Sa Pa in Top most beautiful terraces in the world

Sa Pa in Top most beautiful terraces in the world

The terraced fieds of Sa Pa in Viet Nam's northern Lao Cai province have entered in the Top 11 most beautiful terraces in the world, according to the Touropia.

The terraced fieds of Sa Pa in Viet Nam's northern Lao Cai province have entered in the Top 11 most beautiful terraces in the world, according to the Touropia.

The international tourism electronic communication network (Touropia) has also ranked Douro (Portuguese), Bali (Indonesia), Choquequyrao, Pisác, Salinas de Maras, Ma chu Pich chu, Ollantaytambo (Peru), Longji, Hani (China), Banaue (the Philippines).

In 2009, the famous travel magazine Travel and Leisure (US) also voted Sapa terraces in Top 7 most beautiful and spectacular terraces in Asia and the world. Early November 2013, on the 110th founding anniversary of Sapa (1903-2013), the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism decided to rank Sapa terraced fields as the National Landscape site.

Biggest rest stop in central Vietnam opens

ASTOP, the biggest rest stop in central Vietnam, opened last Saturday in Phu Yen Province’s Song Cau Town and is part of the Long Hai resort project invested by Dai Thuan Joint Stock Company and South Korean firm Hoya.

With an investment of over US$3 million, the Long Hai resort project has had its first phase put into operation with restaurant, convention space, supermarket, coffee shop, fuel station and space for outdoor activities.

The second phase consisting of bungalows, children section, spa and tourism activities in Xuan Dai Bay is being implemented.

Pham Xuan Nam, general director of the Hoya-Dai Thuan joint venture, spoke at the opening ceremony of the rest stop that the project, located near Xuan Dai Bay, would be a highlight of Song Cau Town’s central area and help attract tourists to the area.

Saigontourist to divest stakes at many enterprises

Saigontourist Holding Company will divest hundreds of billions of Vietnam dong from 31 enterprises in the sectors of property, rubber, aviation and healthcare towards 2015.

Under the divestment plan for the 2013-2015 period recently approved by the HCMC government, Saigontourist will have to divest VND157 billion it has poured in Saigon M&C Real Estate Company, VND27 billion in Eximland Corporation, VND40 billion in Jetstar Pacific Airlines and nearly VND20 billion in Saigon Medical Investment Company.

Besides, Saigontourist has invested nearly VND200 billion in other non-core businesses in seven other enterprises, with VND80 billion in Saigon Commercial Bank, VND32 billion in Vietnam Investment Fund, VND65 billion in Kien Long Commercial Bank, VND2.5 billion in Orient Commercial Bank and VND29 billion in a security firm. From now towards 2015, Saigontourist will compete divestment of all stakes at these enterprises.

Saigontourist’s core businesses are hotel, restaurant, catering services, entertainment, recreation, beach resort, travel services and other related services.

In the 2013-2015 period, there are only four projects Saigontourist is allowed to invest in, including Saigon Ban Gioc Company (70% stake), Saigon Que Huong Company (29% stake), the six-star Thu Thiem hotel project (36% stake) and Binh My Saigon Company (22.48% stake).

After 2015, the number of enterprises which Saigontourist still holds stakes in is 47.

In related news, Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) has divested VND252 billion from ABBank by transferring 25.2 million shares to Hanoi General Export Import Corporation (GELEXIMCO). After this deal, EVN now holds only 16.02% of ABBank’s charter capital (76.8 million shares).

EVN will have to divest all from ABBank in 2015 as well as at many property, banking, security and insurance enterprises.

The total amount of capital that EVN has poured into other such non-core businesses as finance, banking, insurance, and property is VND1.1 trillion.

Air tickets abound despite Tet nearing

Air tickets, even those offered by low-cost carriers, are still abundant although the Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet, is drawing near.

Domestic carriers have a lot of tickets available for flights from HCMC to Hanoi, Danang and Haiphong.

A representative of low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific said only flights between HCMC and Vinh City have been almost fully booked. But there are many seats remaining vacant on routes from HCMC to Hanoi and Haiphong.

Jetstar Pacific has advised passengers to book air tickets soon but they should be on high alert for fraudulent websites.

VietJetAir is now selling tickets for numerous flights from HCMC to Hanoi and Danang. However, tickets for HCMC-Hue and HCMC-Vinh flights near the end of the old lunar year, which is around late January, have been sold out.

