Tourism authority takes blame for promoting Chinese destination as Vietnam's

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A photo of China's Leshan Giant Buddha on display at a Vietnamese tourism fair booth in Berlin last month. Courtesy photo

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has taken responsibility for a gaff in which a Chinese location was advertised at a Vietnamese tourism booth at a Berlin travel exhibition last month.

Nguyen Manh Cuong, deputy head of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, told a press briefing with the tourism ministry on Thursday that the incident was a "regretful" promotion error.

Cuong said the mistake had stirred controversy because it happened in the middle of a "sensitive time" between the two countries, referring to territorial disputes involving military aggression and marine attacks.

The Vietnamese booth showed a large photo of China's Leshan Giant Buddha, which is carved out of a cliff in Sichuan Province. The photo covered the entire front side of the main table at the booth during the event between March 5 and 10.

"We accept responsibility for the shortcoming, and we recognize this as a big lesson," Cuong said.

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Although Cuong said the administration would take on any related punishments without trying to deflect blame, he also mentioned that the agency had in its possession a letter in which the German organizers in charge of arranging booths at the fair admitted the problem was their mistake.

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