Vietnam was the destination for 681,000 overseas tourists in February, up 8.2 percent from the previous month and a year-on-year increase of 29.4 percent, reported the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) on Feb. 27.

According to VNAT’s statistics, in the first two months of 2012, Vietnam welcomed 1.3 million foreigners, a year-on-year increase of 27.1 percent.

The country saw the highest increase in the number of visitors from Russia at 55.1 percent, followed by China 51.5 percent, the Republic of Korea 38.4 percent and Cambodia 32.1 percent.

The VNAT has asked the Departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism nationwide to use the country’s new logo and slogan “Vietnam – Timeless Charm” in its promotions to raise the image and competitiveness of tourism in Vietnam which will help to attract more overseas visitors to the country

In 2012, Ho Chi Minh City aims to welcome nearly 4 million international visitors, up from 3.5 million last year, with a year-on-year growth of 8 percent, according to a plan unveiled recently by the city's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Under the city’s plans to develop the tourism sector until 2020, the city is targeting a revenue of 58.8 trillion VND (2.8 billion USD) from the industry, with a year-on-year growth of 20 percent.

The city will also enhance the quality of tourism products and services by acknowledging the market leaders and recommending those to both local and foreign holiday makers.

In addition to enhancing the quality of current tourism products on offer, the city will promote new products and programmes that make the most of the city's attractions, including shopping tourism, river tourism and cultural and historical tourism.-VNA