Vietnam seeks new tourism ambassador

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Ly Nha Ky recieves a cerfiticate of merit from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for sucessfully fufilling all the tasks set for her as Vietnam's first ever tourism abassador

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced on January 4 that it is actively seeking a new tourism ambassador for 2013-2014, The Thao Van Hoa (Sports & Cultures) newspaper reported Sunday.

The post was previously held by Ly Nha Ky, whose term recently ended.

Nguyen Van Tinh, director of the Department of International Cooperation at the ministry, said actress Ly Nha Ky, whose real name is Tran Thi Thanh Nhan, did a good job during her term of 2011-2012, adding that he thought it would be difficult to replace her.

Ky, 30, was appointed Vietnam's first-ever tourism ambassador in 2011 for her language skills, fame, and unconditional devotion to local tourism, said Tinh.

She had successfully fulfilled a key role as the nation's first tourism ambassador, her promotional work to which resulted in Ha Long Bay already recognized as a world heritage site being named one of the seven new natural wonders of the world by the Switzerland-based New7Wonders Foundation last November.

The former tourism ambassador said if the Ministry approves, she is willing to remain in the position for the next term.

According to the Ministry, the hunt for qualified candidates will last through February 28. Candidates must submit all required documents to the Ministry. After that, their profiles will be reviewed by a council of the Ministry, who will then choose the best qualified person.

Earlier, Miss Tourism Vietnam 2012 Huynh Thi Ngoc Han nominated herself for the position.

Minister Hoang Tuan Anh said the tourism ambassador for this year will have to do a good job promoting Trang An, an ecotourism complex in the northern province of Ninh Binh, so that it earns recognition as a world heritage site.

The Ministry seeks to attract around 8 million tourists and raise the total turnover within the sector to roughly US$9 billion by 2015, he added.

Last year, 6.8 million travelers visited Vietnam, up 13.86 percent from 2011. Revenues from the tourism sector rose to VND160 trillion ($7.67 million) this year, up 23 percent compared to 2011.

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