Tourism stimulus programme launched
Update: Mar 04, 2013
Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Deputy General Director Nguyen Manh Cuong has announced the launch of the agency's 2013 stimulus programme, designed to increase the number of international tourists visiting Vietnam.

The domestic tourism stimulus programme aims to improve the quality and the competitiveness of domestic air travel, transport, hotel, and restaurant services.

The tourism sector will collaborate on Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) 2013, this year themed "Discovering the Red River Delta - the Origin of Vietnamese Culture".

The industry event is a valuable opportunity for Vietnamese and foreign travel operators to establish connections and sign contracts with the potential to expand Vietnam's foreign visitor markets.

According to the VNAT, 570,000 foreigners visited Vietnam in February, down 18.3 percent from February 2012 and 11.2 percent from January 2013.

In the first two months of this year, the total number of international visitors was estimated at 1.213 million - a 9.6 percent decrease on last year's arrivals.

The number of visitors from Germany fell by 69 percent, Hong Kong by 55 percent, Laos by 39 percent, and Denmark by 36 percent.

The number of Russian tourists surged a surprising 38 percent. The next biggest increases were from New Zealand (24.8 percent), Indonesia (21.9 percent), Thailand (18.8 percent), and the Republic of Korea (10.4 percent).

Vietnam recorded 7.8 million domestic tourists in the first two months of 2013, up 11.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

The tourism sector's total revenue is expected to hit VND35,000 billion, 7.9 percent higher than 2012.