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July 2, 2008

Vietnam attracted 2.5m visitors in Jan-June 2008
Vietnam welcomed 2.5 million foreign tourists in the first half of the year, according to the Government's web portal.

June alone saw some 450,000 foreign arrivals, surging 34 per cent over the same period last year, reported state news agency VNA.

According to the Ministry of Investment and Planning, the tourist sector earned 37 trillion dong ($2.3 million) in revenues in the first half of this year, or 60.7 percent of its yearly plan.

Foreign holiday-makers mainly came from China Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Sweden Finland, Norway, and Germany. Particularly, the number of Chinese tourists sharply increased in the reviewed period.

Ho Chi Minh City in the period welcomed around 1.5 million foreign tourists, seeing a year-on-year increase of 16 percent.

The central region also saw brisk tourist activities as the number of foreign visitors travelling by sea to Nha Trang and Da Nang cities and by land via international border gates of Lao Bao and Cau Treo swelled.

Wide-scale advertisement programmes also helped the World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay in northern Quang Ninh province attract more foreign visitors. In June alone, the Unesco-recognised world heritage site welcomed 213,000 tourists, including 130,500 foreigners.

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