Vietnam banks on domestic travelers

Vietnam banks on domestic travelers
Vietnam Airlines planes at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi.

HO CHI MINH CITY -- Vietnam is banking on domestic tourists to make up for the decline in international visitors.

The country expects to receive 8.5 million foreign tourists this year.

Government officials last Saturday launched a programme to encourage domestic travel in response. Tourism Stimulus 2015 will provide discounts for Vietnamese travelling within their borders.

Travel agencies, local airlines and railways will cut prices for locals from 25 per cent to 50 per cent. Promotion programs aimed at Vietnamese are also being set up. Authorities expect to see around 37 million domestic tourists this year, up from 35 million in 2014.

"Domestic travel growth has been steady in the past 10 years, which is a good sign," an official from Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said at the launch event. "[It should help us] help recover from the recent downturn in international arrivals."

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