Vietnamese tourists spend $2 bln overseas every year

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About two million Vietnamese citizens travel overseas a year and spend US$2 billion, the Vietnam Tourism Association said at a conference on Friday in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vu The Binh, vice chairman of the association, cited the figures at the conference that discussed adjustments to Vietnam's laws on tourism as he stressed the lack of care about local tourism in current laws.

"In many countries, incomes from local tourism are very high, but we have yet to pay attention to this market," he said.

Binh said about 1,000 companies are currently engaged in international tourism, 30 percent of which bring foreign tourists into Vietnam.

The remaining 70 percent send Vietnamese citizens to tour foreign countries, he added.

Since 2008, when the global economic crisis hit, travel agencies have turned to local tourists, and last year, the number of local tourists reached 30 million, and the number will rise significantly in the near future, Binh said.

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