The sector anticipates tourism will generate VND190 trillion ($9 billion) this year, up 18.75pct from 2012.

According to Nguyen Manh Cuong, Deputy Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), if these targets are reached, Vietnam will go to the finish two years ahead of its previously set schedule.

The sector will increase tourism promotions inside and outside the country, and concentrate on eight key markets, namely China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, France and Russia.

Together with the national action programme on tourism and the 2013-2015 national tourism promotion programme, it will continue promoting the world heritage site of Ha Long Bay after it was officially recognised as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature of the World.

In 2012, the sector served 6.85 million international visitors and 32.5 million domestic tourists, earning VND160 trillion ($7.6 billion).

Vietnam News Agency - January 5, 2013