Saigon cancels annual tourism expo over Covid-19 concerns

By Nguyen Nam   July 6, 2020 | 04:15 am PT
Saigon cancels annual tourism expo over Covid-19 concerns
European tourists in front of the Central Post Office in HCMC, February 21, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Nam.
After 15 years, this year’s International Tourism Expo HCMC scheduled for September will be canceled over Covid-19 fears.

"Ho Chi Minh City will not organize the annual international tourism fair in 2020 as planned," said Tran Vinh Tuyen, the city's Vice Chairman. Cancelation of this year’s event will help further prevent the spread of Covid-19, he added.

As planned, the three-day event would have taken place from September 4 to 6 at the Sai Gon Exhibition and Convention Centre (799 Nguyen Van Linh Street, District 7) with the theme "Gateway to International Tourism". It is organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and HCMC authorities.

Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of the city’s tourism department, said it had sent a survey to foreign exhibitors who stated they are closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation and are limiting trips abroad at this time.

Since its debut in 2005, the event has annually attracted hundreds of foreign exhibitors and thousands of international visitors. It is a good opportunity to popularize Vietnam and its culture internationally. In 2019, the event attracted 250 foreign exhibitors from 42 countries and territories and over 30,000 attendees.

Vietnam has gone 81 days without community transmission of Covid-19. It has recorded 369 infections but no deaths, with 340 having recovered.

At a government meeting in Hanoi earlier this month, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Vietnam was not yet ready to open up to international tourists given the lack of improvement in the global situation and the second wave of infections suffered by several countries in the region, including China and South Korea.

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