the coveted ITE HCMC Tourism Award 2023 to honour domestic and international entities for their contributions to ITE HCMC 2023. Among the awards were ITE HCMC partner appreciation award, best designed booth award, and certificates of merit for participating in ITE HCMC 2023.

ITE HCMC 2023 was staged under the auspices of Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism and Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee; organised by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism as well as Vietnam National Authority of Tourism; and executed by Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Promotion Centre, in collaboration with CIS Vietnam JSC and Le Bros Company.

Gaya Travel Magazine expresses gratitude towards Vietnam National Authority of Tourism (https://vietnam.travel/), Ho Chi Minh Department of Tourism (https://www.visithcmc.vn/), and Wanderlust Tips (https://wanderlusttips.asia/) for making the writer’s trip to Vietnam possible and smooth.

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