Foreign visitors in Hoi An ancient city (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Close to 8.5 million foreigners visited Vietnam in the first half of this year, a rise of 7.5 percent year on year, reported the General Statistics Office (GSO) on June 28.

Visitors coming by roads surged by 24.9 percent and those arriving by air rose by 4.5 percent.

The tourism sector has set a target of welcoming 18 million foreign visitors and serving 85 million local visitors this year.

Accordingly, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has launched tourism promotion events in key markets since the beginning of this year.

In June, a delegation from the Administration joined the Beijing International Tourism Expo (BITE), China, aiming to maintain the flow of tourists from this large market of Vietnam’s tourism sector.

At BITE, the officials focused on advertizing sea, culture, and urban tourism and eco-tours.

In the meantime, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien is chairing a roadshow featuring Vietnamese tourism and a Vietnam culture-tourism festival in the Republic of Korea.

Under the Politburo Resolution 08 on developing tourism into a spearhead economic sector, the tourism industry looks to attract 17-20 million foreign visitors and cater for 82 million local tourists, contribute over 10 percent of GDP, earn revenues of 35 billion USD, and generate 4 million jobs, including 1.6 million direct jobs by 2020. -VNA