|Japanese tourists on the way to Ha Long Bay in northern Quang Ninh Province. As many as 1 million Japanese visitors are set to come to Viet Nam by 2015 under a tourism co-operation project between Viet Nam and Japan. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Manh Tu
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam-Japan tourism co-operation would focus on exchanging visitors, providing technical support and developing human resources, said Nguyen Manh Cuong, deputy general director of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism.
In the fifth meeting of the Viet Nam-Japan Tourism Co-operation Committee last Friday, Cuong said Japan had announced that Viet Nam had been put in the country's list of strategic markets that Japanese visitors would travel to.
In Japan, there were many tourism promotion campaigns to lure Japanese people to come to Viet Nam's central region, especially tourism destinations in Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam, Thua Thien-Hue provinces.
The Japanese side also planned to open a direct flight to the region, which would be a driving force for Viet Nam to upgrade infrastructure to serve tourism development, Cuong added.
Chairman of the Viet Nam Tourism Association (VITA) Vu The Binh said that the association had established two travel clubs in the South and the North to welcome Japanese tourists. At the same time, VITA would call for the most prestigious and professional travelling companies to take part in the campaign of bringing Vietnamese visitors to Japan.
Binh said he hoped with the co-operation between VITA and the Japan Association of Tourism, enterprises of the two countries would have more chances to join hands in developing tourism.
According to the General Statistics Office, Viet Nam welcomed over 6.1 million overseas arrivals in the past 10 months of 2013, up 10.4 per cent against the same period last year.
In the period, the number of Japanese tourists coming to Viet Nam reached 500,000, an increase of 5.6 per cent compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, in the first eight months of the year, Japan welcomed nearly 53,000 Vietnamese visitors, up by 56 per cent compared to the figure of 2012's corresponding period.
Viet Nam set the goal of welcoming more than 7.4 million travellers in 2013, which can help earn around US$7.9 billion in revenues, up 15.6 per cent from 2012.
Meanwhile Viet Nam and Japan have co-operated in seeking measures to implement an inter-governmental project on developing eco-cities in Viet Nam, Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Thanh Nghi has said.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) recently signed between the Ministry of Construction and Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism laid a foundation for both sides to accelerate the next steps of the project, he said, adding this was among activities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Viet Nam-Japan diplomatic ties.
The MoU identifies the project's short, medium and long-term targets, co-operation methods and obligations of each side in providing information and technical assistance in building standards for eco-cities in Viet Nam, he said.
According to Nghi, the two sides also discussed the feasibility of the project in selected locations in four localities namely Ha Noi, Vinh Phuc, Binh Duong and HCM City .
They were scheduled to establish a joint working group in charge of the implementation of the project in 2014, he added— VNS