The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines plans to launch a direct flight from Hanoi to the Czech capital of Prague and vice versa in 2017 with the aim to boost tourism cooperation between the two countries.
The information was revealed by Nguyen Van Tuan, Director General of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), who is leading a delegation of officials from the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism to the Czech Republic from March 13-16.
The Director General on March 15 had a working session with Klara Dostalova, First Deputy Minister of the Czech Ministry of Regional Development (MoRD), to discuss tourism cooperation.
At the event, Tuan said the two sides should prepare for the signing of the agreement on tourism cooperation between Vietnam and the Czech Republic , and strengthen the popularisation of the two countries’ tourism products and destinations.
He said the VNAT will propose the Vietnamese Government to grant visa exemptions for Czech citizens and asked the Czech Republic to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese tourists in visa applications.
The Vietnamese official also extended an invitation to the Czech deputy minister to visit Vietnam and witness the signing of the cooperation agreement.
For her part, Klara Dostalova agreed to the deal, expressing her hope that more Vietnamese will visit the Czech Republic .
On March 14, a Vietnam tourism promotion forum was organised by the VNAT and the MoRD in collaboration with the Vietnamese Embassy in the host country.
The event attracted some 150 representatives from Czech travel and aviation agencies, as well as Vietnamese officials and businesspeople.
Vaclav Rehor , Chairman of the Board of Directors of Czech Aeroholding, said that Vietnam Airlines will enjoy an exemption on airport charges and fees once the Hanoi-Prague direct flight route is in operation.
Meanwhile, Truong Manh Son, Vietnamese Ambassador to the Czech Republic , affirmed that the embassy has shortened the visa application period for Czech citizens to five to seven days.
Vietnam, with a coastline of about 3,200 kilometres, has huge tourism potential for Czech people due to the fact that the European country has no beaches, according to Ambassador Truong Manh Son.
However, only 4,000 Czechs currently visit Vietnam per year.