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Tokyo welcomes Vietnamese tourists

Update: February, 17/2014 - 08:46
Photo: Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Tourism Division

HA NOI (VNS)— Representatives from 30 Tokyo tourism companies, travel agencies, airlines and hotels on Friday launched a scheme in Ha Noi to attract Vietnamese to the Japanese capital.

Addressing the event, Chieko Sugisaki, senior director of Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Tourism Division, said the number of Vietnamese tourists visiting Tokyo last year reached 84,000, the highest yet recorded.

The influx has been attributed to a policy by the Japanese government giving three-year, multi-entry visas to Vietnamese.

"We expect to receive one million Vietnamese tourists each year in the near future," she said.

Chitose Maeda, director of the division's sales, said that Tokyo had not been active in promoting tourism until Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke up.

"The whole country has since spared no efforts to promote tourism," she said, "The number of foreign tourists to the country, in general, and Tokyo in particular, has increased remarkably.

"Since Japan was chosen to host the Olympic and Paralympics in 2020, we have become more active in promoting tourism."

Maeda added that Tokyo authorities hoped to persuade their government to make more Japanese goods tax exempt for foreign tourists.

She also said Japan was willing to support Ha Noi authorities in promoting their own tourism in Tokyo.

Last year, more than 10 million foreign tourists visited Japan. Nearly 70 per cent of them visited Tokyo.

Tokyo's Tourism Division plans to help Vietnamese travel agencies understand Tokyo's tourism potential and provide updates to the Vietnamese media.

"English notice boards will be set up at public places in Tokyo and booklets in many languages advising where the nearest shelters are in case of disasters," Maeda said. — VNS

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