Viet Nam and Japan agree to boost tourism co-operation
Viet Nam has called for stronger investment from Japan, including in medium- and small-sized enterprises in tourism, education and trade as the country eyes growth in the ‘green’ industry.
Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue made the statement at the Viet Nam-Japan Exchange in Culture, Economy and Tourism – an event held during the visit of Secretary-General of the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Nikai Toshihiro – in Da Nang on Monday.
Hue said Viet Nam will offer the best conditions and protection for foreign investors, including those from Japan, when investing in Viet Nam.
“We hope that Japan will be the top foreign investor in Viet Nam. Leaders of the two countries will promote cultural exchange and economic co-operation among Vietnamese and Japanese localities,” Hue said.
“Viet Nam asked Japan for further support and co-operation in labour employment from Viet Nam and human resources training for Vietnamese students, creating high-quality manpower in the future,” he added.
The deputy PM also urged improvement in tourism between Japanese and Vietnamese partners, promoting products, service and destinations for both Vietnamese and Japanese travellers.
Hue said Viet Nam saw trade turnover of US$517 billion in 2019, with a trade surplus of $10 billion.
“Viet Nam sees tourism as a key sector, with revenue contributing 10 per cent to GDP in 2020. We hosted 17 million tourists in 2019, and expect to receive 20.5 million visitors in 2020,” he said.
Hue appreciated the working visit by the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party delegation with the participation of 1,000 officials and business representatives.
He said the working visit would help promote a driving force for deeper co-operation in trade and economy between Japan and Viet Nam.
Speaking at the event, Toshihiro said the visit once again confirms the deep relationship between Japan and Viet Nam.
He said the Viet Nam-Japan strategic partnership has developed in many sectors, such as culture, economy, security and defence.
“Viet Nam is a destination for 19,000 enterprises from Japan, while Japan hosts 370,000 students and labourers who are living and working. They (Vietnamese) contribute to Japan’s economy in fields of heathcare and industrial manufacturing,” Toshihiro said.
“Vietnamese students and workers have built a bridge between Japanese and Vietnamese enterprises.”
He said tourism in both Japan and Viet Nam saw positive growth, with 1.45 million tourists from both countries visiting each country.
He said the number of Japanese students coming to Viet Nam for educational experience has increased in recent years.
Toshihiro stressed that the working visit aims to build ties for many generations of Vietnamese and Japanese in the future.
During the visit, seminars on tourism co-operation and human resource training were held.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien said tourists from Japan to Viet Nam increased 15 per cent, with nearly 1 million visitors last year, while Japan hosted 500,000 Vietnamese tourists – growth of 27 per cent.
He said festivals and fairs were organised in the two countries to promote tourism and introduce new destinations and products.
Thien said the two sides agreed to increase the number of tourists visiting both countries to 2 million in 2020.
Sento Satoshi, president of the Japanese National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) said Viet Nam was chosen as an important prelude for a series of programmes in tourism co-operation in 2020.
He said the relationship between Viet Nam and Japan began 400 years ago, when the first merchant ships visited Hoi An for trade.
He added that the two sides had built trust in trade. This opens a bright future for co-operation in many sectors.
Tabata Hiroshi, commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) estimated that Viet Nam would be one of 20 key world markets for tourism.
“Ha Noi and Da Nang are attractive destinations for Japanese travellers and we expect more Japanese will come to Viet Nam in the future. We have planned a series of tourism promotion events to attract more Vietnamese tourists to destinations in Japan,” he said.
Hiroshi said more young Japanese were touring Asia, including Viet Nam, in 2019, and young Japanese people had a great time in the country.
Head of Viet Nam National Tourism Administration, Nguyen Trung Khanh, said Japan was an important market for Viet Nam’s tourism, and different promotions, fairs and festivals were organised in both Viet Nam and Japan.
“Japan is a top priority market, as we designed specific tours and services for women, the elderly, families and schools. The administration has launched a Japanese version of its website to create smooth access for tourists,” he said.
Khanh also said festivals and events in 2020 would lure Japanese tourists to Viet Nam, including the Formula 1 in Ha Noi; Hue Festival; Fireworks Festival in Da Nang; and Year of Tourism event in Ninh Binh Province.
He also said Japan was the most popular destination for Vietnamese travellers in 2019, and the number of tourists visiting Japan witnessed 27 per cent growth in comparison to 2018.
Central region connection
The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and budget airlines Jetstar Pacific and VietJetAir already operate direct flights from Da Nang to Narita, Osaka and Haneda. More routes have been planned from the city to Hokkaido, Nagoya as well as transit flights linking Da Nang with Fukuoka, Sapporo, Sendai and Niigata.
The city is home to 143 Japanese projects with total investment of US$500 million, creating 40,000 jobs for local and neighbouring provinces.
Da Nang inked memorandums of understanding on investment and co-operation with Yokohama, Kawasaki and Sakai, and built relationships with 15 other cities in Japan.
Japan Airlines (JAL) plans to boost co-operation with Da Nang-based Dong A College in human resources training for its airline and ground services in Japan from 2020.
Japan plans to open a Consulate General in Da Nang to boost tourism and exchanges between Japan and the central city this year.