Thứ Bảy, 19 tháng 7, 2014

Travel News 19/7

One further five star hotel in Ho Chi Minh City

One more 5-star hotel with international standards will be built in the most expensive T-junction in Ho Chi Minh City, announced the investor Group Corporation and Infrastructure Development Real Estate Vietnam (VIPD Group) on July 12th.

The new five star hotel located in the golden position of District 1 is a part of the Union Square complex project. Being located near the Opera House and looking to four most beautiful boulevards of the city, the Union Square complex will be the wonderful destination for visit, shopping, dining and luxury accommodation.

Investors of the Union Square Project pose photo in the ground breaking ceremony of the project in Ho Chi Minh City on July 12th.

The complex including six underground bases and nine storeys in the total are of 91,000 m2 will provide a trading center and a five star hotel with 300 rooms that is positioned from the fifth floor to the ninth floor.

Investor representative Kent Lui of the Hong Kong – based architect company Tactics Kent Lui Ltd.  said that the floors for hotels would be designed in an open space with the European ancient style, displaying many famous works of art. Hotel’s services will meet international standards and will be a place to hold events for VIPs and successful entrepreneurs.

The project’s investors also said that one more investor from Europe joined in the Union Square project. VIPD Group on July 11th signed an agreement with Asia Infrastructure and Property Development Corporation from the UK to fund for the project.

Chairman of the Asia Infrastructure and Property Development Corporation Agnes Dan Sze Wan said that the company chose VIPD Group as a cooperating partner in 2013 after long – time research in the real estate market.

“Union Square project is a good start realizing our long-term commitment to invest in the Vietnam market. This is a signal for hope that there will be a new investment wave breaking the Vietnam shore in the coming time”, she added.

Exploring Mekong Delta with VietJet Air and Saigontourist

Budget carrier VietJet Air and Saigontourist will offer new servives, aiming to give more chances to visitors discovering the daily life of Vietnamese people in Mekong Delta.

The carrier will open a new route from Da Nang to Can Tho starting July 22.

Saigontourist will continue offering Mekong tours including Hanoi- to Can Tho, Chau Doc and Ha Tien: and Da Nang- Can Tho, Chau Doc and Ha Tien. The new services will be scheduled on Thursday and Saturday every week with a cost of VND3, 370,000 per person.

Tourists will experience the famous tourist spot in South, taste tropical fruits, and explore the daily life of people living along two banks of Mekong Delta, said Saigontourist.

Khanh Hoa attracts Russian tourists

Khanh Hoa has welcomed 1,650,000 tourists in the first half this year, including more than 411,000 international visitors from Rusia, Korea, the United States and Australia, reported by the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Khanh Hoa province.

More than 91,000 Russian tourists traveled to Khanh Hoa, accounting to end -May, 2014, an increase over 50 percent, compared to the same period last year.

Khanh Hoa province’s leader said the province is working on the plan to launch the tourism cooperative programs with other provinces nationwide like Phu Yen, Binh Dinh and five Highland Central provinces. Besdies, the province targets to be welcomed 250,000 Russian tourists this year.

Moreover, Khanh Hoa tourism sector expands cooperation programs with some countries in Northeast Asia region as Japan, Korea.

Lao Cai to open spiritual tour along Red River

The northern province of Lao Cai will open a new tour taking visitors to temples along the Red River in Phu Tho, Yen Bai and Lao Cai in August 10.

The announcement was made on Thursday by the province as part of the tourism stimulation program this year.

Tourists will visit Temple of Au Co (the woman who is believed Mother of the Viet people) in Phu Tho and the long standing Dong Cuong Temple in Yen Bai, which is one of two large temples in the Red River upper reaches.

They then will come to Bao Ha, Doi Co and Thuong temples and other destinations in the area. Thuong is one of historic landscapes in the country’s southeastern region where worships the national hero Tran Hung Dao.

The last destination is Mau Temple in Lao Cai city which was built since the 18th century in the border area between Vietnam and China.

