Eyeing to give a boost to tourist traffic from India, Vietnam opened a visa facilitation centre here today with plans to open more such centres at Jaipur and Ahmedabad in the near future.
"We should step up tourist promotion activities. After opening our first visa facilitation centre at Kolkata, we have opened another one at Chandigarh today which will be followed by more centres in Jaipur, Ahmedabad and later on at Lucknow," Ton Sinh Thanh, country's ambassador to India said after the launch of the visa centre where application forms will be processed.
Touching upon the tourist potential, the Ambassador said there is huge scope and both the nations need to fully exploit this.
Tours and travel operators from Vietnam also came here to showcase the potential the Asian country offers including it famous beaches and Ha Long Bay in the northeastern part of the country known for its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands topped by rainforests.
The Ambassador said that the new visa centre will cater to the northern states including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana and people need not travel to Delhi for their visa applications, thus making the process "fast, simple and hassle-free".
"Tours and travel firm, Cox and Kings has been authorised to accept the visa applications at this centre," he said.
Asked about the number of tourists who visited Vietnam from India last year, the Ambassador said, the number was 55,000, "which is very less in comparison to 17 million Indian tourists going abroad. From Vietnam, 10,000 tourists visited India last year, mostly visiting places like Bodh Gaya."
"We expect that atleast one lakh tourists from India travel to Vietnam. There is so much to explore in Vietnam including Ha Long Bay, beautiful islands and tourists can also do a lot of shopping..," he said.
The Ambassador, meanwhile, said that bilateral trade between the two nations was also on the rise.
"We import things like textile material, machineries, chemicals, pharmaceutical products while we export to India electronics, mobile phones, agri products including pepper, besides rubber," he elucidated.
He also said that there is great potential to exploit on the agriculture front and Vietnam can explore the possibilities of mutual cooperation with leading agrarian states of Punjab and Haryana.