Tourism companies in the country’s northern, central and southern regions have reached a deal on cooperation to promote business at the on-going second Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) in Hanoi.

The deal was signed on April 5 by representatives of the three regions’ tourism organisations, which are the Hanoi Tourism Association, the Thua Thien-Hue Tourism Association and the Ho Chi Minh Tourism Association.

Under the deal, participating companies will use each other’s services and work together to offer tours. Groups of member travel agents, hotels and restaurants will be set up to offer discounts, thus stimulating demand.

The three regions’ tourism sectors will also collaborate to develop and advertise new products, as well as assist each other in personnel training.

The agreement was part of the 2013-20 national tourism promotion programme approved by the Prime Minister last year.

The 2014 VITM opened in Hanoi on April 3 with the aim of promoting tourism products and stimulating tourist demand. It has 508 booths, including 154 manned by travel agents from 22 countries and territories worldwide.

Vietnam’s tourism sector plans to receive 8 million international visitors, serve 37.5 million domestic tourists and earn 230 billion VND (10.8 million USD) this year.

In 2013, Vietnam received 7,572,352 international tourists, a 10.6 percent rise over 2012, bringing 200 trillion VND (9.4 billion USD) for the state coffer.-VNA