Japan will strengthen cooperation with Vietnam National Administration of Tourism to achieve the goal of increasing the number of tourists between the two sides to two million, said newly appointed Head of Representative Office of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) Yoshida Kenji.
Kenji was speaking at the meeting with the Chairman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Nguyen Trung Khanh, in Hanoi on October 25.
With experience in international cooperation and local connection, Kenji said that the Representative Office of the JNTO will support Vietnam in the fields of market, promotion, and human resource training.
He said the vaccination coverage against Covid-19 among Japanese people is quite high. The Japanese government plans to relaunch tourism activities in anticipation of strong demand for travel after border closures are lifted worldwide.
Strong cooperation in tourism
|VNAT’s Chairman Nguyen Trung Khanh receives Yoshida Kenji, Head of JNTO representative office in Vietnam. Photo: TITC
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, travel growth between Vietnam and Japan was steadfast with the number of tourists between Vietnam and Japan reaching 1.5 million in 2019.
The two sides set the target of increasing the number of tourists from both sides to two million in 2020. However, the pandemic has paralyzed the tourism industry, plunging the number of international visitors everywhere, according to Khanh.
“After taking serious blows from the Covid-19 epidemic, the socio-economic activities are gradually being restored as the pandemic situation has improved, partly thanks to Japan’s support, and Vietnam is grateful for that” Khanh said.
“In order to gradually recover the economy, the government has issued a resolution to ensure the pandemic prevention and economic development at the same time, in which tourism is one of the priority areas,” he added.
The VNAT has consulted the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to issue the guidelines for the tourism sector with six main tasks including ensuring safety, building new products, intensifying promotion and communication, applying information technology and digital transformation, supporting businesses and employees in the sector, and training human resources.
The Hanoi Promotion Agency organized a Hanoi tourism promotion program at the JATA International Tourism Fair 2019 in Osaka City (Japan). Photo: JNTO
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has submitted to the government a pilot plan to reopen some tourist sites where the pandemic is put under control to international visitors who are holders of vaccine passports.
The plan prioritizes visitors from traditional markets such as Northeast Asia, Western Europe, Russia, the United States, Australia, among others, in which, Japan is among the top priorities.
In preparation for the plan, the VNAT has built a communication program to inform and promote it through embassies, media, and social networks.
Khanh emphasized: “The Representative Office of the JNTO will be an important bridge, contributing to disseminating the image of safe Vietnam tourism among Japanese travelers. We hope that Japanese tourists will have great experiences in Vietnam in the near future.”
Speaking highly of the good cooperation and relationship between the office and the VNAT, Khanh expected that in his term, Kenji will continue promoting bilateral cooperation in tourism between Vietnam and Japan.
Hoi An ancient town is favored by Japanese tourists for its wonderful world heritage sites, beautiful beaches, and extraordinary landscapes. Photo: Hoi An Travel
Bilateral tourism stimulus strategy
In recent years, Vietnam has regularly participated in many activities to promote tourism between two countries such as attending the Japan JATA Fair, holding market expansion programs in many Japanese cities (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Hokkaido, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka), welcoming delegations of tourism and media from Japan to survey destinations in Vietnam, holding Vietnam Festival in many places in Japan like Tokyo, Kanagawa, Osaka, among others.
After the JNTO’s representative office was opened in Hanoi in 2017, a busy agenda of activities to promote Japanese tourism in Vietnam has been carried out. Through JNTO, Japanese tour operators have participated in the ITE-HCMC Fair and Vietnam’s VITM Fair.
In 2021, JNTO published a handbook for Vietnamese travelers to self-organize trips to Japan and launched the “I love Japan” Campaign to promote Japanese tourism among Vietnamese people.
Through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan has also given technical support and human resource development programs to Vietnam in the field of tourism, such as specialized courses on tourism promotion, agricultural tourism, tour presentations, creative programs for young leaders, ASEAN-Japan youth exchanges, among others.