Vietnam announces new tourism plans

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The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has announced that "Exotic Beaches and Islands" will be the theme of the National Tourism Year 2011.

The National Tourism Year is considered the most important aspect of the country's tourism calendar and is intended to encourage investment in infrastructure, tourism facilities and services.

In 2011, the government's series of organized events designed to woo tourists will focus their attentions on Phu Yen Province. Da Nang City and other provinces in the region will also participate, VNAT announced.

Major events of the National Tourism Year 2011 will include an international mountaineering tournament at Da Bia Mountain in March 2011, the Vietnam-South Korea Cultural Exchange in April, and the ASEAN Traditional Music Festival in June.

Prior to the announcement, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism released a list of provinces and cities that will share the honor from 2012 to 2017.

Thua Thien-Hue will be the host in 2012, Hai Phong City in 2013, Lam Dong in 2014, Thanh Hoa in 2015, Kien Giang in 2016, and Lao Cai in 2017.

Launched in 2003, the designation has focused on cities all over the country - from Can Tho to Dien Bien. This year it focused on Hanoi to mark the city's millennial anniversary.

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