Many activities that highlight and celebrate traditional culture and promote tourism will be held under the auspices of the event.
Thua Thien-Hue has been chosen as the host locality for the event this year. The province will mark the year with the implementation of a programme themed Hue – Ancient Capital City – New Experiences, which will highlight its rich historical heritage.
The province will work together with six other north-central provinces from Thanh Hoa to Quang Tri in organising many activities that mark National Tourism Year 2012.
Under a plan drawn up by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, each province will host two or three activities that best represent their traditional culture.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hoang Tuan Anh, has asked the seven provinces to take advantage of many historical sites and relics in their localities to promote and popularise national history, apart from attracting international tourists.
Anh also said the tourism sector must use the nation's intangible heritages to diversify tourism products.
The director of Thua Thien-Hue's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Phan Tien Dung, said that the province was implementing 43 projects with a total investment of VND4.9 trillion (US$234 million) as part of its preparations for the National Tourism Year.
The province is also trying to offer a wide variety of tourism products to attract more local and international visitors, Dung said.
It has about 8,000 hotel rooms to accommodate large numbers of visitors during peak seasons.
The province also plans to participate in many international tourism fairs in Japan and Thailand to promote the event, local officials said.
Dung said that this year, the province expected to welcome about 2.2 million visitors, an increase of 17 per cent over the last year.
Of this figure, 900,000 would be international visitors, a rise of 15 per cent over last year, and the 1.3 million local visitors would mark an increase of 18 per cent, he said.
Total tourism revenue for the province is expected to reach VND2.2 trillion ($105 million) this year, 30 per cent higher than last year.
At the national level, the target is to welcome 6.6 million international visitors, an increase of 8.3 per cent over last year, and 32 million domestic tourists, up 6.67 per cent, Dung said.
National tourism revenues this year are expected to reach VND150 trillion ($7.1 billion), a 15.3 per cent increase over last year.
Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said that in order to achieve the targets set for the National Tourism Year, tourism management should improve at both central and local levels.
He said stricter quality control of tourism products was needed all over the country.
Vietnam should further enhance international tourism co-operation to promote and popularise its attractions, Tuan said.
The National Tourism Year is an annual event organised by VNAT, focusing on a different place, region and theme each year.