On the website of the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, passengers can now find tickets to fly from HCMC to Hanoi and Haiphong just days ahead of Tet. Business class tickets still abound while those for HCMC-Thanh Hoa route, which is expected to see strong demand during Tet, are still available.

In a related development, while passengers still have abundant choices for air tickets, train tickets have grown scarce as few new trains will operate during the height of the annual migration from HCMC.

Nguyen Van Thanh, head of Saigon Railway Station, said train tickets with departures scheduled just several days before the start of the Lunar New Year have been sold out.

The station said only tickets for trips from HCMC to central and northern provinces slated for departure on January 22, 2014 or sooner are available. On January 29, 2014, or two days before Tet, there are still tickets from Vinh, Dong Hoi to Hanoi and from Nha Trang City to southern provinces.

Meanwhile, at Mien Dong Coach Station, tickets for trips from HCMC to Quang Ngai Province before Tet have been sold out.

West Lake to become attractive tourist destination

The West Lake, which is dubbed as the lung of Hanoi, will be turned into an attractive cultural and spiritual tourist site.

The plan was discussed at a conference jointly held by the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Tay Ho People’s Committee and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism on December 24.

The department and the committee have jointly drawn a list of entertainment services at the site such as rowing, diving and food, which will be submitted to the municipal People’s Committee for approval.

To realise the plan, Tay Ho district will focus on water treatment in the lake as well as developing a restaurant and hotel system around it in connection with peach and kumquat growing villages.

Over the past time, along with upgrading lakeshores, pavements, parks and benches, the district has launched electric care services around the lake, helping lure more visitors to the capital city.

The West Lake has a long history associated with the formation and development of the capital city of Thang Long-Hanoi. Rich in cultural values, the lake houses at least 21 pagodas, shrines and communal houses with many valuable artifacts.

Vietnam Airlines provides new flights from Can Tho to Taiwan

The national flag carrier will run eight new direct flights from the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho to Taiwan (China) during the coming lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.

There will be four flights from Taipei, Gaoxiong and Taizhong to Can Tho, and four others from Can Tho to these localities.

The first flight from Taipei to Can Tho will depart from Taipei at 6:25 on January 26 and land at Can Tho international airport at 8:55. The following flights from Taipei, Gaoxiong and Taizhong to Can Tho are scheduled start on January 28-29, and those from Can Tho to these localities, on February 8-9.

The new direct flights aim to create favourable conditions for overseas Vietnamese who wish to enjoy Tet celebrations back home.

This is the fifth year Vietnam Airlines has increased its direct flights from Can Tho to Taiwan.

Ho Chi Minh City welcomes 4 millionth foreign tourist

Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in conjunction with the municipal Tourism Association and Vietnam Airlines, held a ceremony on December 24 to welcome the 4 millionth foreign visitor, a Japanese, to the city.

Yamamoto Shoichi, a first-timer to the city, expressed his hope that with the attention from the municipal authorities, the tourism sector will continue developing and attracting more tourists from around the world.

According to the Ho Chi Minh City Centre for Tourism Promotion, Japan is among the three leading markets of the city’s tourism sector with an annual average growth of 10 percent.

The city expects to welcome 345,000 Japanese in 2013.

The sector has conducted many activities to promote its image in Japan. It plans to coordinate with other cities in the lower Mekong region to hold tourism promotion activities in Tokyo.

Meanwhile, the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre held a ceremony on the same day to welcome the two millionth tourist to the Hue imperial relic complex in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

Japanese tourist Yoshimi Muto received free accommodation at a five-star hotel in the province, a ticket for a four-day tour and a cash award.

On the occasion, the centre launched a golden tourism week for December 24 – 30, with big discounts to attract tourists to the Hue heritage site at the end of the year.

The incentives include 20 percent discount for a group of at least 10 tourists visiting Hue relics, 50 percent discount for those enjoying the performance of Nha Nhac at the Duyet Thi Duong Theatre and 50 percent for those touring around the Imperial palace on electric buses.

The week also encompasses a meeting for domestic firms to exchanging experiences on tourism activities, a demonstration of Hue cuisine, an Ao Dai (Vietnamese traditional dress) fashion show and other performances.

Recognised by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage in 1993, the complex gathers significant works.

Over 2 million tourists come to Hue each year, raking in more than VND100 billion (US$4.7 million for the local tourism sector.

Air route to link Vinh city with Lao capital

The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines will officially open its air route linking Nghe An’s provincial centre Vinh with the Lao capital of Vientiane on January 12, 2014.

