The Hanoitimes - Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoàng Tuấn Anh will lead a Vietnamese delegation to the Tourism Culture Festivals in Japan and the Republic of Korea from June 22-27.
The festivals aim to promote Vietnamese culture, tourism and gastronomy, the 1000th founding anniversary of Thăng Long–Hà Nội, and campaign for Hạ Long Bay as a new world wonder.
The host and guest ministers of tourism and culture will meet at the festivals to discuss preparations for culture and tourism cooperation programs in 2010.
Festivals in Japan and South Korea this week will promote tourism in Vietnam, ahead of Hanoi's millennium celebrations later this year. The three-day festival in Tokyo begins on Tuesday, while the one in Seoul will run from Friday to Saturday.
"About 30 Vietnamese tourism businesses have signed up to take part in the festivals," said Nguyen Van Tinh, head of the Culture, Sports and Tourism Ministry's International Cooperation Department, which is organizing the events.
"A 20-member art troupe will be performing in Seoul and Tokyo. We will introduce Vietnamese culture and tourism as well as investment opportunities."
The festival in Japan will be held in Ginza, with exhibitions and showrooms introducing Vietnamese culture, cuisine, tourism services and goods. In addition, there will be displays of traditional Vietnamese ao dai (traditional long dress) and design competitions.
To further promote Hanoi's millennium in October, 100 hoardings will be set up at 45 shinkansen (bullet train) stations.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh will also this week sign a tourism co-operation agreement with his South Korean counterpart. South Korea ranks second behind China and Japan third in terms of foreign tourists visiting Vietnam, which is why these festivals have been organized, Tinh said.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and the Japan Association of Travel Agents inked a memorandum of understanding in 2008 to boost tourism in the two countries.
Vietnam is being promoted as a must-see destination for Japanese tourists in the association's "Visit the World Campaign", which aims to boost the number of Japanese holiday-makers travelling abroad from 17.3 million in 2007 to 20 million this year.
In the first four months of this year, about 178,000 South Korean visitors came to Vietnam, 31.4 percent up on the previous year, according to VNAT. Meanwhile, about 147,000 Japanese visitors came to Vietnam in the first four months of the year, up 14.2 percent.
Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, the central province of Quang Nam – home to the ancient city of Hoi An – and Thua Thien-Hue are among the popular destinations for tourists from the two countries.
"We will focus on promoting marine tourism, festivities for the 1,000th year of Hanoi and tourism in HCM City and the Mekong Delta," Tinh said.