Besides the new tour, Lao Cai will hold a flower and lantern festival together with Sa Pa street festival by the full-moon day of the eighth lunar month this year, according to Tran Huu Son, director of the province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Vietjet Air plans to open air routes to RoK

As planned, the first charter flight between the Danang and Incheon international airports will lift off on July 16, with the first Hanoi- Incheon commercial flight taking off on July 24.

Vietjet Air has reported the plan to the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) and has completed all necessary conditions to proceed with the new air route.

Earlier, Vietjet Air signed contracts to supply aviation, goods and maintenance, air ground aid services with a number of Korean companies.

Vietjet Air Managing Director Luu Duc Khanh said that currently only 80% of the necessary services at airports, such as management of ground-based activities and petroleum, and passenger services have been hired, so there may be some slight delays at airports initially.

The delays should be reduced by half in July and August, Khanh added.

The CAAV is considering Vietjet Air’s preparations for the new route.

Tourism plan launched for local travellers

The HCM City Tourism Association (HTA) yesterday announced the launch of the 2014-15 tourism domestic demand stimulation campaign in co-operation with Vietnam Airlines.

Nguyen Thi Khanh, deputy chairwoman of the HTA, said the association has chosen strong companies with “real demand” for this year’s programme. The HTA has become wiser after, in the past, many companies that joined the programme ended up with little to show.

Nguyen The Vinh, deputy director of Saigontourist, said last year 34,200 people booked tours by air under the programme, a 115 per cent rise from 2012.

Nguyen Thi Minh Yen, director of Vietnam Airlines’s southern regional office, said the carrier is proud of being part of the programme since 2009.

The airline offers travel companies cheap tickets for this programme, allows them to book first and pay later, and change or cancel tickets free of charge.

Yen said 32-70 per cent discount is offered to travel companies, and the airlines would “be a long-term participant in the domestic tourism stimulation programme”.

Twelve travel companies – Vietravel, Saigontourist, Viet Media Travel, The He Tre Travel, Lien Bang Travelink, Viet Nam Festival Travel,  

Fiditour, Peace Tour, TransViet, YTC, TST, and VYC – are part of the programme this year.

VietJetAir to offer tourism discounts

Private budget carrier VietJetAir yesterday signed an agreement with the HCM City Tourism Association to take part in is domestic tourism demand stimulation campaign for a third straight year.

Luu Duc Khanh, managing director of VietJetAir, said the airline would provide travel companies taking part in the campaign discounts of 49 to 90 per cent.

Last year it sold 23,317 tickets at a discount under the campaign.

He said that tickets offered at 70-90 per cent discount would be shared equitably among the participating travel companies, and can be transferred among themselves if the HTA acts as the arbiter.

Flights to connect Phu Quoc with Singapore, Siem Reap

Vietnam Airlines will open two new air routes connecting Phu Quoc International Airport in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta Province of Kien Giang with Singapore and Siem Reap (Cambodia) from November 1.

The carrier will operate two flights per week by A321 aircraft on the Phu Quoc-Singapore route and three flights a week by ATR72 on the Phu Quoc-SiemReap route.

In 2013, Phu Quoc Airport served nearly 700,000 passengers, up 39 per cent from the previous year. It has catered for some 450,000 passengers in the first half of this year, representing 60.8 per cent of its yearly target and a 34.1 per cent increase against the same period in 2013.

The airport also handled 836 tonnes of goods, fufilling 86.6 per cent of the annual target and rising 101.2 per cent from a year earlier.

Regional connectivity needed to develop tourism: Deputy PM

Regional connectivity will allow Central and Central Highlands localities to fully tap their tourism potential and create highly attractive tourism products, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has said.

During a July 17 working session with local officials in central Ninh Thuan province, Dam stressed that Vietnam has yet to take full advantage of its great tourism potential, as investment in this sector is not considered a core task.

He asked the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to design a specific, long-term strategy for the tourism industry, requiring it to promote advantages held by each locality and each region.

The ministry was urged to work closely with the Vietnam Tourism Association to complete these tasks.

During the working session, Vice Chairwoman of the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong Nguyen Thi Ngoc Le proposed that the  

Government should pay more attention to developing tourism in mountainous provinces.

