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Vietnam province to open tourism rep offices in Japan, S. Korea

The northern province of Quang Ninh plans to open tourism representative offices in Japan and South Korea later this year.

Ha Quang Long, director of the province's Department Culture, Sports and Tourism, told the Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon (The Saigon Times) on Thursday that the offices will promote tourism and implement related marketing programs.

They also provide consultancy services for local companies that are interested in investing in Vietnamese tourism, he said.

Long said funds for running the offices will be taken from the state budget as well as contributions from businesses.

He said the province is able to open the offices thanks to support from Korean and Japanese cultural associations and companies that are investing in Quang Ninh, home to some of the nation's leading tourist attractions.

Korean and Japanese citizens account for 40-50 percent of international tourists to Quang Ninh Province, the news report quoted the provincial tourism department as saying.

All of them visit the world heritage site Ha Long Bay, it said.

Quang Ninh received more than 4.67 million tourists over the first half year, a year-on-year increase of 9 percent. Tourism generated more than VND2.5 trillion (US$117.87 million) for the province, up 14 percent from the same period last year.

The Vietnam Tourism Association is also calling for sponsorship to open its representative office in Japan, estimating that the office will need around $300,000 a year, the newspaper reported.

More than 500,000 Japanese tourists and 700,000 Korean tourists visited Vietnam last year, according to official figures.

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