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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                       26  August 2011

Vietnamese tourism soars

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The total number of foreign visitors to Vietnam in the first eight months of this year increased by 18.4 percent to 4 million against the same period of last year, according to the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

The strongest growth was 74.2 per cent from Cambodia, followed by China (53.5 per cent), Malaysia (18.7 percent), Japan (11.7 percent), Singapore (10.6 per- cent), Taiwan (5.4 percent), France (4.5 percent), South Korea (4 percent), the United States (2.5 percent) and Australia (2.3 percent).

However, the country suffered a month-on-month decrease of 3.4 percent in August to 490,000. According to the VNAT, this was to be expected because from the end of July to the end of October was off-peak season for foreign tourists.

In addition, since earlier this year, Viet Nam's tourism industry had suffered from the natural disasters in Japan, political crisis in Thailand and the economic crises in the US and Europe.

To attract more foreign tourists, Vietnam would hold more promotional activities in the near future.

Vietnam would open an International Tourist Exhibition in HCM City from September 14-17 for tourist firms from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the VNAT said at a press conference in Ha Noi yesterday.

At the exhibition, both domestic and foreign firms could meet potential partners, Tuan said. He added that the European Union had helped the VNAT develop a new logo and slogan for the Viet Nam tourism promotional programme for the 2011-15 period.

The new logo and slogan would be launched next year, Tuan said.

The administration would continue to promote the Vietnamese tourism industry by holding culture days in other countries, international tourism events and airing programmes on popular television channels such as CNN and the BBC, Tuan said.

Viet Nam's tourism industry expected to serve 5.3 million foreign tourists and 30 million local tourists this year, with an estimated revenue of VND110 trillion (US$5.3 million).



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