The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, localities and travel companies are working together to increase the number of arrivals to the country in the second half of this year despite the current tensions in the East Sea after China illegally positioned its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 deep inside Vietnam’s waters in early May.

The tourism sector faced a decrease in the number of tourists from China and the Chinese-speaking markets in late May, which went down further in June. A slight fall was also reported in other international markets for fears of social insecurity stemming from extreme acts by those who take advantage of the Chinese side’s wrongful actions.

Statistics show that in the first half of 2014, the tourism sector served 4.287 million foreign tourists and 23.4 million domestic visitors, up by 21.1 percent and 6.9 percent year on year, largely due to those who came to Vietnam in the first five months.

The sector has, therefore, adopted a plan, with the focus on ensuring absolute security and safety for tourists at beauty sites, further improving the quality of services and boosting domestic tourism.

It has set to launch communication campaigns helping foreign tourists understand the nature of the East Sea situation and feel as safe as their houses when travelling around Vietnam.

To make up for the decline in Chinese visitors, localities and travel agencies were asked to speed up promotion programmes in other markets, especially Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the ASEAN member countries.

Meanwhile, the culture sector has also organised a lot of activities in order to affirm the country’s sovereignty over national sea and islands, as well as to honour and promote culture values of the Vietnam ethnic community.

A series of culture and tourism events were also held in Vietnam and several countries, including Vietnam Culture Days in Russia, Vietnam Year in France and France Year in Vietnam, Hue Festival and the 2014 UN Day of Vesak.-VNA