Papazoglou Eleni, a Greek tourist, was given a celebration at De L’Opera hotel, Hanoi , on December 30 for becoming the three millionth visitor to the capital city.

Eleni, who will stay in the city for 10 days, said the honour came as a complete surprise to her and she will explore everything during her first visit to Vietnam.

During the ceremony, six travel agencies that served the highest number of foreign tourists were also honoured, including Vietnamtourism-Hanoi JSC, Metropole Legend Sofitel Hanoi, and Inter Continental Hanoi.

According to To Van Dong, Director of the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the gloomy economic situation in 2014, coupled with impacts from China’s illegal placement of its oil drilling rig in Vietnam’s continental shelf and economic executive zone, was the reason behind a fall in the number of tourists to Hanoi and Vietnam in general.

However, with timely adjustments made in its market strategy, Hanoi still catered for three million visitors, he said.

This year, the over 1,000-year-old city was ranked second in the list of 25 top destinations in Asia by TripAdvisor. Hanoi was also named as a tourism city with best price, and placed at the 8 th position in the world’s top 25 tourist attractions.

The capital was selected by Smart Travel Asia magazine as one of the top 10 Asian destinations for vacation.-VNA