More than 80 travel agencies, hotels and transport companies have come together in an effort to boost tourism to the central coastal city of Da Nang.

The promotion programme was launched on July 31 with the aim to attract 3 million domestic visitors this year to the region, especially during the low season, between September and December.

"As many as 52 hotels in the city have committed to discount bookings from 10 to 50 percent, while 10 major tours will offer from 20 to 25 percent off as the usual price," said Ngo Thi Hoang Anh, deputy head of the Accommodation Service for the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

"We want to attract tourists from Hanoi , Ho Chi Minh City , the Republic of Korea , China and Thailand during the rainy season and make inroads with Meeting, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibition (MICE) tourism," she said.

She said Green Plaza in the city would offering a 40 percent discount during the promotion, while five-star resorts Furama (Sandy Beach), Ba Na mountain resort and Debay hotels were also offering a 20 or 30 percent discount.

Budget Airline, Jetstar, was also offering promotional flights from Hanoi and HCM City to Da Nang for only 99,990 VND per ticket (4.7 USD) on Friday.

Restaurants and markets will give a 10 percent discount in peak times as well as 30 percent off during the three months of the promotion.

The Cham Sculpture Museum and Nguyen Hien Dinh Theatre of Tuong (Classical Drama) will offer 50 percent off ticket prices in December.

However, the general secretary of the city's tourism association, Trinh Bang Co, said the programme should be a year round effort.

"We should do the promotion programme every quarter and during big festivals to attract more tourists. Travel agencies and hotels need to cooperate closely to host visitors with the best service," Co said.

"The city's major tourists come from Hanoi , HCM City and northern provinces , and the city has to introduce its promotion programme nationwide," he said.

Nguyen Van Xuan from Sai Gon Tourane hotel said that booking discounts should not be a crucial factor in the promotion, rather the quality of service should be important.

"Tourists do not come to sleep and eat in the city. They want to join attractive and exciting tour programmes with the best quality and hospitality," Xuan speculated.

Deputy director of the city's Culture, Sports and Tourism Department Tran Chi Cuong said the city will launch a roadshow programme to promote tourism in the Mekong Delta; Bangkok , Thailand ; Russia and China from this month.

The city has hosted 1.5 million tourists in the first six months of this year.-VNA