Regional connectivity will allow Central and Central Highland localities to fully tap their tourism potential and create highly-attractive tourism products, said Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam at his working session with local officials on July 17.

At the meeting in central Ninh Thuan province, Dam stressed that Vietnam has yet to take full advantage of its great tourism potential as investment in this sector is not considered a core task.

He asked the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to design a specific, long-term strategy for the tourism industry, requiring it to promote advantages held by each locality and each region.

The ministry was also urged to work closely with the Vietnam Tourism Association in the work.

During the working session, Vice Chairwoman of the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong Nguyen Thi Ngoc Le proposed that the Government pay more attention to developing tourism in mountainous provinces.

Meanwhile, Le Huu Minh, deputy head of central Thua Thien-Hue province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism suggested that localities holding similar tourism advantages and products should work together to gain higher effectiveness.

According to Head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Nguyen Van Tuan, the sector served 7.7 million foreign tourists and nearly 33 million domestic visitors, earning 200 trillion VND (9.4 billion USD) in revenue last year.

In the first half of 2014, the number of foreign visitors to Vietnam hit nearly 4.3 million, while the number of domestic holiday-makers was 23.4 million. The sector pocketed 125 trillion VND (5.87 billion USD) in revenue, a year-on-year increase of 22.5 percent.-VNA