Vietnam attends Hong Kong travel expo
Vietnam is showcasing its tourism products and services at the ongoing International Travel Expo Hong Kong (ITE HK) in China.
The expo, the largest of its kind in Hong Kong, attracts about 70,000 visitors a day. It features representatives of tourism agencies and airlines from 49 countries and territories around the world.
Vietnam’s national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines is attending the event to seek new partners and promote the country’s tourism.
Head of the Vietnam Airlines representative office in Hong Kong, Nguyen Quoc Tuan, said that the flag carrier wants to introduce expo visitors to Vietnam, its people and culture, as well as the airline’s routes and development potential.
The air carrier also wants to learn more about how the people of Hong Kong perceive Vietnam and their favourite destinations in the country in order to improve its marketing in the Hong Kong market, he added.
A number of other Vietnamese travel businesses are also taking part in the expo, including Vinpearl Resort Vietnam, Vidortour, Saigon Global Travel and Golf Coast Vietnam.
Thousands of Europeans visit Vietnam
The Costa Atlantica, a cruise ship owned by Costa Crociere S.p.A, with around 2,200 tourists and crew, docked at the SP-PSA port in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, on June 14th, starting their four-day visit to Vietnam.
This is the first time this cruise ship brought European tourists to Vietnam.
As envisaged, the tourists will visit HCM City, My Tho city, Tien Giang Province and tour Hue-Hoi An and Danang cities from Chan May port (Thua Thien-Hue Province).
Costa Crociere S.p.A owns 14 cruise ships carrying the Italian flag, sailing to 230 countries around the world.
This firm has worked with Saigontourist since 2006 to bring more tourists to Vietnam. This year, the firm’s 17 ships will dock in Vietnam.
Last year, Saigontourist received 96 ships with 148 arrivals, serving more than 175,000 tourists and crew. In the first 5 months of this year, the company received 83 cruise-ship arrivals with over 162,000 tourists and crew.
Bach Dang Wharf to become park
The Saigontourist Travel Service Company will invest in turning Bach Dang Wharf in Ho Chi Minh City into an amusement park in an effort to promote Vietnamese tourism.
Saigontourist will collaborate with the municipal Department of Planning and Investment to map out an investment project for turning the wharf in District 1 into a park.
The project, to be approved by the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee chairman, aims at clearing unauthorised street vendors and motorbike parking services in the area.
On June 6, Saigontourist introduced six river tourism lines, departing from Bach Dang Wharf to various places such as Thanh Da peninsula, Cu Chi tunnel and Garden House in District 9.
The city has called on localities along the riverbank and other economic sectors to involve in what are considered the city’s top priorities to boost tourism in 2013.
Optimistic outlook for hotels in Nha Trang
Things are looking up for Nha Trang hotels, with both occupancy rates and prices improving, according to a survey released last Friday by property services firm Savills Viet Nam.
As of the first quarter there were more than 4,800 three- to five-star rooms, a 3 per cent rise from the previous quarter.
But despite the increase the market performed well, with overall occupancy increasing by 3 percentage points to 73 per cent and the average tariff by 7 per cent to VND1.82 million per room per night.
A further 25 properties with more than 4,100 rooms are planned, with six hotels with more than 900 rooms expected to hit the market as early as this year.
In the first quarter, central Khanh Hoa Province, of which Nha Trang is the capital, welcomed more than 670,000 visitors, a 22 per cent rise year-on-year.
Domestic visitors accounted for over 500,000, up 20 per cent, while international arrivals saw strong growth of 30 per cent.
The Sea Festival, which ends on June 11, has attracted large numbers of visitors to Nha Trang, helping boost the country’s tourism industry in general.
Hue restoration is fit for a king
The Hue Monuments Complex Centre yesterday began restoring the mausoleum of the third king of the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945).
Xuong Lang Mausoleum is the resting place of King Hien To Chuong King, whose era’s name was Thieu Tri.
The mausoleum, located at Thuy Bang Commue, 5km to the west of Hue, has deteriorated through time and wars.
The two-year project will focus on building replicas of the two structures to the right and left side of the main building of the mausoleum, using the same foundations.
The US$1 million cost would come from the centre’s budget.
Researcher Ho Tan Phan said every mausoleum in the complex of royal monuments in Hue had its own value.
The restoration of Xuong Lang would ensure the entire span of dynasty’s history.
Heritage photo contest starts
A photo competition titled Viet Nam Heritage Photo Awards has been launched for all photographers living in Viet Nam.
Organisers, including Heritage Magazine and the Ministry of Information and Communications, will accept photos from now until November 30.
As the competition aims to introduce Vietnamese heritage to the world, entrants are asked to base their efforts on recording landscape, heritage and customs throughout Viet Nam.
Work starts on Cao Bang Province pagoda
Construction of the Phat Tich Truc Lam Ban Gioc pagoda got underway in Cao Bang Province’s Trung Khanh district on Saturday.
Situated on the side of Phia Nham mountain, the pagoda covers an area of 2ha at the Ban Gioc waterfall resort.
The pagoda has raised investment totalling VND18 billion (about US$857,0000) from social contributions.
The construction work is scheduled to be completed by 2014.
Ho Tram Strip resort to open
Ho Tram Project Company has announced that its first resort on the Ho Tram Strip in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province will open on July 26.
The Grand-Ho Tram Strip – in its first part of the first phase – will have 541 five-star rooms, gaming facilities, meeting and convention space, 10 bars and restaurants, a spa, children’s areas, three swimming pools, and luxury retail shops.
Mountain villages promote tourism
The central province of Quang Nam will debut community-based tourism in mountainous Dong Giang district on June 23, said Nguyen Thi Huyen, from the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Bho Hoong Village, Song Kon Commune and Dhroong Village, Talu Commune will turn into tourism sites as part of a project to strengthen inland tourism in Quang Nam.
The project, implemented by the ILO and the province with the funds from the Luxembourg Government, aims to promote tourism in mountainous areas along the former Ho Chi Minh Trail with total funding of US$1.3 million in three years.
In March, the community based-tourism village of My Son was launched near the My Son Sanctuary.