The International Travel Expo, Ho Chi Minh City (ITE HCMC)—the largest and most established travel event in Vietnam and the Mekong sub-region—is celebrating its 15th edition milestone!
The first show, held in 2005, had only two international pavilions from Thailand and Cambodia, 43 buyers, and 86 booths. Most of the exhibitors were local businesses, as the show was then designed as a platform for domestic tourism enterprises to meet international visitors.
In the following years, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand joined in, and the theme “Five Countries – Single Destination” was born. In 2009, the Mekong Tourism Alliance Awards was launched to celebrate the best tourism enterprises within the region. In 2010, the event moved from Phu Tho Stadium to the larger Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center to accommodate a bigger show and more visitors.
In 2017, the new ITE Awards was launched, with the awards continuing to this edition. Today, ITE HCMC is the prime opportunity for industry players and leading brands from airlines, hotels, resorts and travel agents to showcase their latest tourism products and services, source for quality agents and distributors, and expand their business into Vietnam and the Mekong sub-region.
There are impactful networking opportunities including customised business matching services, speed “dating” sessions, and pre-scheduled business meetings; numerous informative seminars by industry experts; and exciting social events.
Thank-You To All Partners & Supporters The organisers of the event— Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism, Vietnam Trade Fair & Advertising Joint Stock (VINEXAD), and Informa Markets, are delighted, thankful, and humbled that the show has grown so immensely in these 14 years, with some sellers exhibiting every year since its inaugural show.
They want to thank all partners and companies for their unwavering support, including the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia; the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lao PDR; the Ministry of Hotels & Tourism, Myanmar; and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Kingdom of Thailand, the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism, Vietnam, and the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City.
Mr. Bui Ta Hoang Vu, Director of the Department of Tourism of Ho Chi Minh City, one of the co-organisers, shared: “As the 15th edition of ITE HCMC nears, we warmly welcome all visitors to our lovely city, and we will do our utmost to show you a memorable time.”
*What’s New: Longer Exhibition Hours, Larger Space This 15th anniversary edition will enjoy a larger exhibition space of two halls, and extended operating hours from 9am to 7pm on all three days of the event, which will be held on 5 – 7 September at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center (SECC).
Previously, public visitors could visit the show only on the last day. This year, travel bugs can scour hot promotional tour packages as well as enjoy performances and games from 4pm on the first and second day, and the entire day on the third.
*What’s New: Tourism Start-Up Forum & Pavilion To address the increased reliance on technology and the Internet in the tourism and hospitality industry, a Start-up Tourism Forum will be held on 4 September at Rex Hotel to discuss fresh solutions, new perspectives, and enhanced customer experiences.
Buyers and visitors can also visit the new Tourism Start-Up pavilion in the exhibition hall. The exhibitors in this pavilion will offer services including better security for travellers and their transactions, better payment models for businesses and consumers, automation in hotels and resorts, as well as personalisation of the travel and hospitality experience.
350 Exhibitors & 35,000 Visitors Expected The organisers are expecting 350 exhibitors and 35,000 visitors to attend the show this year.
Exhibiting Organisations This year, ITE HCMC welcomes back exhibitors who have participated in the event and given their unwavering support for the last 14 years. They include BenThanh Tourist, Cambodia Ministry of Tourism, Hanoi Department of Tourism, Saigon Tourist, Vietnam Airlines, Vietravel, and Vung Tau Department of Tourism.
Various new National Tourism Organisations (NTO) and Tourism Promotion Organisations (TPO) are participating for the first time, such as Gangwon Province; Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism; and Seoul Tourism Organisation.
Also exhibiting are companies from popular tourism hotspots such as Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Look out, too, for new exhibitors such as – Bamboo Airways, Bic Camera & Ito Yokado, Changi Travel Services Pte Ltd, Explore Tibet International Co. Ltd, Grand Howard Hotel, Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU – HOKKAIDO, Hotel Shilla Co. Ltd, iFree Group Telecommunication, My Pro Guide Inc., National Palace Museum, PPP Hotel & Resort, and Seven Luck / GLK Grand Korea Leisure.
Visitors can also expect exhibitors from over 45 Vietnamese cities and provinces, such as An Giang, Ben Tre, Ca Mau, Can Tho, Dong Thap, Hai Phong, Hanoi, Lam Dong, Ninh Binh, and Tien Giang.
Online Matching System for B2B Meetings To ensure the highest efficiency and best business outcomes for all exhibitors and buyers, ITE HCMC’s complimentary Online Matching System is opened one month before the event to allow the buyers and exhibitors to find the best matches and schedule B2B meetings in advance.
Over 7,600 B2B meetings were conducted in the 2018 edition. This year, the organisers are expecting to set a new record.
ITE HCMC Awards 2019 Another exciting highlight of the show is the ITE HCMC Awards that recognise and honour the outstanding contributions of the exhibitors and partners. The commendations come in three categories:
– The ITE Partner Award (Diamond, Gold, Silver, and Bronze) will be given to tourism businesses that have contributed to and supported the International Buyers and Media in the event.
