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Vietnam records 17pc rise in tourist arrivals


HANOI, Dec 29 (AFP): Vietnam recorded a 17 per cent increase in foreign tourist arrivals in 2005 despite fears over the spread of bird flu, the country's tourism authority said today.
A total of 3.43 million international visitors arrived this year, mostly from China, France, Japan, South Korea and the United States, said the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
Arrivals from Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand also rose because of growing air traffic links, VNAT said, adding that visa exemption agreements with a number of countries added to the trend.
Tourism revenue grew 15.4 per cent to 1.88 billion dollars, it said.
"Some good results in controlling the spread of bird flu in recent months has reassured foreign visitors about the government's determination in this regard," VNAT external affairs department director Nguyen Van Hung told the news agency.