Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Monday, Oct 18, 2004
India, Vietnam to start direct flights
Mr Tran Trong Khanh, Ambassador of Vietnam, with Mr Anil K. Agarwal, Alternate President, Assocham, and Mr Nguyen Quy Phuong, Deputy Director-General, Vietnam National Administration for Tourism (left), at a press conference in the Capital on Sunday. Ramesh Sharma
New Delhi , Oct. 17
IN a bid to boost bilateral relations with Vietnam, India on Sunday decided to start 20 direct air flights a month to the South-East Asian country.
The Government has officially conveyed its decision to the Vietnamese authorities, which have also reciprocated the gesture.
Addressing a press conference organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the Ambassador of Vietnam in India, Mr Tran Trong Khanh, said that Vietnam has identified India as one of the major countries to promote its tourism.
The Tourism Minister, Ms Renuka Choudhury, and visiting Vietnam the Tourism Minister, Ms Vo Thi Thang, are likely to discuss the details and the dates for establishing the air linkages between the two countries when they meet for official discussions on Monday.
Mr Khanh said that India has given its official commitment to Vietnam that formalities may be done away with while establishing the air linkages between the two countries in view of the growing bilateral relations. Mr Khanh said Vietnam has identified India as one of the major countries to promote its tourism.
The flow of Indian tourists to Vietnam will grow to 10,000 by the end of this calendar year compared to its earlier tourist flow of 6,500 by April 2003.
The Deputy Director General of Vietnam National Administration for Tourism Mr Nguyen Quy Phuong, said the President, Mr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, has agreed to visit Vietnam during the Indo-Asean Summit in December 2004.
Easier visas: Mr Phuong said Vietnam has crossed the foreign tourist arrival of five million by the end of September 2004, while India's foreign tourist arrivals as on date is less than 2.5 million.
In order to attract larger Indian tourist flow to Vietnam, its government will soon relax its visa restrictions and ensure that visas are granted to Indian tourists on arrival at Vietnam airports, Mr Phuong said.
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