Tourism Festival opens in city

The 2009 Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Festival opened on April 3 at Dam Sen Cultural Park, organized by the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Visitors to the HCMC Tourism Festival learn about tours on April 3 (Photo: SGGP)

The fifth festival featured various activities, including a tourism summer fair, food festivals, art performances and photo exhibitions, with 150 stalls from 48 travel agencies, hotels, entertainment complexes, and tourism training schools from 18 cities and provinces nationwide.

The festival showcased prestigious tourism brands and new tourism services, along with special promotions to stimulate demand among the city’s people and in the southern economic zone.

At the opening ceremony, Nguyen Thi Hong, vice chairwoman of the HCMC People’s Committee, appreciated the city’s tourism sector for its timely solutions and programs to develop the industry.

Tourism is one of the city’s major industries. In 2008, the city received 2.8 million foreign visitors and the city’s tourism industry recorded a turnover of VND31 trillion ($1.8 billion).

In the first quarter of this year, the city welcomed 780,000 foreign tourists, with a total tourism industry turnover of VND7.7 trillion.

The number of foreign visitors to the city decreased by seven percent in the first quarter, but the sector’s total turnover rose by 15 percent over the same period of last year.

Also on the occasion of the Hung Kings’ anniversary, visitors witnessed the creation of 5,000 square glutinous rice cakes, in addition to performances and exhibitions from April 3-5.

The festival is an annual event for the city’s tourism sector, aimed to create a market in cooperation with other provinces to stimulate local demand.

By M. Hanh – Translated by Hoang Thi

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