A photography contest was launched in Hanoi on January 11, with organisers hoping that entries will promote the nation's tourism industry by showing off its beauty, landscape and culture.
The theme of the competition is ‘Endless Beauty,' which is also the slogan for the nation's tourist drive between now and 2015. Hoang Thi Diep, vice director of the National Administration of Tourism, believes that the exhibition's pictures will introduce this limitless beauty of Vietnam to the world, while presenting a chance for photographers to exchange skills with each other. The contest is expected to attract entrants from all around the country.

"Last year, Vietnamese tourism received nearly 6.85 million international visitors," Diep said, "excellent photos portraying the country's beauty can make a very important contribution to boosting this number further."

Vu Quoc Khanh, president of the Vietnam Association for Photographic Artists (VAPA), said that contestants can reflect on the cultural activities of Vietnamese ethnic groups, beautiful natural sights, traditional festivals, historical vestiges and recognised heritage. They are encouraged to take truthful images of the sites they visit without using special effect on their cameras, he added.

Professional and amateur photographers can send black-and-white or coloured photos to the organisers, Vietnam Tourism Magazine at 30A Ly Thuong Kiet Street , Ha Noi, or to VAPA at 51 Tran Hung Dao Street, Ha Noi, before May 31.

The awards ceremony and a subsequent exhibition of chosen entries are scheduled for July to celebrate the establishment of the national tourism industry.

The contest is sponsored by the National Administration of Tourism and DoubleMint, a chewing gum company. -VNA