Meanwhile, Le Huu Minh, deputy head of central Thua Thien–Hue province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, suggested that localities holding similar tourism advantages and products should work together more effectively.

According to Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Head Nguyen Van Tuan, the sector served 7.7 million foreign tourists and nearly 33 million domestic visitors, earning VND 200 trillion (US$9.4 billion) in revenue last year.

In the first half of 2014, the number of foreign visitors to Vietnam approached 4.3 million, while the number of domestic holidaymakers was 23.4 million. The sector pocketed VND 125 trillion (US$5.87 billion) in revenue, a year-on-year increase of 22.5%.

Vietnam Airlines offers big discounts to spur tourism

Domestic tourists will have the opportunity to buy remarkably low-priced tours as Vietnam Airlines (VNA) on July 16 announced air ticket discounts of between 22% and 70% for 12 travel firms.  

The 12 tourism firms, which are members of the HCMC Tourism Association, are Vietravel, Saigontourist, Viet Media Travel, The He Tre Travel, Lien Bang Travelink, Festival, Fiditourist, Peace Tour, Youth Tourist, TST Tourist, TransViet Travel and V.Y.C Travel.

Nguyen Thi Minh Yen, director of VNA’s Southern Regional Office, said the program will last until March 2015. The national carrier will continue to lower ticket prices for flights from HCMC to Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Danang, Dalat, Hanoi and Can Tho City, and the Can Tho-Hanoi service. The national air carrier will open additional services from HCMC to Hue, Buon Ma Thuot, Thanh Hoa, Vinh and Dong Hoi.

“Both parties have been cooperating very efficiently, so we decide to offer special discounts applying for many air services; regulations for booking and payment are also more flexible,” said Yen.

The tourism stimulus program under the association said air fares make up 40-50% of the cost of a tour. So tour prices will be much lower given the sharp discount.

“The last promotional program helped lower package tour prices by 35-40%. This time, after VNA’s announcement of promotional prices, we will hold discussions to bring out the most reasonable price for package tours. It is expected to be lower than that in the previous year,” said Nguyen The Vinh, head of the tourism stimulus program.

Last year, VNA along with VietJet Air and Jetstar Pacific ran the same promotion targeting some members of the HCMC Tourism Association. As many as 34,000 discount tickets were offered to tour buyers in this campaign.

In the first half of this year, about 31,000 travelers bought promotional packages on popular routes from HCMC to Nha Trang, Dalat, Con Dao, Phu Quoc, Danang, Hue and Hanoi.

On July 17, the HCMC Tourism Association will sign a similar cooperation program with VietJet Air. The preferential price and the number of agencies participating in this program have not been revealed yet.

S.Korea relaxes visa requirements for Vietnam visitors

The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and the South Korean Consulate General in HCMC have introduced a number of new policies aimed at relaxing visa requirements for Vietnamese visitors, especially groups of travelers.

These new policies are designed to attract more MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Convention and Exhibition) travelers, who are among the target groups of South Korea.

The authorities of South Korea have decided to loosen visa requirements for a group of at least five Vietnamese travelers whose visits are financed by businesses in the list of 500 top companies in Vietnam posted on the website, the firms with revenues surpassing US$5 million a year or groups of students from high schools or lower levels.

It takes three days for the eligible candidates to apply for visas and each will have to pay a visa fee of US$15 instead of US$20 as before. They will be exempt from customs declarations upon arrival in South Korea if they apply for visas via the 14 travel agencies designated by the consulate and exit the country on the same flights.

Multiple-entry visas will be extended to more beneficiaries, including tour guides and the travelers who have visited that country for more than one time and earn more than US$8,000 a year.

According to the KTO in Vietnam, the number of Vietnamese visitors to South Korea has increased significantly in recent years and exceeded 114,000 last year. The number is forecast to hit 140,000 by the end of this year.

Thailand’s roadshows in Cambodia and Vietnam

‘NakornChaiBurin’ comprising four northeastern provinces of Nakorn Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum, Buriram, and Surin, will present roadshows and seminars in Cambodia and Vietnam from July 18-22.

