HO CHI MINH CITY - One of Southeast Asia's top travel events “The International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City 2016 (ITE HCMC),” Vietnam’s largest international travel fair, will be back for its 12th edition from September 8 to 10 at the Saigon Exhibition
Anh Hoa, the deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism, and deputy head of ITE HCMC Organising Committee, said: “There will be 15 per cent more sellers and buyers at the ITE HCMC this year, and the increased interest is a sign of an even greater and more vibrant tourism scene in the near future for countries in the Mekong region.
“We are expecting to host more than 30,000 international and local trade buyers, travel professionals, and public visitors, including for the first time a group of very popular international bloggers. We believe the expo and their experience in Ho Chi Minh City will leave them mesmerised with our beautiful sights and diverse attractions.”
The ITE HCMC will also host the Mekong Tourism Alliance Awards (MTAA), which recognises excellent services in the tourism and hospitality industry of countries in the Mekong region (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam). The 8th MTAA will take place on September 7 at GEM Centre, Ho Chi Minh City.
Eight prestigious award categories are up for grabs, including The Best Airline of the Year; The Best Outbound Travel Operator of the Year; The Best Inbound Travel Operator of the Year; The Best Five-star Hotel of the Year; and The Best Resort of the Year.
Three new categories have been introduced this year, and they are: The Best Tourism Website of the Year; Best Festival of the Year; and Broadcast Excellence Award for Destination Promotion.
Jack Wei, general manager of Informa Exhibitions and co-organiser of ITE HCMC and MTAA, added: “The three new award categories in the MTAA this year is a reflection of the changing times, for instance, in how travellers research for their itinerary [Best Tourism Website of the Year award]. We also added the Broadcast Excellence Award for Destination Promotion, in response to the prevalence of travel videos, as well as the Best Festival of the Year, as tourism boards become more aware of the role that festivals play in attracting travellers who want a more immersive experience.”
Another highlight is the ACMECS Responsible Tourism Forum on September 7. ACMECS refers to the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy, a political, economic and cultural organisation whose members include Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
The forum aims to further promote the development of ACMECS, as well as to confirm the role, status and accountability of the tourism industry to the environment, community, society and the region.
The event will see the participation of the tourism ministers of the ACMECS countries, as well as other Asean countries, and also representatives from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association.
Apart from buyer-seller meetings and business-matching services, there will also be tourism seminars on the following topics: Ho Chi Minh City, the Next Hotspot of the MICE Tourism in Asean; Dialogue on Tourism Development Cooperation Between Vietnam and EAEU; Seminar on North American Outbound Travel Market to Vietnam; Effectively Connecting with Travel Bloggers and Destination Marketing Through New Digital Platforms; Australian and New Zealand Outbound Travel Market to Vietnam.
Exhibitors and hosted guest exhibitors include airlines, hotels and resorts, tour companies and travel representatives from countries like Cambodia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam, and many more.
Among the trade visitors expected are 200 international hosted buyers from countries like Australia, Austria, China, Czech, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, Ukraine and the US. There will also be a total of 100 regional buyers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Visitors can pre-register their attendance at www.itehcmc.com before the event, and skip the long queues at the door. They will also be eligible for a lucky draw to win a new Samsung S7 Edge mobile phone if they have preregistered and also dropped their name card in the lucky draw box at the expo.