Foreign Visitors to Vietnam Increase in First 7 Months

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HANOI, July 31 – Vietnam welcomed an estimated 2.6 million international arrivals in the first seven months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 6.6 percent, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said Tuesday.

The number of foreign tourists rose by 3.1 percent to more than 1.6 million while the percent of foreigners coming to Vietnam for business surged 38.4 percent to 505,500. Foreign visitors originated mainly from China, the United States, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and Australia the VNAT said.

Vietnam estimates that is will host 4.8 to 5 million international arrivals in 2008, and increase of nearly 19 percent over 2007.

Vietnam will host the 28th ASEAN Tourism Forum in Hanoi next January, during which tourism ministers from the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are scheduled to meet to discuss projects and programs on regional tourism integration, and traveling conferences and exhibitions will be held.