Ho Chi Minh City welcomes its 5 millionth foreign tourist

By Thanh Tuyet   December 24, 2016 | 04:08 am PT
The red carpet was all set and ready to welcome the lucky tourist and other passengers from his flight. 

Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday marked the arrival of the 5 millionth foreign tourist with a red carpet ceremony and gifts for passengers of the lucky VN10 flight from France. 

The lucky visitor received a free Vietnam Airlines business class ticket from France to Vietnam; the carrier's one year gold membership; two nights at a five star hotel; and a city tour, among other services. 

Two visitors that arrived right before and immediately after the 5 millionth visitor were also surprised to receive travel and accommodation vouchers. Meanwhile, all passengers on the VN10 flight got a conical hat and a guidebook.  

The three lucky tourist receive gifts from the city authorities. Photo by VnExpress

The three lucky tourist receive gifts from the city authorities. Photo by VnExpress

Ho Chi Minh City is looking to diversify its tourism services to attract both local and long-haul travelers.

Under the plan, the city is seeking to promote performing arts festivals, sporting events and waterway tourism services, among others, while focusing on high-end leisure travel.

Ho Chi Minh City is expecting to receive 5.2 million foreign tourists this year, a 10 percent increase from last year, according to the municipal tourism department.

The number of local arrivals has also jumped 10 percent to 21.8 million. Tourism remains a key revenue stream for the city and is forecast to generate VND103 trillion ($4.5 billion) this year, up 9 percent year-on-year.

2016 is already a record breaking year for Vietnam's international tourist arrivals. As many as 10 million have been welcomed so far this year.   

Related news:

Fireworks, festivals and floating markets: Saigon's new tourism plan

Vietnam anticipates record tourist arrivals this year

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