The return of the 16th Ho Chi Minh City International Travel Expo
2022 (ITE HCMC 2022), which was held at the Saigon Exhibition and
Convention Center from September 8-10, is a clear indication that
Vietnam is ready to welcome the world back to its shores again.
Solid turnout from Asia Pacific
Given that ITE HCMC wasn’t held in 2020 and 2021, and despite the
conspicuous absence this year of buyers from key countries like China
and other markets, numbers for this year’s event held up better than
Buyers from 18 countries and territories were present at ITE HCMC,
down from 62 countries in 2019; over 300 exhibitors were present, down
slightly from 350 in 2019 Yet even though it was a day shorter than the
2019 edition, the fair estimated 10,000-14,000 commercial visitors and
12,000-16,000 members of the public were in attendance.
During the three-day event, ITE HCMC has attracted more than 22,000 visitors and 8,600 meetings between sellers and buyers.
One of the reasons for the popularity of the event is the ITE’s
hosted buyer programme, which saw roughly 161 international buyers
invited to network with Vietnamese businesses.
Interest from Vietnamese consumers was also strong. Domestic travel,
which was practically the only option for most Vietnamese people during
the last two years, is still booming, and local visitors found many
in-country promotions at the fair.
But international stands from Taiwan, South Korea, Laos and Cambodia,
among others, also saw large numbers of visitors with a pent-up demand
for international trips.
One stand that drew a lot of curiosity was Vietnam Glamping. Visitors
queued to have their picture taken in front of the tent located right
beside the main entrance to the show floor. Glamping, camping with beds
and other creature comforts, is a growing trend not just in Vietnam but
around the world.
“It appeals to people who want to be out in nature and is ideal for
families and school trips,” says Nguyen Manh Cuong of Vietnam Glamping,
a consultancy that helps new sites develop glamping products. “Glamping
and eco-lodges are less invasive for the environment but they are also
comfortable and convenient.”
Glamping is a growing trend among travellers in Vietnam, especially among families and school trips.
Making Vietnam a more attractive destination
Beyond B2B and B2C meetings on the show floor, a number of forums,
seminars and presentations were held during the event. Speaking at a
seminar entitled “Solutions on International Tourism Recovery”, Nguyen
Manh Quyền, vice chairman of the Ha Noi City People’s Committee, offered
concise and pragmatic insights.
“The government needs to extend the 15-day visa exemption to 30 days”
in order to make Vietnam a more viable destination for long-haul
visitors, he said, echoing an opinion often heard during the show.
He also outlined wide-ranging measures that would increase Vietnam’s
attractiveness, from communicating about Vietnam as a safe destination
to facilitating e-visas for citizens of countries that still require
His brief presentation also recommended using traditional and social
media more effectively, adding QR codes and other technology to link to
information in relevant languages, developing experimental tourism
products with more international appeal and promoting medical tourism.
His wish list, aimed squarely at national authorities, was punctuated
with thunderous applause.