City welcomes 4-millionth visitor

Dao Loan

Japanese visitor Yamamoto Shoichi (L), the fourth-millionth traveler to HCMC this year, and his relative receive congratulations from La Quoc Khanh (C), deputy director of the city's tourism department, right after arriving at Tan Son Nhat International Airport - Photo: Dao Loan

Japanese visitor Yamamoto Shoichi (L), the fourth-millionth traveler to HCMC this year, and his relative receive congratulations from La Quoc Khanh (C), deputy director of the city's tourism department, right after arriving at Tan Son Nhat International Airport - Photo: Dao Loan

The Japanese visitor arrived on a flight of Vietnam Airlines flying from Tokyo to tour HCMC and a number of other local destinations under Vietravel’s arrangement.

He came from the biggest market of the city’s tourism industry in 2013. The city this year has welcomed over 345,000 Japanese tourists, growing more than 10% year-on-year, which is projected to rise to half a million visitors by 2015.

“We have prepared for many market promotions including launching a road show in Japan and connecting companies of the two countries. Japanese partners also want to take more visitors to Vietnam,” said La Quoc Khanh, deputy director of the city’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The city’s tourism department will next year cooperate with Japanese enterprises to organize a bilateral tourism forum with the participation of 40 Japanese businesses showing interest in the Vietnamese market.

Nguyen Van Tran, general director of APEX Vietnam Tourist Joint Venture Co., informed that the Japanese market had posted stable growth in the past few years.

“Numerous Japanese students want to go to Vietnam as they have heard much about the country. We cater to this group of customers monthly and are striving to woo more,” he stated.

The city is expected to attract more than 4.1 million international tourists in 2013, up over 8% from 2012, with the tourism industry’s revenue reaching some VND82 trillion, according to the tourism department.

Along with other important markets such as Japan and Europe, the city’s tourism industry will next year make stronger investments to lure more travelers from the Middle East, a new emerging market in recent times thanks to the vigorous development of the air connection network between the city and the area.

“As the air services connecting HCMC with the Middle East are already in operation, the number of visitors from this region is increasing. We’ve already deployed several promotional programs as well as working with partners in Dubai and is going to ask a tourism enterprise there to help promote the country’s image and connect relevant companies to increase the number of target customers,” Khanh said.

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