(TITC) – It can be defined that the potential tourism cooperation between Vietnam and Thailand is very large and promising. Since Vietnam and Thailand established a strategic partnership in 2015, cooperation activities between the two countries have been actively and effectively implemented in many fields, attracting the participation of all levels and sectors from the State and business sectors. Tourism is one of the industries that are interested in promoting. The effectiveness of bilateral tourism cooperation will continue to grow stronger in the coming time.
Thailand – an important tourism market
Vietnam and Thailand have signed a Government Memorandum of Understanding on tourism cooperation since 1994. On that basis, the two sides have implemented bilateral tourism cooperation activities as well as continued to sign tourism cooperation plans and programs between the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand and the Ministry of Culture and Sports and Tourism of Vietnam; between NTOs of two countries.
Leaders of the ministerial level and NTO level of the two countries regularly had meeting, discuss solutions and share experiences in tourism development. Vietnam-Thailand Tourism Development Cooperation Group also was established as a focal point for exchange and contact.
The two sides have many favorable conditions to increase the exchange of visitors when citizens of the two countries holding ordinary passports are exempted from visas within 30 days.
Air connectivity is increasingly being expanded with many direct flights connecting major cities and tourist attractions of Vietnam (Ha Noi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Da Lat, Can Tho) and Thailand (Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai) with increasing frequency.
Road tourism on both sides is also developed, especially right-hand drive cars are allowed to circulate with control in Vietnam and vice versa.
Vietnam Tourism Marketing Strategy and Vietnam Tourism Development Strategy to 2030 both identify the Southeast Asian market, including Thailand, as important market to focus, especially targeting the segments of customers with demands of long-term vacations, cultural and natural experiences.
Both sides focused on joint activities to develop tourism products and promote tourism. NTOs of the two countries have coordinated with localities to welcome many famtrips and press trips from Vietnam, Thailand and from third countries such as the US, Canada, and ASEAN countries to survey tourism products, raising the exchange of visitors between the two countries and welcoming visitors from the common source markets.
The two countries also regularly organize roadshows in tourism potential cities such as Bangkok, Udon Thani of Thailand; Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Nha Trang of Vietnam.
Thailand regularly attends Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) in Ha Noi, the International Travel Expo in Ho Chi Minh City (ITE-HCMC), Beach Tourism Fair in Da Nang, Hue Festival, Carnaval Ha Long… In contrast, Vietnam also regularly participates in the International Travel Mart (TTM+), Thailand’s MICE Travel Exhibition.
In addition, Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand as well as Thai Embassy in Vietnam work closely together, acting as a bridge for the state management agency in charge of tourism and tourism business enterprises.
With the efforts of both sides, in the 5-year period (2015-2019), visitor exchange between the two countries increased1.5 times, from nearly 1 million arrivals in 2015 to 1.5 million in 2019. Of which, there are 500 thousand Thai visitors to Vietnam reached nearly, and 1 million Vietnamese visitors to Thailand.
Vietnam and Thailand are both among each other’s top source markets. Tourists from the two countries travel to each other by air, sea, river and road (including self-driving car).
Simultaneously with bilateral cooperation, the two countries also joined multilateral forums such as the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organization (WTO), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), East-West Corridor, Southern Corridor…
In the coming time, Vietnam will continue to focus this potential market through direct and online promotional activities on popular media channels and social networks.
Vietnam will also regularly research the market, learn new needs of tourists in general, including Thai tourists to develop products with attractiveness and competitive advantages, suitable for each customer sections, each region of Thailand and in certain periods.
The two sides work closely together in the process of tourism recovery and reopening to international tourism.
On the basis of the good foundation that has been built and consolidated, with the joint efforts of the Governments and peoples of the two countries, the cooperation of all levels, sectors as well as the tourism business community, Vietnam-Thailand tourism cooperation will continue to develop in the future, contributing to further tightening the friendship and consolidating the strengthened strategic partnership between the two countries.
Nguyen Trung Khanh – Chairman of VNAT
Tourism Information Technology Center