ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Vietnamese tourist arrivals to hit 5 million
The monthly average was 420,000 visitors, the highest in the last 20 years. The previous record, 4.236 million visitors, was set in 2008. Tourism industry revenue is expected to total US$4.6 billion against 3.8 million visitors and $3.05 billion last year.
The new figures were a milestone in the development of the tourism industry and proved that travelers still thought the country was safe, friendly and attractive, said Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) general director Nguyen Van Tuan. The general director attributed them to Viet Nam's tourism potential and the global economic recovery.
Systematic promotion campaigns as well as major national and international events had been especially important, he said.
Visitors from mainland China, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand, where the currencies were stronger than the dong, preferred Vietnam for its cheaper prices.
They could buy more with their money in Viet Nam than in other countries.
VNAT Travel Department director Vu The Binh said the record 5 million international visitors for the year was the result of a successful process and the industry would continue to promote the country's image and tourist products.
For example, the administration had piloted a trans-national caravan tour within Viet Nam, Lao, Thailand and Cambodia as " Four countries - One Destination" earlier this month. It would launch promotions in the major markets of Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore later this month.
But the industry lacks trained staff, infrastructure, competitiveness and tourism products, says the VNAT.
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