The 13th International Travel Expo – Ho Chi Minh City 2017 (ITE – HCMC 2017) organised by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism, VINEXAD Trade Fair and Informa Exhibitions and supported by Ministry of Tourism Kingdom of Cambodia, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism of Lao PDR, Ministry of Hotels & Tourism of Myanmar and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Kingdom of Thailand.
With the theme "Your gateway to tourism in Asia", the 13th ITEHCMC 2017 is one of the most important events in the field of culture, sports and tourism to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN). The expo continues being the ideal meeting place of national tourism organizations, tourism enterprises of the country, the region and the world, attracting over 300 exhibitors, 305 buyers and 30,000 visitors within the three days. A total of 5,282 meetings between buyers and sellers were recorded, a 45 percent increase from 2016.
Together, the committee has put together a series of new and exciting features for the exhibition, catering to tourism industry professionals, dignitaries, ministries and the general public. With varied inspiring programmes including ITE Online Business Matching, Trade Seminars and Post-Show Tours.
Gala Dinner themed "Viet Nam Night", also brought the common art performances of "Five countries – One destination on 6 September 2017 at GEM Convention Centre, Ho Chi Minh City
This year program had the participations of tourism industry's leaders of 5 countries including Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand.
"ITE – HCMC has been affirming its position as one of the leading tourism events, a professional forum for tourism management agencies, tourism enterprises at home and abroad to meet, to exchange and cooperate. Through the series of activities within the framework of the expo, visitors have the opportunity to learn about the people, history, culture and destinations of the countries in the region". - Minister Nguyen Ngoc Thien
Some highlights at the Gala Dinner was the exhibition of multiethnic country with over fifty distinct groups, showcasing the beautiful landscape sites, traditional costumes and diversified culture.
Seminar "Developing MICE Tourism in Ho Chi Minh City" at GEM Center Plaza (for Buyers & Media)
The workshop had the attendances of Mr. Ha Van Sieu – Vice Chairman of VNAT; Mr. Nguyen Quy Phuong – Director of Travel Department (under VNAT); Mr. La Quoc Khanh - Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City's Department of Tourism; Mr. Ben Wieglus - Director of Sustainable Development of Informa Exhibitions; and representatives from tour operators at home and abroad, tourism enterprises, 5-star hotels; international experts and speakers; domestic and international press.
Main exhibition area: September 7-9, 2017 at Saigon Exhibition & Convention Centre (SECC)
In the picture: Seminar on keys to attract Malaysian tourists to Ho Chi Minh City by Mr. Zosimo Jimeno, General Manager, Kok Thai Travel (top-left)
Special program for hosted international media and buyers included delicious lunches and dinners in many different restaurants around the city, a city tour, spa treatment and a post-tour:
Welcome Dinner for Hosted Buyers/ Media at REX Hotel Saigon, a luxury heritage hotel dating back to early 20th century when it was originally opened as a French garage. It is a classic blend of the old world and Eastern charm. It features a casino and rooftop bar.
Visiting the Independence Palace, also known as Reunification Palace was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was the site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.
Hosted Media and buyers being pampered at Sam Lan Clinic & Luxury Spa in District 5
Delicious lunch with panoramic views over the Saigon River at the highest restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City - Eon 51, offering stunning views of the city, delicious food and a great wine selection
Visiting Saigon National History Museum: built by Auguste Delaval in 1926 in Indochina architecture style
Lovely dinner at Binh Quoi Village: best off-the-beaten-path location reflects particular scenery of the charming beauty of a bygone Mekong Delta Mekong Delta region. In addition, there is the club named "Hoi Quan Hoi ngo" where memories about the famous music composer Trinh Cong Son are very well-reserved, with his paintings, pictures and music scores.
Visited charming China town: "Cholon", the largest Chinatown in the world by area and is a place of great historical and cultural importance. In the picture: Thien Hau Temple, the 19th-century temple dedicated to the goddess Thien Hau, a Chinese sea goddess. Most of the materials used for constructing the pagoda were transported from China mainland. There are dozens of incense coils hanging from the ceiling in the main area of the temple, some of the large ones can last several weeks.
"A O Show" by Lune Production, an unforgettable and sophisticated cultural show at the magnificent Saigon Opera House. The show is a unique mix of bamboo cirque, acrobatic acts, contemporary dance, and theatrical visual art depicts the charming beauty and cultural richness of Vietnamese life in the countryside, in contrast with the nation's racing urbanization. The live music echoes Vietnamese Southern work songs.
International Press ITE 2017 Dinner sponsored by People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism and Ben Thanh Tourist at The Mist, a boutique hotel in the middle of Ho Chi Minh City, designed by Nguyen Hoa Hiep, the award-winning architectural and interior designer from a 21 studio. The design gives guests a taste of urban Saigon living, with concrete ceilings, exposed sprinkler pipes and winding corridors.
In the picture: International media, Ms. Dang Thi Thy Thanh, Vice President of Ben Thanh Tourist (below-left) and Mr. La Quoc Khanh, Deputy Director of People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism entertained the guests with his music.
I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Informa Exhibition for organising such an amazing event; it was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had. I would also like to thank my publisher, all of the wonderful sponsors and the volunteer helpers throughout my first visit to Saigon, and, last but not least, my hotel - the Caravelle Saigon. I have the best hotel experience during my stay. I woke up feeling fully charged every morning and went back to my room feeling nice and warm. The reception and restaurant staff are very professional, friendly and helpful to us. I would like to thank you for the excellent care received during my stay. I will have to write a separate review in my next photo report. – Darin Nicha
ITE HCMC 2017 Post-show tours:
Photo caption: Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of ITE HCMC 2017 Exhibition