Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Festivals fail to boost foreign tourism

Despite a slight month-on-month increase in April, the number of international visitors to Viet Nam still dropped 18 per cent during the first four months of the year to reach about 1.29 million, said the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

Foreign arrivals during the first four months of the year included 790,000 tourists, 210,000 business trips and 79,000 coming for family reunions.Impact from the global economic recession remained the main reason for this unsatisfactory performance, even though the VNAT and local authorities have made efforts to organise a series of festivals in the hope of attracting more foreigners, said representatives from the administration.
Foreign arrivals during the first four months of the year included 790,000 tourists, 210,000 business trips and 79,000 coming for family reunions, the agency reported.
The number of foreign visitors arriving from key markets such as mainland China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan continued to fall sharply, off 10-30 per cent during the period. Arrivals from the US, Australia and Canada saw modest increases, from 1.5-8 per cent.
The country target's serving 5 million foreign and 21.5 million local tourists this year. The figures are expected to increase to 6 million and 23.5 million respectively in 2010.
In related news, holidaymakers flocked to the country's famous places such as central Nha Trang City and northern Ha Long Bay during last week's four-day holiday.
Nha Trang welcomed between 25,000 and 30,000 tourists per day, said the local tourism sector, adding that the number of arrivals to the coastal city were three or four times higher than normal days.
The world heritage site Ha Long Bay and northern Quang Ninh Province saw some 150,000 tourists visiting from April 25 - May 2.
Popular beaches such as Do Son in the northern port city of Hai Phong, Sam Son in central Thanh Hoa Province, and Cua Lo in central Nghe An Province also welcomed large numbers of visitors who wanted to make the most of the long holiday.
VietNamNet/Viet Nam News
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