Foreign tourist stream into Vietnam despite sea tensions: tourism official

Dan Tri

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Ha Long Bay is listed as one of the most beautiful water landscapes in the world, according to US's website Mymodernmet.com. Photo credit: Vtv4.com Ha Long Bay is listed as one of the most beautiful water landscapes in the world, according to US's website Mymodernmet.com. Photo credit: Vtv4.com

Vietnam remains a safe, friendly and fascinating destination for international tourists, an official from the country’s General Department of Tourism said during a press conference on Thursday.

Deputy head of the office Nguyen Manh Cuong added that rumors about hostility toward Chinese or Chinese-speaking tourists were totally wrong.
China has been widely condemned for its provocative actions in the East Sea (known internationally as South China Sea) where it is asserting an illegal authority over waters claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
"The disputes in the East Sea haven't had much of an affect on foreign tourism arrivals in Vietnam," Cuong said.

At the press conference which drew reporters from many foreign news agencies, the deputy head of Vietnam's National Administration of Tourism office (VNAT) vowed to use all available resources to improve the country's tourism environment and protect visitors.

According to Cuong, May and June this year brought a slight decrease in Chinese tourist arrivals, compared with those from January to April of the same year. However, the sum of Chinese tourists in the first half of 2014 still represented a 34 percent year-on-year jump, while total foreign tourism arrivals rose 21.11 percent.
Vietnam has been highly appraised by tourist communities all over the world recently, with the capital city of Hanoi listed among the top ten affordable cities to visit this summer of TripAdvisor.

The central province of Quang Binh, home to the world's largest caves, was listed as one of earth's most ideal destinations by the New York Times and National Geographic.

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