– The ITE Supporter Award will be given to local and international government organisations that participated in the event.
– The Best Booth Design Award will be given to exhibitors with the most extraordinary booth design.
Insightful Seminars On Wide-Ranging Topics A series of comprehensive seminars will also be held during the show, covering a diverse range of topics that visitors will find deeply beneficial in keeping updated with the current travel trends.
One of them is the new Corporate Travel Trend Forum, organised by Corporate Travel Community. Trade visitors will glean precious insights, trends, and best practices on corporate travel management from bespoke speakers in the regional corporate travel community, covering topics like the Relationship Between Corporate Travel and MICE; An Introduction of Strategic Meetings Management Programme; and The Myths of Corporate Travel Management.
The seminars and forums will also cover Medical Tourism, The Rise of the Solo Traveler, Smart Tourism Development in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – Russia Tourism Cooperation, Vietnam – Middle East Tourism Cooperation, and Vietnam – Korea Tourism Cooperation, as well as the following:
– Ho Chi Minh City & Mekong Delta Tourism Connection Forum: Conference on investment promotion into the culture, sports and tourism infrastructure in Ho Chi Minh City and 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta;
– Ho Chi Minh City & Mekong Delta Tourism Connection Forum: Seminar on connecting and developing tourism products and cooperation in human resource training, and promoting tourism between Ho Chi Minh City and 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta;
– Ho Chi Minh City & Mekong Delta Tourism Connection Forum: Summit conference on development tourism linkage between Ho Chi Minh City and 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta;
Hosted Buyers Programme A prominent and longstanding feature in ITE HCMC, the International Hosted Buyers Programme, will return this year with 250 international buyers who are outbound travel agents from over 50 countries and territories, especially in the four key areas of North America, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and Western Europe. There will also be 50 outbound Vietnamese buyers.
The buyers come from companies in the leisure, corporate, MICE, luxury, and special interest travel sectors, and have been carefully chosen and approved by an Advisory Committee comprising of travel industry professionals from independent parties in the region. During the show, buyers will book appointments with sellers, conduct buyer-seller meetings, and attend social networking functions.
Hosted Media Programme On top of that, the organisers will also host 40 media (eminent online, trade, and travel media and bloggers) from 14 countries including China, Dubai, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
The hosted media will attend exclusive tours and networking events featuring the most engaging Vietnamese characters as well as the best of Ho Chi Minh City’s dining, cultural, and indigenous experiences.
ITE HCMC Confident Of Serving The Industry In Many More Editions Mr. Michael Duck, Executive Vice President of Informa Markets Asia, said: “Vietnam continues to witness strong sustained growth in the tourism sector, with local and foreign companies pumping in more investments and opening up new routes. We are thus confident that ITE HCMC will continue to serve the tourism industries in Vietnam and the Mekong sub-region far into the future. “Recent news have been extremely encouraging. The aviation industry in Vietnam will soon see a new airline, Vinpearl Air, that will ply international routes after it received a business license in July this year. In addition, AirAsia inked a Memorandum of Cooperation with local partners in December last year, reaffirming its intention to set up a low-cost carrier in Vietnam. The entry of these airlines is expected to make more parts of the country easily accessible to both local and foreign tourists.”
In addition, the new luxury cruise vessel, the Mekong Jewel, is also slated to begin its journey down the Mekong River through Vietnam and Cambodia from 2020. Its offshore itineraries will bring visitors to Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh among others.
Meanwhile, international brands have committed to building more hotel accommodation in Vietnam. Oyo Hotels & Homes will be investing US$50 million, aiming to become the largest hotel chain in Vietnam by the end of 2020 with 20,000 rooms and a presence in 10 cities. Eastin Grand Resort Vung Tau Vietnam aims to open 192 villas and 4,000 resort units by 2022, while Centara Hotels & Resorts targets to open at least 20 new hotels by 2024.
Furthermore, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$45 million loan to Vietnam that will be used to develop secondary towns in Hoa Binh, Nghe An, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue provinces into competitive tourist destinations. This is projected to benefit more than eight million visitors annually.
The Mekong sub-region will also enjoy strong growth with new tourism spots, new international hotel openings, and government action plans to push the industry.
Strongly Endorsed by Countries in the Mekong sub-region ITE HCMC, organised by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism, Vietnam Trade Fair & Advertising Joint Stock (VINEXAD), and Informa Markets, is the only travel event endorsed by the Tourism Alliance of all five countries in the Mekong sub-region.
It has the support from the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia; the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lao PDR; the Ministry of Hotels & Tourism, Myanmar; and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Kingdom of Thailand. It is also endorsed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism, Vietnam, and the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City.
Dates and Hours: 5 – 6 September 2019 9.00am – 4.00pm (For trade visitors) 4.00pm – 7.00pm (For trade and public visitors)
7 September 2019 9.00am – 7.00pm (For trade and public visitors)
Venue: Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center (SECC) 799 Nguyen Van Linh Street, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam