The first foreign visitors of HCM City in 2017. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The southern economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City received the first international tourists of the year 2017 at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport on January 1.

Passengers on flight VN30 from Germany and flight TG550 from the UK’s London were greeted with a ceremony jointly held by the City’s Department of Tourism and Tourism Association. They were treated with musical performance and invited to try their hand at Vietnam’s traditional art such as calligraphy.

Nguyen Thi Thu, Vice Chairwoman of HCM City People’s Committee said that the city has improved infrastructure to meet the demands of visitors. In 2017, HCM City aims to develop more travel products based on its advantages such as MICE tours and cuisine tourism.

The city’s tourism sector has set goals of serving 5.5 million foreign visitors in 2017, a rise of 10 percent compared to last year, and earning total revenue of 112 trillion VND (around 4.9 billion USD), an increase of 8 percent year-on-year. HCM City also strives to turn tourism into one of its key industries.-VNA