Foreign visitors in Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
The tourism sector will strive to become a spearhead economy with a average annual growth rate of 11-12 percent by 2020, stated new Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien.

Speaking at a ceremony to assume office in Hanoi on April 14, Thien shared that the sector sets a target of serving 12-13 million foreign arrivals and 48-50 million domestic tourists by 2020.

To that end, he stressed the need for the sector to exert efforts to build and improve the image of Vietnamese tourism in order to keep pace with other countries in the region.

Vietnam welcomed 2.45 million international tourists in the first three months of this year, up 19.9 percent against the same period last year, while local tourists numbered 18.7 million. Revenues from tourism rose by 21.2 percent year-on-year.

This year, Vietnam hopes to welcome 8.5 million foreign visitors and 60 million domestic travellers, earning a total of 370 trillion VND (16.8 billion USD) in revenue.

In 2015, the country welcomed around 8 million international tourists and catered for 57 million domestic travelers, grossing 330 trillion VND (14.85 billion USD) in revenue.-VNA