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Friday, April 5

HCMC enjoys a healthy Q1

Vietnam’s southern gateway, Ho Chi Minh City, welcomed an estimated 1 million visitors January to March according to the city’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The department said it had measured an 18% increase in business compared to the same quarter last year. The first quarter should close with 25.6% of the entire year’s 4.1 million visits.

Of the Q1 estimated arrivals, international airline arrivals should stand at 830,000, a year-on-year rise of 5%.

To achieve the 2013 year-round target, the city will focus on building the image of Ho Chi Minh City as a friendly, attractive and safe destination. It hopes to push through administrative reforms, speed up tourism growth on the basis of international cooperation and strong competitiveness edge over its neighbours. Thailand is the main competitor for leisure travel and beating its old rival is intrinsic part of its tourism strategy.

Human resources and training are also a priority this year. Currently, the city is carrying out programmes to improve the quality of tourism products and develop new tourism products such as river tourism, but at the heart of the strategy is a campaign to raise job skills in tourism to offer a higher level of hospitality.
The city’s Department of Transport has submitted to the city’s people committee an infrastructure development plan for river tourism up until 2015, it will invest at least US$1 billion to repair riverside wharfs including 45 ports to provide services for river boats.

In 2012, HCMC received 3.8 million foreign tourists increasing 8.5% against 2011 and accounting for 56% of all foreign arrivals to Vietnam (6.84 million).

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