Ambassador of Vietnam Ton Sinh Thanh on Saturday said the number of Indian tourists to his country has increased "very fast" and it is expecting 1,70,000 visitors this year.
The number of Indian tourists to Vietnam has risen from 16,000 in 2010 to an estimated 1,10,000 last year, he said and called for promoting India as a destination for Vietnamese.
The ambassador, who was addressing the 30th Travel and Tourism Fair event here said, "Vietnam has a safe environment and is a stable and peaceful country. People are very friendly and we have lots of cultural and historic heritage."
Listing the tourist attractions, Thanh said "Vietnam has several UNESCO-recognised world heritage sites, lot of relics including Hindu relics and long seaside beaches. And we have a tourist season spanning all round the year," he said. From seven million global visitors in 2012 there were 20 million foreign visitors to Vietnam last year, he said adding the majority of them were from the Asian countries of China, Japan, South Korea and India.
The percentage of global tourists from Europe and US were 13 per cent and 5-6 per cent respectively last year, the diplomat said.
"Revenue from tourism is very important as tourism is an important industry in our country, where the number of domestic tourists is 72 million," he said.
Talking about the tourism infrastructure of Vietnam, he said the country has 25,000 hotels with 900 of them having three star to five star facilities.
Thanh said there should be a rise in the number of Vietnamese visiting India as pilgrims to Buddhist sites like Bodhgaya, Sarnath and also other historical places.
"There is a lot of potential for Vietnamese tourists to India ... There should be more promotion of India as a destinastion for the Vietnamese," he said.