Vietnam inches ahead in global tourism ranking

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Vietnam climbed nine spots to 80th in a global tourism ranking by the World Economic Forum, which said the country has attractive cultural and natural resources but needs to further develop its infrastructure.

"It benefits from its rich cultural resources (ranked 36th), with several World Heritage cultural sites, several international fairs and exhibitions, and strong creative industries," the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2011 said.

"Another attraction is Vietnam's natural resources, ranked 24th for its World Heritage natural sites, and with very diverse fauna in the country," the report said, noting that these advantages are reinforced by its price competitiveness.

Vietnam has seven World Heritage sites recognized by the UNESCO the Complex of Hue Monuments, Ha Long Bay, My Son Sanctuary, Hoi An Ancient Town, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long-Hanoi, and the Citadel of the Ho Dynasty.

The country, which attracted six million foreign arrivals last year, was ranked 14th in Asia Pacific in terms of tourism competitiveness.

According to the World Economic Forum, Vietnam needs to further develop its transport infrastructure and its tourism infrastructure, while ensuring that the sector is developed in an environmentally sustainable way.

Switzerland topped the 139-country ranking, followed by Germany and France. The last assessment was made in 2009.

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