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EU, Viet Nam pour $17m into tourism

HA NOI — A 12 million euro (US$17.28 million) investment in tourism was launched by the European Union and the Vietnamese Government yesterday in Ha Noi, making it the largest capacity-building tourism programme ever initiated in Viet Nam.

Eleven million euros ($15.84 million) came from the EU, and the remaining funds were contributed by Viet Nam.

Vu Quoc Tri, director of the "Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Programme" said the project was committed to responsible tourism: "Its specific objective is to promote the delivery of environmentally and socially responsible services as part of Viet Nam's Tourism Development Strategy."

EU Ambassador to Viet Nam and Head of the EU Delegation Sean Doyle said the project would have a special focus on alleviating poverty and on engaging the participation of women.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism Ho Anh Tuan said that the country is keen to "develop tourism in a sustainable way, so the implementation of this project will contribute remarkably to fulfil the strategic objectives of the tourism industry".

The ministry aims to enhance the industry's competitiveness and encourage public-private partnerships. As part of this effort, it plans to hold activities to promote regional environmental standards and energy conservation measures.

For example, the ministry would like to address the impact that tourism has on the environment in Ha Long Bay and Phu Quoc Island. The project will include the production of housekeeping guides to help small hotels save energy and water.

The project, which will last for five years, was implemented by the Viet Nam Administration of Tourism. — VNS