ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Vietnam enjoys boom in Russian visitors
Russia is becoming a key market for the Vietnamese tourism sector following annual growth of around 50 per cent in recent years.
A report at a conference held in HCM City on Thursday on Viet Nam-Russia Tourism Relations said that last year the growth was more than 70 per cent.
In the first seven months of this year, 170,000 Russian visitors arrived in Viet Nam, a surge of 57 per cent year-on-year.
The country targets 250,000-280,000 arrivals from Russia this year.
"We are carrying out an action programme in 2013-15 to attract Russian visitors," Nguyen Quoc Hung, deputy head of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism, told the conference.
"With the programme, we hope to receive around 350,000 Russians by 2015 and 1 million before 2020."
A Russian tourism industry executive told the conference that the number of his compatriots visiting Viet Nam would surely continue to increase since there are many Russian service and energy projects planned here.
"Russians have 20 days of holidays a year besides vacations in winter and summer," she said.
"Many of them want to come to Viet Nam since they love seafood, fruits, and the massage in your country."
But there are some issues that stop Russian visitors from coming to Viet Nam.
Language is one among them.
Participants agreed that Viet Nam has a shortage of tour guides and people in the service industry who can speak Russian.
Russian tourists often have difficulties everywhere from airports to hotels as a result.
Participants discussed plans to strengthen tourism relations between the two countries, and it was announced that exhibitions would be organised for this.
They also spoke about exploring Russia for Vietnamese tourists.
Companies from the two countries had the opportunity to meet each other and enhance relations.
They also showcased a number of their tourism products.
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