Khanh Hoa Province, home to the popular resort town of Nha Trang, is asking restaurants and shops to reduce prices by at least 10 percent and encouraging them to offer other discounts to attract more tourists.
It has set itself ambitious targets of four million tourist arrivals and tourism revenues of VND6.5 trillion (US$301.8 million) this year, 21 percent and 15 percent higher than last year.
It is asking travel agencies to offer promotional tours to groups of tourists, hotels and guesthouses to offer one free night for a customer for every several nights and tourist attractions to allow children in for free.
As it seeks to burnish its tourism image, Khanh Hoa has been ordering travel companies to update tourists on the security and traffic situation in the province to minimize risks.
There have been recent concerns about a resurgence of robber gangs that were very active before a crackdown a few years ago.
There have been many cases of tourists being mugged, sometimes by armed robbers who even fought back against police officers.
Traffic accidents are another major threat to tourists.
Travel agencies have complained about speeding and refusal to give way to pedestrians by local riders, prompting a major campaign in which uniformed volunteers have been assigned to help tourists cross busy streets since last November.
Khanh Hoa’s tourism has been growing in recent years as it became a favorite destination for Russian tourists, who feel connected with its Cam Ranh military port that was once used by Russia.
The province saw more than 3.3 million tourist arrivals last year, nearly 25 percent of them foreigners, and tourism revenues of more than VND5.5 trillion.
But bookings from Russia have plummeted since December due to the ruble’s fall.