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July 31, 2008

Vietnam Tourism: Arrivals rose 10% to 2.6mn in Jan-July 2008
Vietnam received more than 2.6 million international visitors in the first seven months of the year, a year-on-year increase of 10.6 percent, Vietnam News Agency reported quoting figures

from the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Foreign tourists to Vietnam mainly came from Thailand, the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK), the Philippines, China, France, Singapore and Malaysia.

International arrivals from the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore rose sharply over the same period last year with 55 percent, 41.6 percent and 27.5 percent, respectively, while those

from China, the RoK and Japan decreased.

"In order to fulfill its target of welcoming five million international tourists this year, the tourism sector will simplify international travel business procedures and strengthen land tourism

cooperation with its neighbours Laos and Cambodia," Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tran Chien Thang said.

The sector plans to coordinate with airlines and enterprises to organise tourism promotion activities and diversify tourism products, he added.

It will also continue investment in upgrading infrastructure and training human resources in an effort to improve service quality, thus increasing the number of tourists with long-time


Currently, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is preparing for the 2009 Asean Tourism Forum (ATF 2009) scheduled to be held in Vietnam from January 5-12.

One of the major activities is building a website providing tourism information on Vietnam. This will be the first time Vietnam hosts such a large-scale event in the framework of ASEAN

tourism cooperation, Thang said.

The ATF was considered a big opportunity for Vietnam to promote tourism and expand tourism cooperation with other regional countries.

Vietnam is expected to welcome around 1,500 international delegates during the next year's ATF, including representatives of 400 travel agencies from key markets in Northern America,

Europe and Northeastern Asia.

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