The event was attended by a large number of major tour operators from Vietnam and Russia.
Vice Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Nguyen Le Phuc welcomed the event, saying that the forum will help boost confidence and recovery of tourism between the two countries since the COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to the international travel.
Demyan O. Smilevets, head of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism’s Department for International Cooperation, said Vietnam remains a popular destination among Russian tourists. According to Russia’s Federal State Statistics Service, about 572,000 Russians visited Vietnam in 2019, up 8 percent from the previous year while the number of Vietnamese visitors to Russia rose by 9 percent year-on-year to 59,000.
Russia sees Vietnam as a promising market because of the friendship between the two countries’ people, he said.
He noted that Russia has started issuing e-visas for Vietnamese citizens since January 1, 2021 and Vietnamese visitors are allowed to stay in Russia in 16 days. But due to COVID-19, the new policy has yet to come to reality, he said.
He urged travel agencies from both countries to work together to promote safety and convenience to attract more visitors.
Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Tourism of St. Petersburg Nana M. Gvichia, meanwhile, the number of Vietnamese visitors to the Russian city was only paid 25,000 in 2019 and it is relatively small compared to a population of 100 million in Vietnam.
She vowed that St. Petersburg will do its utmost to ensure safety for all visitors in the face of COVID-19.