Surin Governor Niran Kanlayanamitr is to lead delegates to visit and learn about border trade and tourism during their stay in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Then, on July 20, they will travel to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

OTOP (One Tambon One Product) entrepreneurs will meet and exchange information with Vietnamese tourism business people. An OTOP exhibition and traditional performances will be presented during this roadshow.

These roadshows aim to attract more tourists to the four north eastern provinces of Thailand as well as to trigger economic benefits in the region.

Da Nang greets first flight from Japan

The central city of Da Nang on July 16 welcomed the first flight of a new direct air service from Tokyo (Japan) which is hoped to bring more Japanese tourists to the central region.

The route between Narita International Airport and Danang is operated by Vietnam Airlines with four flights per week using Airbus A321 aircraft.

Da Nang has long considered Japan as a key tourism market. In 2013, the city welcomed more than 41,000 Japanese visitors, up 53% from a year earlier.

Travel agencies said with beautiful beaches, high-end resorts and attractive tourism products, the city as well as Vietnam’s central region in general is becoming an ideal destination for short holidays in Japanese visitors’ eyes.

The new route is forecast to help increase the Japanese tourist number to Da Nang by 15 – 20 percent.

Dak Lak sets up tourism information centre

The Dak Lak Province People’s Committee has decided to set up a tourism information and promotion centre in Buon Ma Thuot City, known as the capital of coffee.

The Central Highlands province has great tourism potential with many beautiful historic and natural sites and an eye-popping range of cultures belonging to more than 40 ethnic minorities.

Don Village, the palace of Viet Nam’s last king – Bao Dai, Yok Don National Park, Dray Sap and Thuy Tien waterfalls, and Lak and Ea Kao lakes are among the province’s popular destinations.

At Don Village, famous for hunting and taming elephants, tourists can take an elephant ride and visit a 115 year-old house on stilts and the tomb of the king of elephant hunters, Ama Kong.

Long Hai Town to become a luxury beach

The Ba Ria-Vung Tau People’s Committee plans to develop Long Hai town in Long Dien District into a luxurious beach tourism spot.

Situated 25km from Vung Tau City, Long Hai attracts tourists with its beautiful beaches, clean water, and tranquillity.

The fishing town is also famous for its historical Minh Dam Mountain, Dinh Co Temple, and fresh seafood, especially herring.

Tour to world’s largest cave booked until end-2016

A new adventure tour to Son Doong, the world’s largest cave, in Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province, has attracted more than 160 tourists as of June 26, according to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Only a small number of tourists can visit the cave yet because the tour is organised only four times a month and for just eight people at a time, said the department.

The tour lasts seven days and six nights and costs US$3,000. Visitors have to book in advance online, but it is full-up until the end of 2016.

Next month the department plans to review the tour and its price to see if it can improve things.

The cave, situated in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO natural heritage site, is 200m high, 150m wide, and around 5km long. It has stunning giant stalactites, a large river, and a jungle with a diverse ecosystem inside.

Mekong Delta mountain recognised as tourism zone

The An Giang Province People’s Committee on Wednesday recognised Cam (Forbidden) Mountain in Tinh Bien District as a tourism zone.

The highest peak in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta is more than 700m high and is in the That Son (Seven Mountains) area. Cam is known as the “Da Lat of the Mekong Delta”.

Located around 70km away from Long Xuyen city, the Cam Mountain Tourism Zone is beautiful and has a mysterious air about it. A road from the foot of the mountain goes all the way to the peak through Van Linh and Phat Lon pagodas and a 33.6m high Maitreya Buddha statute, the largest in Asia.

A 3,461m cable car system is expected to be ready by the end of this year.

Giant Ferris wheel offers great views of Da Nang

The central city of Da Nang has got a giant Ferris wheel, one of the 10 largest in the world, at the Asian Park.

The first item to be put into operation at the park, it is 115m high, can carry 384 passengers, and takes 15 minutes to complete a round.

It offers stunning views of the city.


Travel News 19/7

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