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Vietnam increases investment in tourism infrastructure

Plans for 121 billion VND (about 7 million USD) investement for tourism infrastructure are underway this year for the Vietnam State. Mr. Pham Tu,Deputy General Director of the VietNam Administration of Tourism (VAT) said that…

Plans for 121 billion VND (about 7 million USD) investement for tourism infrastructure are underway this year for the Vietnam State. Mr. Pham Tu,Deputy General Director of the VietNam Administration of Tourism (VAT) said that the money will mostly go to four key national tourist sites and 17 other specific sites to develop the national tourist industry into a unified system, Tu said.

He also announced the VAT`s plan to invest in the tourist industry in the central coastal region and the Central Highlands, which consists of 19 provinces from the northern central province of Thanh Hoa to the southernmost central province of Binh Thuan.

Vietnam has witnessed a boom in luxury tourist sites in recent years. The northern port city of Hai Phong has started the upgrade of its Cat Co II Sea Beach. Meanwhile the northern province of Ninh Binh has finalised the planning of seven major new tourist sites. In the central region, Thanh Hoa province has marked off an eco-tourist site in Hoang Hoa district and the UNESCO`s world heritage listed Hoi An, an ancient town in Quang Nam province, is working on a project for a night entertainment complex. The northern mountains province of Lao Cai has commenced the construction of the Sa Pa urban tourist site.

Projects on tourist infrastructure have stimulated the growth of the industry, said VAT officials. They also pledged increasingly tight management over ODA-funded projects, including projects on tourist human resource development funded by the EU, Belgium and Luxembourg and the Mekong tourist development project.

A five year tourism development plan will give economic boost

Moreover, to the tourism infrastructure plans, Vietnam aims to serve 6 million foreign visitors to the country and an other 23 million local tourists, earning a revenue of 4.5 billion USD by 2010. Vietnam plans to have a highly developed tourism industry over the next five years.

To this end, the Vietnamese government will no longer require tourist entry visas for visitors from key tourism

markets, with open new direct flights to and from other countries, and will seek to attract more tourists from Eastern Europe, Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, ASEAN and Australia.

The tourism sector will focus on investing in infrastructure in popular tourist regions, and will work with other sectors to improve the quality of tourism, developing eco-tourism and creating high-quality tourism service at competitive prices. The sector will also boost tourism promotion programmes at home and abroad.

The country`s tourism sector has so far signed 29 bilateral cooperation agreements with other countries, and set up relations with over 1,000 travel agencies in 50 different countries and territories. It has also joined international and regional forums like the World Tourism Organisation, ASEAN tourism cooperation and the open Mekong sub-regional tourism development programmes.

The National Administration of Tourism predict that Vietnam will welcome 3.8 million foreign and 16 million domestic tourists during 2006.

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