1/5/2016 8:46:44 AM

HCM City welcomes 500 tourists on New Year's Day

HCM CITY (VNS)— Five-hundred foreign tourists were welcomed to HCM City yesterday at Tan Son Nhat International Airport with traditional Vietnamese music playing in the lobby.

The visitors, who were on flights from Japan, Taiwan, mainland China and other countries, were presented flowers, a traditional conical hat and other gifts from the city.

At the welcoming ceremony, the tourists enjoyed free Vietnamese tea and coffee.

Hideyuki Okahara of Japan said that he was surprised at the welcome, and would tell his friends and relatives about Viet Nam's hospitality.

La Quoc Khanh, deputy head of the city's Department of Tourism, said that the welcome ceremony for tourists was part of the Tourism Festival 2016, the ao dai (Vietnamese traditional long dresses) festival and other activities.

Last year, there were a total of 4.6 million foreign tourists, an increase of 4.6 per cent compared to 2014. Most of them were from the US, Japan, Korea, Russia, France and Thailand.

Local tourists totalled 19.3 million, 13 per cent higher than in 2014.

The city's total revenue from tourism last year reached VND94.6 trillion (US$4.2 billion), an increase of 10 per cent against 2014. — VNS

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