The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has approved Hanoi to host the International Tourism Expo (ITE) Vietnam, better known as ITE HCMC, next year and recommended the capital and HCMC take turn to organize this tourism event. However, the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, creator and organizer of the event, has shown strong opposition to the decision.
La Quoc Khanh, deputy head of the city’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the city would not protest the idea if the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) takes over the event. But he disagrees with the plan to have Hanoi City taking turn to host the expo.
The tourism expo is connected to HCMC tourism authorities. And it took them a couple of years to form its staff members to run the event smoothly.
“Hanoi is unlikely to make the tourism expo successful with its existing infrastructure and experience. We have spent eight years on building the brand for the event. If VNAT does the job, we will say ‘yes’,” said Khanh.
The annual event takes place in HCMC and this is the 8th successive time it has been done with the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism acting as the main organizer. Two years ago, ITE HCMC was recognized as a national travel fair and it was given support by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and VNAT.
Alongside tourism promotion, ITE HCMC called for the participation from Cambodia and Laos tourism authorities to jointly promote “Three Countries-One Destination” campaign. Myanmar later took part in and was added to the campaign.
No final decision has been made for both HCMC or Hanoi taking turn to host ITE Vietnam and maybe the city will organize ITE HCMC next year, according to Khanh. But if the Ministry insists on its decision, the city will plan other tourism fairs.
“It is hard to maintain the relation with international partners and map out a series of activities to run such international expo smoothly in case we are in charge this year and another will replace us next year. At present, we still intend to manage the event next year,” he reckoned.
Under the main theme “Four nations – One destination”, ITE HCMC 2012 will take place from September 13 to 15 at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention and Center in District 7.
The organizer expects to welcome 200 international tour operators from 30 nations and territories. Some 150 enterprises participated in last year’s event.
As part of the event, mayors of the cities from the expanded Greater Mekong Sub-region including Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Vientiane (Laos), Yangon (Myanmar), Kunming (China), Bangkok (Thailand), HCMC and Jeju and Busan of South Korea will discuss tourism cooperation, product enhancement and youth tourism promotion.