With long stays and greater spending capacity than tourists from other countries, Russian visitors offer a huge potential market for the sector, he said, adding that it aims to attract 350,000 Russian visitors by 2020, a three to four-fold increase on the current figure.
The industry will continue promoting Vietnam travel as a tourist destination to Russian people, as well as conducting research on Russian tourism trends and foster cooperation between tourist agents from the two nations.
Building more tourism facilities, especially in central and southern-coastal provinces, is also a major consideration.
Increasing numbers of Russian visitors are choosing to spend their holidays in Vietnam, said Andrey Sorokin, Director in charge of the Chinese and Vietnamese markets for Capital Tour - the leading Russian agent for Vietnam.
He forecast that the number of Russian visitors travel to will top 150,000 by 2015. Most Russian tourists are interested in sites where they can enjoy hi-end entertainment services rather than discovering cultural and historical sites, said Doan Thi Thanh Tra from Saigontourist.
Areas such as Nha Trang, Phan Thiet and Phu Quoc were popular due to their high quality beaches, Tra said.
Russians account for the highest number of tourists visiting Mui Ne in Binh Thuan Province, said the Director of provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Lam Quang Hien.
In September alone, 62,600 tourists visited Binh Thuan accounting for one-third of the total figure. Hien predicted that Russian tourists to Vietnam will continue to increase by the end of the year as they want to escape from the harsh Russian winter.
Vietnam offers visa exemptions to Russians since January 2009, which has contributed to attracting a larger amount of tourists to Vietnam. Russians with ordinary passports enjoy 15-day visa exemptions in Vietnam.
Several tourism promotional activities have been carried out in Russia such as a road show in Moscow and St Petersburg. Vietnam travel companies have signed agreements with Russian partners who are highly knowledgeable about Vietnam.
In addition, they have participated in tourism fairs in many locations throughout Russia.
In the near future, Vladivostok Air will begin offering flights from Khabarovsk and Vladivostok to Cam Ranh Airport in Khanh Hoa Province.