Foreign arrivals to Ho Chi Minh city numbered more than 1.9 million in the first six months of this year, a year-on-year rise of 5 percent.

The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Online Newspaper quoted the city’s department of culture, sports and tourism as saying that so far this year, the number of foreign arrivals to the city fulfilled 47 percent of the yearly target of welcoming 4.1 million.

HCM City ’s six-month tourism revenue reached an estimated 41 trillion VND, a year-on-year increase of 30 percent, and 50 percent of the year’s target.

The city is applying a value added tax refund programme for foreign tourists on purchases made in Vietnam when exiting the country through Tan Son Nhat international airport.

So far, 37 businesses in the city have registered to sell goods with VAT refunds. The municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism is planning to intensify promotion activities to encourage travel agencies to participate in the programme.-VNA