A program called “Check in Vietnam - Proud of Vietnam” from the Communications Center at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has been jointly launched by the Center and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The program aims to raise awareness in the community, especially among young people, about preserving and promoting Vietnam’s culture and heritages as well as environmental protection through journeys to heritage destinations and historical sites.

It also expects to promote famous landscapes, historical relics, and traditional customs and cultures in all localities around the country to tourists, especially foreigners.

A series of events promoting heritages and involving celebrity volunteers will be organized from May to December.

There will be a launch and promotion ceremony on culture and heritage discovery in May at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Son Tay town in Hanoi, and a series of events with the theme “Check in Vietnam - Journeys to Heritage Sites” featuring trips to well-known destinations with heritages in combination with environmental protection and charity campaigns with the participation of celebrities.

Another highlight of the program is the introduction and construction of the social app “Check in Vietnam” (App CIVIE), which is expected to become an e-encyclopedia and contribute to making Vietnam a smart tourism country with Industry 4.0 technology. Vietnamese and foreigners, both individual and groups, can post pictures, texts, and videos sharing their trips in the country.

There will also be a competition on “Check in Vietnam - Proud of Vietnam” from May 1 to November 30. Vietnamese and foreigners living in or travelling to Vietnam can send articles, pictures, and videos of places they visited to the App CIVIE or the Facebook fanpages #Checkinvietnamtuhaovietnam2019 and #phongtraocheckinvietnam2019.

A total of 36 works will be selected and posted on the fanpages for the final round, for people to vote on the winner in each category. There will be prizes every week and every month in each category. Prizes total over VND2 billion ($86,000) including cash and gifts from sponsors.

Vietnam welcomed a record 15.4 million foreign visitors last year, a 20 per cent increase against 2017. The number of international tourist arrivals has surged three-fold from 5 million in 2010. It also catered to 80 million domestic travelers last year, generating VND620 trillion ($26.66 billion) in revenue.

It was ranked the world’s fourth fastest-growing travel destination in a 2018 UN World Tourism Organization report for its impressive growth in international arrivals over recent years.

Vietnam plans to welcome up to 20 million foreign visitors by 2020, earning $35 billion in tourism revenue and contributing 10 per cent to the country’s GDP.