Sri Lanka, Vietnam in move to boost tourism - LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE

Sri Lanka, Vietnam in move to boost tourism - LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE: Foreign investment is flooding into the sector. Sri Lanka's Jetwing group also had a joint venture there.

By 2015 Vietnam expected to have 390,000 rooms and 900,000 rooms by 2010, Thanh said.

Last year Vietnam, which is part of the ASEAN visa free travel area, welcomed 6.0 million tourists. Up to May 2012 Vietnam has received 2.9 million tourists. By 2020 the country was expecting to receive 20 million tourists.

"Tourists can go to Vietnam anytime of the year," Thanh said. "In the South, it is the same as Sri Lanka we have wet and dry seasons. But the north has four seasons; if tourists from Sri Lanka want to enjoy cool weather they can go in the winter."

"We have already brought Vietnam official delegations to Sri Lanka," said Quach Thi My Hoa from Hanoi Toserco, a state-run firm started in 1988.

"Our main outbound markets are Europe, North East Asia, Korea and Japan.

"But after we came here we are very interested in the Sri Lankan market because the attractions and hotels are very good. The food here is also compatible for the Vietnamese people."

Huyn Cong Han, from SaigonTourist Travel Services said Ha Long Bay, a karst mountain formation emerging from the sea was among the most popular destinations, where tourists could spend the night on a junk and visit a cave.