The Cultural, Sports and Tourism Festival for people in the Central and Central Highlands regions kicked off on July 1 in the southern central province of Phu Yen.

The event, as part of the National Tourism Year 2011 which puts spotlight in sea and island tourism, drew the participation of 500 artists from 14 regional provinces, who brought to the audience their most distinctive traditional music performances.

Addressing the ceremony, Huynh Vinh Ai, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism affirmed that the event aims to develop Vietnam’s tourism and encourage localities to build their own tourism trademarks, contributing to building a Vietnamese culture imbued with national identity.

The same day, 150 athletes competed in five traditional sports, including stilt walking, stick pushing, tug of war, volleyball and cross-bow shooting.

As scheduled, Phu Yen will host a gastronomy festival featuring specialities of the northern, central and southern regions from July 6-9 following this event./.