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Updated Dec 27, 2010
Vietnam welcomes five million tourists
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Vietnam on December 24 had international tourist number five million for 2010 – a visitor from China. This opened a new page in the development of the tourism industry. The welcome mat was put out for Zhou Ying, a Chinese auditor, who flew into Vietnam on flight VN901, from Beijing to Hanoi.

"Five million, the highest number in 20 years, proves that Vietnam has become one of the top destinations in the ASEAN region because of its image as a safe and friendly destination," said the Director General of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), Nguyen Van Tuan.

The number of foreign arrivals to Vietnam is 35% higher than last year. Domestic tourists have also risen – by 13% to 28 million.

China headed the nations with the highest number of travellers to Vietnam, followed by South Korea, Japan, the US, Taiwan and Australia.

The tourism industry is expected to create a revenue of VND96 trillion (US$4.8 billion), an increase of 37% over last year.

Director of Travel Department under VNAT Vu The Binh credited the increases to better efforts by local tourism companies and effective promotion campaigns and incentive policies from the Government.

"These achievements will provide the impetus for even more development next year," he said.

Binh also said top priority should be given to improving the quality of tourism staff and creating tourism products to attract visitors.

He said the tourism sector should continue to promote the country's image abroad with travel promotion programmes in China, Japan, Korea, ASEAN nations and Western Europe.

"More tax Incentives and further investment from the Government are needed to upgrade infrastructure facilities," he said.

By 2015, the tourism industry plans to earn $8.9 billion from a total of 12 million foreign visitors and host 28 million domestic travellers, according to a draft on tourism development.

The industry was then expected to earn $15.9 billion in revenue in 2020, which would contribute 6% of GDP, according to the draft, which will be submitted to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung for approval.

Another survey has shown that Vietnam is emerging as one of the top destinations because of its distinctive culture, beautiful natural scenery and affordable attractions.

The Asia-Pacific Travel Intentions Survey, conducted by Visa and the Pacific – Asia Travel Association revealed that the travellers most likely to visit Vietnam in the next two years included 17% from Thailand, 16% from Australia, and 11% from Japan and Singapore.

(Source: VNS)


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