British couple named Peter Grove and Kate Goswell were the first international tourists to arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's southern metro, in 2012.
Ho Chi Minh City tourism and Vietnam Airlines officials warmly welcomed the two who arrived by a Vietnam Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft from London on January 1 with flowers and gifts.
They are in the country for the first time and plan to visit Nha Trang and other destinations around the country.
"We will stay here for 18 days," Grove said.
This year the Vietnamese tourism industry would encounter challenges caused by the economic problems in the EU and US, and would have to work hard to attract more tourists, Thoi Bao Kinh Te Sai Gon (Saigon Economic Times) quoted Hoang Huu Loc, a senior Saigontourist Travel Service official, as saying.
But one good thing was that some travel agencies had begun to offer tours to some remote places in the country in addition to the usual destinations.