Japanese tourists visiting Thien Mu pagoda in Hue city. (Photo: VNA)

In his speech at the event, Deputy Head of VNAT Ha Van Sieu said that for many years, Japan has been the source market of Vietnam’s tourism and among the top three markets sending tourists to the country.

The number of Vietnamese tourists to the market grew 38% on average during the 2013-2017 period. In 2017 alone, the “Land of the Rising Sun” welcomed almost 310,000 Vietnamese tourists. While Vietnam greeted nearly 800,000 Japanese arrivals, an 8% increase over a year earlier.

Together with the efforts of Japan to exploit the Vietnam outbound market, the Vietnamese side is actively carrying out promotion activities in Japan with the hope of gaining break-through changes in the growth rate of Japanese tourist to the country in the coming time, he stressed. 

Mr. Katsuro Nagai, Deputy Ambassador of Japan to Vietnam, said that although Vietnam saw the highest ever number of Japanese tourists in 2017, the figure witnessed a slow growth of only 8% from the previous year.

Explaining the reason, the two sides pointed out obstacles such as the lack of tour guides who can speak Japanese, especially at hot spots favored by Japanese tourists like Da Nang, Hue and Hoi An; the lack of the presence of representative offices for Vietnam’s tourism in Japan; the visa policy; and poor environmental hygiene.

In discussions, associations, tour operators and hotels gave ideas and initiatives to enhance the effectiveness of tourism cooperation and enhance tourism exchange in the near future, contributing to building an action plan which is scheduled to be realized after the 8th session of the Vietnam - Japan Tourism Cooperation Committee in October 2018./.