Hanoi has welcomed 8.33 million tourists since the start of this year, a year on year increase of 23 percent.

During the first half of the year, the city attracted 1.03 million foreign visitors, a rise of 20 percent over the same period last year. It also saw 7.3 million domestic visitors, a 24 percent increase.

China continues to be the leading market for Hanoi ’s tourist industry, with 103,000 visitors, up by 11 percent, followed by Japan and France with 69,000 and 66,000 visitors, a rise of 25 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

The number of tourists from Australia , the Republic of Korea and the US also surged sharply.

To attract more visitors, the Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has signed cooperation agreements to develop tourism with 10 key provinces nationwide and it will also carry out promotions overseas.

The Department has completed a proposal to develop tourism to 2020 with a vision to 2030, while several new tourist attractions such as Soc Son and Ba Vi have not yet reached their full potential.

The industry has also designed various products such as tours to the trade villages of Bat Trang, Van Phuc, Phu Vinh, Quat Dong and Chuyen My, as well as those from Hanoi to domestic destinations such as Hoa Binh, Son La, Lai Chau and Dien Bien.

Hanoi will also continue to penetrate promising international markets such as Eastern Europe , Canada , Australia and the Republic of Korea .

The city has been listed as one of the cheapest global tourist destinations for the summer of 2012 by the world's largest travel website TripAdvisor.-VNA