Provinces have given high estimation to travel companies’ contributions to local socio-economic development by making Xong Day “first-footing” visits to some of them on February 19, the first day of the Lunar New Year.

Southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province officials visited and extended New Year greetings to local tourist companies, marking the activity as a tradition that has been carried out for nearly a decade in the locality.

The visit meant to deliver a wish for a prosperous year for the tourism sector and cement the relationship between the administration and businesses.

Nguyen Van Trinh, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, spoke highly of efforts made by the local tourism sector thus far, adding that the quality and diversity of tourism products meeting customers’ demand must be prioritised.

According to Trinh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau received some 14 million tourists last year, earning 3.3 trillion VND (153.8 million USD) in revenues and realising 104 percent of the year’s target.

The visit was held ahead of the 2015 Ba Ria-Vung Tau cultural festival, which runs from February 19 to 28.

Meanwhile, on the same day, in the northern province of Quang Ninh, local leaders received the first tourists to the world heritage site Ha Long Bay.

A traditional music programme was also held to warmly greet those visitors who came from France, the Republic of Korea, and Israel.-VNA