Vietnam earned 53.5 trillion VND (about 2.5 billion USD) from tourism in the first three months of this year, about one third of the sector’s total revenue in 2012, statistics from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism show.

In the first quarter, the sector welcomed 1.8 million foreign visitors, mostly from China, the Republic of Korea and Japan, and 12.3 million domestic tourists.

A report from the ministry says that a wide range of tourism activities were held during this period, particularly during the Lunar New Year festival. In many localities, both the number of visitors and revenue rose sharply from a year earlier.

Northern Hai Phong port city saw 13.2 percent and 22 percent increases in visitor numbers and revenue respectively. The revenue of northern coastal Quang Ninh province also rose by 14 percent from the same period last year.

From April 18 to 21, the first Vietnam International Travel Mart will take place in Hanoi to promote domestic tourism. According to the Vietnam Tourism Association, 343 businesses have already registered to participate, with 368 stalls, including 97 from abroad.-VNA