Overseas arrivals to the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa reached 226,000 in the first half of the year, a year on year increase of 39.5 percent, according to the provincial People’s Committee.

Khanh Hoa is popular with large numbers of overseas tourists thanks to its beautiful scenery, ideal tourist destinations, temperate climate and fresh environment, say industry insiders.

Khanh Hoa is also home to a wide range of hotels and other accommodation, with a total of 4,500 luxury rooms at reasonable prices.

More importantly, the province has created its own brand name on the domestic and global tourist maps, making it easier for travel agents in Vietnam and abroad to entice visitors from abroad to the province.

On the evening of July 12, an Asiana Airlines flight from the Republic of Korea (RoK), with 130 passengers onboard landed at Cam Ranh International Airport , marking the start of a direct service from the city of Incheon in the RoK to Khanh Hoa.

From now until August 31, there will be two flights a week from Incheon to Khanh Hoa and the frequency of flights will be adjusted based on customer demand.

Earlier, the Anh Duong Production, Service and Import-Export Company signed a contract with the Russian company Pegas Turistik, to put together a winter holiday package for tourists from nine cities in Russia ’s Far East region to Khanh Hoa.

The province’s culture and tourism sector, as well as its travel companies are making every effort to add to the existing number of new international flights in a sustainable manner.

According to Truong Dang Tuyen, Director of the provincial Culture, Sports and Tourism Department, the province plans to upgrade Nha Trang City and turn it into not only a tourism destination with one of the most beautiful bays in the world, but also a venue for important events.

The department has also made attempts to raise the local community’s awareness of the need to ensure that Nha Trang is a safe and friendly destination, he added.

Since the beginning of this year, European visitors have taken the lead, recording 120,000 arrivals, of which Russian tourists numbered the most. Khanh Hoa is also popular with tourists from Japan , the RoK and China .

Over the six-months, the province also welcomed 26 cruise liners with 30,400 tourists aboard, an increase of 4,280 compared to the same period last year.

Recently the province has been liaising with Singapore to gauge the potential for maritime tourism. It has also targeted Australia , France , the UK and New Zealand to attract more tourists from these countries.

Khanh Hoa province expects to welcome a total of 500,000 foreign visitors this year and 900,000 by 2015. To achieve that, the tourist industry has put forward its action plan for the period 2012-2015, with a view to 2020. It will also continue to step up its advertising campaigns, especially in overseas markets.-VNA