Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam brim with Asia’s most authentic and exciting tourism potential


Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – The ITE HCMC organizing committee unveiled
the 5th International Travel Expo, Ho Chi Minh City (ITE HCMC 2009) that will be held at
the Phu Tho Exhibition Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from 1st to 3rd October this year.
ITE HCMC 2009, regarded as Vietnam’s foremost tourism trade event, was conferred the
status of Vietnam’s only travel trade event by the Vietnam Ministry of Culture, Sports and
Tourism in 2008. Running for the fifth year, the expo projects to welcome more than 15,000
visitors, 150 hosted international buyers and 300 sellers, both local and international over the
three-day period.

Since the opening of Vietnam’s economy to the world markets in the 1990s, Vietnam is noted
as one of the key emerging markets in the region. According to figures from the General
Statistics Office in Hanoi, in the first quarter of this year, Vietnam’s economy continues to
expand at a 3.1 per cent from a year earlier. In recent a report from the Asian Development
Bank, it is predicted that Vietnam’s economic growth is likely to increase to 6.5 per cent next

The tourism industry plays a key role in delivering prosperity and growth for Vietnam. Being a
source as well as destination market, Vietnam recorded 4.25 million foreign visitor arrivals in
2008. Recently, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) named Vietnam as the world’s
fourth fastest-growing tourist destination. Total outbound tourists from Vietnam also achieved
an all-time record high in 2008. Last year, Vietnamese tourism industry generated more than
US four billion dollars in tourism receipts, indicating the importance of the tourism industry to
Vietnam’s economy. 1st – 3rd October 2009 Phu Tho Exhibition Centre, Ho Chi Minh City
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“The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism is confident of the continual development
and growth of Vietnam’s tourism industry. We are also proud to see the success of the annual
ITE HCMC. Since its inauguration in 2005, the show has seen an average of 30 per cent year-
on-year growth in participation,” says Mr. Nguyen Quy Phuong – Deputy Manager of Travel
Department, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

The theme of this year’s ITE HCMC is “Gap go in another world”, which means “to meet in
another world”. Vietnam has many hidden gems to present to the world. For example, the
highlight guest province this year is coastal province, Binh Thuan. With warm tropical weather,
Binh Thuan province offers beautiful beaches in Phan Thiet, stunning sand dunes in Mui Ne,
just to list a few scenic destinations. At present, Phan Thiet is being developed into a tourist
hub with 21, four and five-star hotels and resorts providing more than 400 superior rooms to

“We are pleased with the enthusiastic response and participants of sellers for this year’s
event. Other than exhibitors from Vietnam, for instance from the province of Binh Thuan, this
year’s ITE HCMC is seeing high return rates from international participants representing
Thailand, India, Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia and Laos among others” says Ms Rosalind
Ng, managing director, IIR Exhibitions.

This year marks the launch of the “Three Countries One Destination” concept (3CODe) at
the expo. At the third ITE HCMC in 2007, tourism ministers of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam
signed a joint declaration to accelerate mutual tourism cooperation via multi-pronged action
plans to promote the three countries in an integrated tourism offering; traversing the potential
of multiple World Heritage Sites present in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The cooperation
builds upon the three nations’ shared yet diverse cultural and scenic features to pave the way
for sustainable tourism development of the region.

“We are pleased and very appreciative that this unique ‘Three Countries One Destination’
concept has seen much keen response and support from the Vietnam Ministry of Industry and
Trade, the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia, and Laos National Tourism,’ says Mr Khanh La 1st – 3rd October 2009 Phu Tho Exhibition Centre, Ho Chi Minh City
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Quoc, vice director, Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism (DCST).
“ITE HCMC 2009 aims to provide the platform for both international and local participants to
showcase a diverse range of tourism products and services from all three countries,” he adds.

Other than the main exhibition show, ITE HCMC 2009 will host the Tourism Investment
Conference where latest information of the tourism investment opportunities in Cambodia,
Laos and Vietnam will be shared and discussed. The Tourism Investment Conference
Committee is represented from Ministry of Planning and Investment, Vietnam; Ministry of
Culture Sports and Tourism, Vietnam; Department of Culture Sports and Tourism, Ho Chi
Minh City; Vietnam Institute of Tourism Research and IIR Exhibitions. The Tourism Investment
Conference aims to provide a platform for international tourism developers and investors to
acquire information about the available investment opportunities and development projects in
the region.

The key highlight at this conference is the unveiling of the Tourism Master Plans from the
Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia, and Laos
National Tourism. Other topics that will be discussed at the conference include: tourism
investment, project financing, sustainability in travel and tourism, and marketing potential for
ecotourism, youth travel, health & wellness tourism in the three countries.