Vietnam Tourism sector predicts banner year, 4.4mil visitors
About 4.4mil foreign visitors are expected to arrive in Vietnam this year, an increase of 800,000 over 2006.
Tourists visit the World Heritage My Son complex in Quang Nam Province, The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism expects to welcome 4.4mil foreign visitors in 2007.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) deputy director Hoang Tuan Anh said that targeted markets for the VNAT this year remain China, the US, Japan, South Korea and Australia.
In the first days of 2007, Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City was seeing about 5,000 tourists per day pass through customs. Saigontourist operator said, on the first day of the year, it welcomed 1,360 foreign tourists.
Saigontourist projected that about 2.7mil tourists would arrive in Ho Chi Minh City in 2007, an increase of 15% over 2006.
As the Tet (lunar new year) festival approaches, the number of overseas Vietnamese coming home for the holiday was also increasing.
The Committee on Overseas Vietnamese predicted that some 140,000 overseas Vietnamese would travel home for Tet this year. Revenue from tourism nationally in 2006 reached about VND36tril (US$2.3bil), according to VNAT. Vietnam welcomed about 3.6mil foreign visitors and 17.5mil domestic visitors, Anh said.
The State invested about VND620bil ($38.8mil) in tourism development in 2006, he noted, in 59 out of 64 provinces and cities nationwide, and about $2.2bil in official development aid (ODA) was channelled into the tourism sector in the first nine months of the year.
VNAT has targeted becoming one of the best ten countries for foreign tourists and a major tourist destination in the region.
"Vietnam is a reliable and safe destination for both Vietnamese and foreign tourists," said Anh.
As the nation joins the WTO, he said, it was facing both opportunities and challenges. "But the opportunities will slip away if the country don't know how to seize them."
A top priority for the VNAT was to develop human resources in the tourism sector. In September, VNAT decided to establish three secondary vocational schools of tourism in Can Tho, Da Lat and Nha Trang, with ten more planned over the next four years, including the Da Nang Tourism College, expected to be established in 2007, and the Rach Gia-Kien Giang and Sa Pa-Lao Cai tourism secondary vocational schools.
The central city of Da Nang is also in the forefront of a national effort by VNAT to present a better image to tourists. The city's tourism department has already completed its four-year tourism development plan for 2007-10 and its vision for 2020.
The Central Highlands resort city of Da Lat Vietnam also has plans to turn the old Ankroet (known as Suoi Vang) hydro-electric plant into a tourist attraction in 2007 in addition to many renowned tourist sites such as Dan Kia Lake, Vang (Golden) Valley and the Villa 118 on February 3 Street.
Ankroet was Vietnam's first hydroelectric plant, built in 1943. It is located in an evergreen forest about 20km northwest Da Lat Vietnam. The plant has a unique French architectural style and became a museum in 2005, after 60 years of operation.
(Source: Viet Nam News)
Vietnam Tourism sector predicts banner year, 4.4mil visitors (22/01/07 )
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