JATA management convened a meeting in Vietnam over the weekend and conducted fieldtrips to some destinations before choosing Quang Nam and Danang in the central region as a highly-potential destination, said Nguyen Quy Phuong, head of the Travel Division under Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

Phuong said this was the first time JATA held its executive meeting outside Japan, and during the gathering they mapped out plans to develop the market.

“JATA has chosen Vietnam as the focal market and next year there will be direct flights from Japan to Danang, Quang Nam and Thua Thien-Hue to bring Japanese tourists here,” Phuong told the Daily on Sunday after the conclusion of the JATA meeting in Hanoi.

He noted that JATA was an umbrella organization for many big travel firms from Japan, so its decision to choose Vietnam would be of strong assistance to the country’s tourism industry.

The JATA meeting coincided with the meeting of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Tourism Committee in Hanoi, where both sides pledged to boost tourism cooperation, with an aim to make Vietnam a popular destination for Japanese.

At the committee’s meeting, the Vietnam side expected to welcome one million Japanese tourists by 2015, while the number of Vietnamese travelers to Japan is expected to quadruple to 200,000 by then compared to 50,000 last year.

In the January-October, nearly 498,000 Japanese tourists have visited Vietnam, according to Vietnam National Administration for Tourism.

According to Phuong, Vietnamese tour operators and air carriers are launching many promotional programs to attract tourists from Japan. Next year, Vietnam Airlines will launch air service to Haneda Airport in Tokyo to facilitate air transport between the two countries.