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Tourism Festival draws 40,000 in just two days (February 14, 2006)

Nearly 40,000 Vietnamese and foreigners visited the historic town of Hoi An in the first two days of the National Tourism Year 2006 event, which began in central Quang Nam province Saturday, an official said.

Vo Phung, director of Hoi An Information and Culture Center, said the ancient town was crowded with the surge in visitors, especially when the opening ceremony coincided with the Fullmoon Night Festival, held on the fourteenth night of every lunar month.

The opening of the year-long event took place mainly at Hoi An and My Son holy land, which UNESCO recognized as World Heritage Sites, and Chu Lai Open Economic Zone.

The organizers said some 40,000 spectators gathered in front of the three stages in Hoi An, My Son and Chu Lai to enjoy unique art performances on Saturday evening.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan at 8pm Saturday took a boat across the Hoai River in Hoi An to reach the floating stage on the romantic river before delivering a speech to kick off the Quang Nam Tourism Year 2006.

Visitors showed keen interest in roadshows organized along Tran Phu and Nguyen Thai Hoc streets of the ancient town, festooned with hundreds of lanterns in the fullmoon night.

Highlighted programs in Hoi An included kylin and dragon dances, folk music and dance performances, folk games, a food festival at the Palm Garden Resort near the Dai beach, and Nguyen Tieu (first fullmoon) Festival celebrations at Quang Trieu and Ong Bon pagodas.

At My Son, the event was open with performances of drums, gongs, and sanara, a wind instrument of the Cham ethnic minority people, coupled with Cham’s royal court rituals.

Art performances on the stage at Ky Ha Port in Chu Lai also attracted nearly 10,000 spectators, including hundreds of foreign investors and tourists.

Following the opening ceremony, a series of activities and festivals will be held until the end of the year in Quang Nam. The province expects to attract some 1.5 million visitors this year through the event, said Dinh Hai, director of Quang Nam Tourism Department.

This is the fourth time the Vietnam Administration of Tourism has held the National Tourism Year in an effort to promote the country’s tourism.

The first took place in northern Quang Ninh province that helped promoted the image of Ha Long Bay, which was given UNESCO recognition as a World Heritage Site in 1994 and 2000.

The second was held in Dien Bien, the capital of northern Lai Chau province, to mark the resounding Dien Bien Phu Victory and promote tourism in the northwestern region.

The third was organized in Vinh, the capital of Nghe An Province, a history-laded and scenic part of central Vietnam and known as the homeland of late President Ho Chi Minh.

Reprinted from THANHNIEN News


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