Vietnam‏ tourism increases - with more to come

16th Jul 2013

Vietnam tourism chiefs announced a rise in visitor arrivals in the first half of 2013 - then predicted: "The best is yet to come."

That's because some of the country's biggest festivals and events are scheduled for the last six months of the year.

For example, next month sees the annual Hoi An-Japan Cultural Festival (August 23-25), which this year marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic links between the two countries.

Vietnam will meet Japan in street performances and traditional crafts to embellish the old streets.

The performances will include Japanese tea making, origami, samurai displays and Japanese food specialities such as udon (wheat pasta made in thick strips).

Yoko Ishikawa, a Japanese resident in Hoi An, said she planned to make Hoi An lanterns out of kimono fabric to hang by the Japanese bridge.

Opening events will take place on the Japanese Bridge in Hanoi, such a favourite with Vietnam-bound holidaymakers on city breaks.

The bridge is a distinctive covered structure fashioned by the Japanese, the only known covered bridge with a Buddhist pagoda attached to one side.

With events such as the Hoi An-Japan Cultural Festival, it's little wonder that Vietnam's tourism leaders are targeting 7.2 million international arrivals this year.

That's 5.1% more than the 6.85 million it welcomed in 2012.

Vietnam greeted 3.54 million international visitors in the first half of 2013 - 2.6% more than the same timespan last year, according to the latest data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

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