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Domestic tourism continues strong rise in first half

Local traveling remains the key pillar for the country’s tourism industry, with up to 17 million Vietnamese people going places in the first half of this year, equal to over two-thirds of the figure for the whole 2009, the national tourism body said.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) said that the number included people who bought tours at travel firms and others who joined tourism festivals nationwide as well as travelers at tourist venues.

Nguyen Van Tuan, head of VNAT, told the Daily that the staggering growth confirmed the trend that emerged last year.

“It’s impressive growth. The growth confirms the increasing trend of local traveling that began last year, and proves that efforts from the tourism sector to develop the segment have now paid off,” he said.

According to him, there are many reasons behind the upsurge in the local travel segment in the period. One of them is the better economic growth than that in last year’s period.

In addition, tourism companies are more attending to local tourists by launching new products and promotion activities to attract domestic travelers. Big marketing campaigns being waged by the national tourism agency since last year are also drawing the people’s interest more to local destinations.

Tuan said domestic tourism has been benefiting more from yearly vacation trips of workers.

“The flow of tourists from Hanoi to the Central region is increasing with many of travelers joining trips organized by their companies. Tens of flights from Hanoi to Danang every day are still not enough, reflecting this bustling market,” he said.

Vietnam’s tourism started to see the strong growth of the domestic tourism segment last year with 25 million locals traveling, up 19% compared to 2008 despite the economic downturn.

VNAT, aware of the huge potential of the market, in that year showed its determination to speed up the sector, which also helped tourism companies to lessen their reliance on the inbound sector which was facing a downturn.

Asked to comment on the whole tourism industry in the first half of this year, Tuan said the industry fared quite well in both inbound and domestic tourism. Tourism revenue totaled VND45 trillion, he said but did not give a comparison.

Tourism centers like Quang Ninh, HCMC, Danang, Nha Trang, Vung Tau and Quang Nam took the lead in terms of growth. Of them, the northern province of Quang Ninh has welcomed around 4.6 million local and foreign visitors in the first half of this year, up 50% year-on-year, with tourism revenue hitting VND1.9 trillion, up 30% year-on-year.

HCMC has earned VND18.5 trillion from the tourism sector in the period, up 16% compared to the same period of last year, while Danang in the Central region has welcomed 880,000 local and foreign tourists, up 38% year-on-year with tourism revenue of nearly VND572 billion, up 66% year on year (Source: SGT)

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