VietNamNet Bridge – The tourism associations of Ha Noi and HCM City signed on Saturday a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on carrying out a tourism promotion programme this year.
Under the agreement signed under the auspices of the Viet Nam International Tourism Market (VITM) 2013 fair, the two associations agreed to launch domestic tourism promotion programmes with discounted airfares offered by Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet Air on flights between the two cities.
They will also ask the Viet Nam Tourism Association, the departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Ha Noi and HCM City, as well as cities and provinces across the country to join hands and effecting reductions in the prices of ground services.
Travel agencies have been asked to join the discounted package tour programme that offers reductions of at least 30 per cent.
The HCM City Tourism Association had reached an agreement with Vietnam Airlines for discounts of up to 58 per cent on flights from HCM City to Ha Noi, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc.
The HCM City-based low-cost carrier, Vietjet Air, has also launched a programme offering 49 per cent discounts for 10,000 air tickets at the VITM 2013.
Speaking at the fair, Vu The Binh, deputy head of the Viet Nam Tourism Association, said the agreement reached between the two associations on promoting domestic tours would provide the impetus for similar arrangements in other areas in the north and the south of Viet Nam, paving the way for sustainable development of the country's tourism sector.
The agreement will create favourable conditions for northern travellers to visit the southern cities and provinces and vice versa, said Binh.
According to VITM 2013 organisers, the country's two biggest cities received rising numbers of tourists in the first three months of 2013.
HCM City received nearly 1.05 million foreign visitors, a year-on-year increase of 8 per cent. The city's tourism sector earned revenues of over VND20.6 trillion (US$981 million), up by 20 per cent compared with the same period in 2012.
Meanwhile, Ha Noi welcomed more than 534,000 foreign visitors, an increase of 9.8 per cent compared with the same period last year, according to the capital city's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.