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On 20 April in Ha Noi, General Director of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Nguyen Van Tuan had a meeting with Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Mr. Taleb Rifai.

At the meeting, General Director Nguyen Van Tuan introduced to Secretary General Taleb Rifai on the development situation of Viet Nam tourism in the recent years.

Accordingly, though facing many difficulties and challenges, Viet Nam tourism grew strongly and gained encouraging achievements. In 2011, Viet Nam welcomed more than 6 million international tourist arrivals, up nearly 20% over 2010 and 30 million domestic tourist trips, up 7.5% over 2010. In the first quarter of 2012, Viet Nam welcomed more than 1.8 million international tourist arrivals, up 24.5% over the same period in 2011 and 9.6 million domestic tourist trips. Viet Nam tourism industry contributed about 5% of GDP, created jobs for more than 500,000 direct employees and more than 1 million indirect employees.

By 2015, Viet Nam tourism aims to welcome from 7 to 7.5 million international tourist arrivals and tourism would become a key economic sector. To realize these objectives, Viet Nam tourism has been implementing a series of programs and projects to enhance competitiveness, improve product quality, protect environment, develop new logo and slogan “Viet Nam-Timeless Charm”… Viet Nam tourism has received positive supports of the World Tourism Organization and Mr. Taleb Rifai in planning tourism, developing products, making the Tourism Law, training and developing tourism human resources…

Besides, Mr. Nguyen Van Tuan also informed Mr. Taleb Rifai some outstanding events of Viet Nam tourism recently as: the Prime Minister signed the decision approving the Viet Nam tourism development strategy to 2020, vision towards 2030 and had an important speech appreciating the role and the achievements of the tourism industry at the opening ceremony of Hue Festival 2012; Ha Long Bay officially became one of seven new natural wonders of the world…

On this occasion, Mr. Nguyen Van Tuan recommended UNWTO to continue to support Viet Nam in: developing product strategy, marketing plan; promoting Viet Nam tourism to the world; providing database and information on tourism; supporting the training of tourism human resources…

Mr. Taleb Rifai said he was very impressed by the results that Viet Nam tourism has been achieved in the recent years. Viet Nam is considered as a rising star of global & regional tourism, being among destinations of most rapid tourism growth.

Mr. Taleb Rifai shared information about the tourism situation in the world and recommended Viet Nam to focus on exploiting the traditional markets that Viet Nam has been very successful as Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia and other emerging markets such as Russia, China, India, Middle East… He affirmed UNWTO will continue to support Viet Nam tourism and send experts to Viet Nam to assist the tourism sector in the soonest time.

An important content of his visit to Viet Nam was to propose Viet Nam to participate in the Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign aiming to improve awareness and support of world leaders for the development of tourism industry.

During the visit to Viet Nam, Secretary General of World Tourism Organization also met with Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan and Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh and visited some famous tourist sites in Viet Nam as Thang Long imperial citadel (Ha Noi), Bai Dinh pagoda and Trang An eco-tourism zone (Ninh Binh province).

Translated by Thu Giang (TITC) Ho Chi Minh City hotels

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