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June 21, 2008

Vietnamese: Govt wants more tourism promotions
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan has asked the tourism industry to focus on launching promotional campaigns in an effort to further cash in on the National Year of Tourism, reported state news agency VNA.

Nhan made the call at a conference held in Hanoi on June 19 to review five-year outcomes of the National Year of Tourism programme (2003-2008).

The Deputy PM urged provinces and travel companies to tap local potential and highlight local characteristics such as food specialties, cultural traditions and historic sites.

The first National Year of Tourism was held in the world cultural heritage site of Ha Long Bay in 2002. During the past five years, different provinces and cities have taken turns to host the event and statistics show they reaped the economic benefits.

Nghe An, the native province of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam founder Ho Chi Minh, attracted more than 1.4 million tourists in 2005, and Thai Nguyen province welcomed 1.2 million tourists in 2007 after hosting the event.

This year the event was held in southwestern Can Tho city, which is famous for its orchards.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh said the National Year of Tourism has not only helped promote local historic, cultural and humanitarian characteristics but also contributed to generating jobs and increasing income for locals.

He also acknowledged the lack of professionalism, attractiveness and tourist products and services, which are primary elements to make a sustainable trademark.

Promotion campaigns, investment in infrastructure, human resources development and broad international cooperation are of primary importance in increasing the efficiency of the National Year of Tourism and the hospitality industry as a whole, the minister said.

The country welcomed 2.1 million international arrivals in the first five months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 16.6 per cent.

The tourism ministry has set the target of welcoming 6 million international visitors and serving 30 million domestic holidaymakers by 2010, yielding $4.6 billion.

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