Despite the negative impact posed by the current East Sea tension, the tourism sector should work harder to deal with difficulties facing it by applying inter-disciplinary measures to reach its set targets, Deputy Prime Minster Vu Duc Dam has said.

Chairing a meeting of the National Steering Committee for Tourism on May 30 in Hanoi , Deputy PM Dam, who is also head of the committee, said the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism should work more closely with other ministries and localities to deal with problems affecting the sector’s development.

He underscored the need to strengthen environment protection and ensure safety for tourists.

It is also necessary to remove obstacles for businesses operating in the field, while intensifying training for tourism personnel, he said.

According to a report by the committee, the country welcomed 7.57 million foreign tourists in 2013, up 10.6 percent over the previous year, earning 200 trillion VND (9.4 billion USD), a rise of 25 percent against 2012.

In the first five months of this year, the tourism sector served more than 3.7 million foreign visitors, an increase of 26.7 percent over the same period last year. Its revenue in the period reached 109 trillion VND (5.12 billion USD), up 28 percent.

From now to the end of the year, the committee will continue building a specific plan of action titled “Exciting Vietnam” to promote the country as a safe, friendly and attractive destination.

In response to the East Sea tensions, the committee has directed the tourism sector to strengthen communications and expand its foreign markets, while ensuring absolute safety and rights for tourists.-VNA