Director of the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism (VNAT) Nguyen Trung Khanh hosted a reception and worked with the Director of the Busan Tourism Promotion Division Lee Jong Sil.
The VNAT’s Director Nguyen Trung Khanh affirmed Vietnam and the RoK have a close relationship and warm cooperation in all aspects, including tourism.
He said Vietnam’s tourism sector is witnessing a clear and strong recovery both in domestic and international tourism. In the first eight months of 2023, the number of international tourists to Vietnam reached 98% of the 2023 plan. Korean visitors to Vietnam have recovered 81% compared to the same period in 2019. In the opposite direction, Vietnamese tourists to the RoK are also increasing rapidly.
On this occasion, Director Nguyen Trung Khanh highly valued the role and effective activities of the Promotion Office in Vietnam of the Busan Tourism Promotion Division. The Office has conducted research on the psychology and tastes of Vietnamese people, thereby creating attractive tour programs to attract Vietnamese people to travel to the RoK.
Director of Busan Tourism Promotion Division Lee Jong Sil presents a souvenir to the VNAT’s Director Nguyen Trung Khanh. (Photo: VNAT)
Regarding tourism cooperation between Vietnam and the RoK, the national tourism management agencies of Vietnam and the RoK signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), on cooperation in the field of tourism promotion during the 2023-2024 period. This is the premise for cooperation to develop the tourism industry of the two countries in general, between key tourist cities of Vietnam and the RoK, added the VNAT’s Director.
However, Director Nguyen Trung Khanh said that the RoK’s visa issuance policy for Vietnamese tourists is still limited, causing the amount of tourist exchange between Vietnam and the RoK in general and Busan in particular, to not be high.
In recent years, Vietnam’s tourism sector has paid great attention to implementing activities to promote tourism to the Korean market, such as attending and organising promotional activities at the Seoul International Tourism Fair and Hana Tour Fair, as well as supporting the RoK side to attend the International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam International Travel Mart, in Hanoi.
Thanks to the attention of the Vietnamese Government, several policies have been issued to create favourable conditions for international tourists, including those from the RoK. From August 15, 2023, Korean tourists will be eligible for a visa exemption policy, to enter Vietnam for 45 days.
In addition, the frequency of flights connecting Vietnam and the RoK has also been increased. Some major cities in the RoK, including Seoul, Incheon, Busan, Jeju and Daegu, have regular direct flights or charter flights to Hanoi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc.
Regarding the enhancement of tourism cooperation with Busan, Director Nguyen Trung Khanh asked Busan to share experiences in destination management, product development, destination promotion and attraction of the participation from the local community, in tourism development.
The two sides will strengthen information sharing and invite each other to attend major cultural-tourist-cinematic events in Vietnam and Busan; encourage increased frequency and open more direct flights connecting Vietnamese destinations with Busan; consider exploiting the potential of cruise tourism connecting Vietnam's seaports with Busan; and support each other in organising promotional activities.
Director of Busan Tourism Promotion Division Lee Jong Sil congratulated the achievements that Vietnam’s tourism sector has gained over the past years.
He said Busan is the largest port city in the RoK, which is famous for its diverse marine tourism, and cultural, cinematic, and culinary products. Every year, Busan hosts the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) in October, one of the most prominent events in Asia.
Busan Tourism Promotion Division’s Director Lee Jong Sil said, that the agency will propose to the RoK’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, a written request to the Ministry of Justice towards making a policy to relax visas for Vietnamese tourists, in the near future.