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World tourism leader praises local progress

Update: April, 21/2012 - 09:26

HA NOI — The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) would help Viet Nam to promote tourism, said the organisation's General Secretary Taleb Rifai yesterday.

The Secretary General of the UNWTO was received by Vice State President Nguyen Thi Doan in Ha Noi, where they discussed the advantages of Viet Nam joining the organisation.

This was Rafi's third trip to Viet Nam. He said, "Each time I come the steady progress of tourism development is apparent."

The UNWTO's General Secretary said, "Viet Nam should take pride in its potential as a tourist destination," adding that the industry here is developing at double the speed of other countries in Asia, which is itself, the fastest growing tourism market in the world.

Rifai suggested that Viet Nam develop its domestic tourism, a strategy that has been successful in many other countries, especially Europe. Domestic tourism not only encourages trade stimulates local markets, but it also allows tourists to enjoy an authentic experience within the country.

Rifai also asked Viet Nam to join the Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign, which already has 16 member countries in the world. Their mandate is to raise awareness among world leaders on the importance of tourism.

Director General of Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), Nguyen Van Tuan, said Viet Nam needed assistance in the development and planning of tourism to develop a viable brand for the country. The keys to this, he said, were expertise and reliable data. Tuan added that they were working closely with the UNWTO to profit from international experience.

VNAT reported that, during the first three months of 2012, nearly 1.9 million foreign tourists visited Viet Nam, up 24.5 per cent from the year before. The tourism sector has brought in VND41 trillion (US$1.95billion) during the first quarter, an increase of 14 per cent over the same period last year.

After meeting with the country's leaders and tourism officials, Rifai will visit Vietnamese tourist sites in northern Ninh Binh Province. — VNS

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