Visitors at Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho city (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho enjoyed strong growth in tourism last year due to a series of international political and cultural events and traditional festivals, according to the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The number of tourist arrivals surged 40 percent to 7.5 million, while tourism revenues rose 61 percent to 2.9 trillion VND (127.6 million USD).

The political, cultural and tourism events the city hosted included the APEC Food Security Week, Vietnam-Japan Culture and Trade Exchange, and the Southern Traditional Cake Festival.

The tourism sector is focusing on developing river-based tourism, especially upscale products such as three- to five-star cruise ships, Le Minh Son, deputy director of the department, said.

It is encouraging investors to develop inter-provincial and international river-based tours, he said.

The tours are designed to take in historical and cultural relics, traditional craft villages, and ecological and spiritual destinations.

Last year the neighbouring province of An Giang attracted 7.3 million visitors, up 12 percent, earning revenues of 3.7 trillion VND (162.8 million USD).

The province is the centre of spiritual tourism in the south, with people flocking especially to Ba Chua Xu Temple in Chau Doc town.

Kiên Giang province, with its beautiful landscapes, islands such as Phu Quoc, archipelagoes such as Nam Du and Ba Lua and the U Minh Thuong National Park, attracted more than six million visitors last year.

The province’s tourism revenues were worth more than 4.58 trillion VND (201.52 million USD), the highest in the delta. - VNA