Vietnam’s tourism sector has been taking broad measures, from improving the quality of services to fostering promotion activities, to attract more foreign visitors to the country.

Russia has been identified as a potentially lucrative tourism market for Vietnam in recent years. Statistics from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) show that the number of Russian arrivals to the country in 2013 increased 71 percent against that in 2012. In the first five months of this year, this figure surged nearly 28 percent compared to the same period last year.

Russian tourists are charmed by Vietnam’s warm climate, pristine beaches, beautiful landscapes, friendly people and healthy food. They usually visit central coastal cities, such as Nha Trang, Phan Thiet and Da Nang, for a long stay and high expenditure. Phu Yen province is now also a new destination for Russian visitors.
The Vietnamese tourism authority, encouraged by the rapid growth of Russian tourist arrivals in the last two years, has drawn up an ambitious plan to increase the number of Russian visitors to 300,000 this year.

The Vietnamese Cultural Days in Russia from June 26-July 2 will be a good chance for Vietnamese travel agents to promote products and services in the country.

The event will also serve as a venue for businesses from both countries to set up partnership and learn about their governments’ policies for developing tourism.

Localities across the country also agreed to further forge cooperation in the field in order to create new products and build attractive tours to meet the increasing demand of Russian visitors.

Apart from Russia, Vietnam also pays attention to promoting tourism in Japan.

A representative office of Vietnamese tour operators – the first of its kind overseas - was launched early this month , supporting the two countries’ travel agents to lure tourists and help Vietnamese localities boost tourism promotion activities in the market.

Japan is one of the most important tourism markets to Vietnam, which received more than 600,000 Japanese tourist arrivals last year. Meanwhile, the number of Vietnamese tourist arrivals to Japan was over 85,000, up 55 percent from the previous year.

The two countries have set the target of increasing the number of Japanese arrivals to Vietnam and those from Vietnam to Japan to 1 million and 200,000, respectively, in the next three years.

Many meetings between the two sides’ businesses have been held to help them seek new partners and share information in the field. National flag Vietnam Airlines will also open two new air routes between central Da Nang city and Hanoi to Tokyo in the coming time to meet the demand of the two countries’ visitors.

Besides eyeing foreign markets, the country’s tourism sector also seeks to encourage Vietnamese people to make internal tours.

A union including more than 60 travel agents throughout the country started a domestic tourism promotion campaign from February with many attractive programmes for tourists.

As many as 8,000 tours with prices discounted up to 60 percent will be provided to domestic holiday-makers during this year’s summer months.

According to statistics from the VNAT, the number of domestic tourists during the Jan-May period of this year hit 20.4 million, up 6.7 percent from the same period last year, contributing remarkably to the country’s tourism growth.-VNA