Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has underscored the need for a concerted effort by concerned agencies and the citizens in developing tourism in Vietnam.

Speaking at the launch of National Tourism Year 2015 in the central province of Thanh Hoa on April 3, he said people's hospitality and attitude towards visitors, as well as their courtesy and cleanliness, are vital for the development of the country’s tourism industry.

"Vietnam's tourism is not just about hotels and resorts or the quality of service but also the Vietnamese people's friendliness and attitude toward visitors," the deputy PM said.

"We must strive to give visitors memorable experiences so that when they think of Vietnam, they will want to come back.

"It is the little things like not littering in public places and giving up seats to the elderly that counts if we are to promote the country's image as a wonderful destination to meet wonderful people," he said.

He said that some parts of the tourism sector have not able to promote Vietnam's image as a friendly destination and, in some cases, have even left visitors with negative impressions of the country.

The Opening Week for the National Tourism Year-Thanh Hoa 2015 is being held in Thanh Hoa from April 3 to 10, and marked by 10 events, which include a requiem for war martyrs; the 50th anniversary of the Ham Rong Victory; the announcement for the Ma River tour; and the Festival of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Vietnam recognised by UNESCO, have been planned.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, during the National Tourism Year in Thanh Hoa, more than 20 events will be held in 15 provinces and cities that have been labelled as World Heritage Sites in the country.

They include the fifth anniversary of the Thang Long Royal Citadel in Hanoi being honoured as a World Cultural Heritage, along with the Co Loa Temple festival (Hanoi), the Ha Long Carnival 2015, the Yen Tu Festival (in Quang Ninh province), the Hung Temple Festival (Phu Tho province); the Vinh Nghiem Pagoda Festival (Bac Giang province); and the festival of Sen Village (Nghe An province).

Other events would include the Hue Traditional Crafts Festival (Hue), the "Quang Nam– Heritage Journey" (Quang Nam province); and the Central Highlands Gongs Festival (Gia Lai province)-VNA