An international tourism conference to promote cooperation between Japan and the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang was held at the end of July as part of the 2018 Vietnam-Japan Cultural Exchange Festival.
The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), and Da Nang’s Department of Foreign Affairs organized the conference. The event was attended by almost 100 people and was designed so that Japanese and Vietnamese businesses and tourism authorities could meet and discuss how they could cross-promote each other’s designations.
Japan’s Ambassador to Vietnam, Kunio Umeda, attended the event affirmed that as Jpaan and Vietnam are celebrating the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2018, that the timing is right for the two nations to deepen their cooperation in the areas of culture, business, social affairs and tourism.
Da Nang city is the third largest city in Vietnam and is a leading hub for business and tourism in the central part of the country. According to Lam Quang Minh, Director of the city’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Da Nang has established relations with more than 20 Japanese localities and has held many exchange activities with them over the past years.
Lam Quang Minh also noted that direct flights from airports in the Tokyo and Osaka regions
have boosted tourism to Da Nang since Japanese citizens no longer have to transit through airports in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. He also noted that after four-years of development and marketing, the annual Vietnam-Japan Cultural Exchange Festival in Da Nang has attracted more than 60,000 visitors.
At the conference, Lam Quang Minh also asked the Japanese participants to help and teach Vietnamese tourism companies to become more Japanese-customer oriented. Areas of technical guidance should include how to develop services in condominiums and hotels that are Japanese-visitor friendly and how to market the unique cultural and tourism of Da Nang and central Vietnam to Japanese tourists.
To also encourage more Vietnamese visitors to Japan, JNTO representatives at the conference introduced famous tourism destinations, festivals, cultural traits, and shopping malls of Japan to the attending Vietnamese tourism officials.
According to statistics from JNTO, 300,000 Vietnamese tourists visited Japan in 2017 and is the highest recorded figure for Vietnamese tourists. In the case of Vietnam, Japan ranked third in the number of tourists to the country. Events that are being organized to cross promote each others destinations, including The Vietnamese Cultural Festival in Japan and The Cherry Blossom Festival in Vietnam, have become popular events that are developing greater brand awareness for each country.
Vietnam is also a country that is being looked at as a business destination for many Japanese companies. For business, Da Nang is marketing itself as an attractive location that has an abundance of IT talent, is becoming a modern “smart” city, and that allows easy access to both Hanoi and the Ho Chi Minh City metro areas, without the hassle of the two largest cities and that is a more “relaxed” location, that is close to the ocean and presents a better lifestyle for Japanese expats.
Officials of both Japan and Vietnam agreed at the conference that their ties will deepen in coming years and that they expect to see greater cooperation and business activity in the next 3 ~ 5 years that will benefit both countries.