Vietnam Airlines flights are scheduled to depart Vinh Airport at 8:40 and arrive in Vientiane at 10:25.

The new route is expected to boost trade exchange and tourism cooperation between Lao localities and their Vietnamese – and especially central region – counterparts.

Around 70,000 Vietnamese visitors travel to Vientiane each year, with most passing through Nam Can border gate in Ngh An province’s Ky Son district.

Many Vietnamese businesses are eager to expand into the Lao market, while a large number of Lao investors are equally interested in Vietnam-based opportunities.

Quang Nam steady towards sustainable tourism

The central province of Quang Nam welcomed 1.65 million foreign tourists in 2013, accounting for one fifth of the country’s total foreign visitors in the year, according to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The Department, on December 24, revealed that the province catered for a total of 3.5 million domestic and foreign visitors in the year, earning around 1.8 trillion VND in revenue.

The province has set a target of developing sustainable tourism associated with the preservation and promotion of cultural values so it can better contribute to local economic growth.

It currently has 123 accommodation facilities with 5,153 rooms. These include four five-star hotels, 11 four-star hotels and 11 three-star hotels.

It has reopened some beaches, put Cua Dai port into stable operation and promoted tourism development in the Cham islands.

The provincial tourism sector is intensifying communications to improve local people’s awareness about sustainable tourism development, with residents in areas around eco-tourist sites such as Cam Thanh, Cham islands and Tra Nhieu, for example, being trained on how to properly receive and serve tourists.

The province is developing community eco-tourism in Tra Nhieu village, Duy Xuyen district, tours to the Bay Mau coconut forest in Hoi An, the Loc Yen eco-village in Tien Phuoc district, adventure tourism and tours to Bhoong village in Dong Giang district.

Quang Nam is home to such must-see destinations as Hoi An, the Cu Lao Cham Biosphere Reserve, My Son sanctuary, Tay Vien hot mineral stream, and coastal areas in the city of Tam Ky.-

Hue ancient capital welcomes two millionth visitor

The Hue Monuments Conservation Centre on December 24 held a ceremony to welcome the two millionth tourist to the Hue imperial relic complex in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

Japanese tourist Yoshimi Muto received free accommodation at a five-star hotel in the province, a ticket for a four-day tour and a cash award.

On the occasion, the centre launched a golden tourism week for December 24 – 30, with big discounts to attract tourists to the Hue heritage site at the end of the year.

The incentives include 20 percent discount for a group of at least 10 tourists visiting Hue relics, 50 percent discount for those enjoying the performance of Nha Nhac at the Duyet Thi Duong Theatre and 50 percent for those touring around the Imperial palace on electric buses.

The week also encompasses a meeting for domestic firms to exchanging experiences on tourism activities, a demonstration of Hue cuisine, an Ao Dai (Vietnamese traditional dress) fashion show and other performances.

Recognised by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage in 1993, the complex gathers significant works.

Over 2 million tourists come to Hue each year, raking in more than 100 billion VND (4.7 million USD) for the local tourism sector.

Vietjet Air appoints BNP Paribas to manage finance of new aircraft order

Vietjet Air has signed an agreement with BNP Paribas, whereby BNP will henceforth manage the financing of the new aircrafts that Vietjet Air will receive in 2014.

Vietjet Air had placed an order for 100 aircrafts with Airbus in France last September, aimed to expand and also build the most modern and sophisticated fleet in Asia-Pacific.

BNP Paribas is a leading international bank in aviation finance, serving 128 airlines and aircraft leasing firms. In 2012 and 2013, the bank helped in financing of 125 aircrafts, which resulted in revenue of US$7.4 billion for the bank.

HCMC & Hue welcome special foreign visitors of 2013

On December 24, the Hue Monuments Conservation Center held a welcome ceremony for the second million tourist to visit Hue in 2013.

The lucky visitor was Ms. Yoshimi Muto from Japan, while Nguyen Thi Thu Thanh from Ho Chi Minh City and Conlin Tapp from the UK were the 1,999,999th and 2,000,001th tourists who were also welcomed at the ceremony.

On this occasion, they received gifts from the Center for Conservation of Hue relics, including luxury rooms in a hotel, sightseeing tours and cash prizes.

Mr. Phan Thanh Hai, Director of the Center for Conservation of Hue Relics, said that in 2014 the Center will continue to implement more interesting tourism programs with the aim to strengthen this industry, including two gold tourism weeks and a gold tourism month.

Accordingly, the first gold tourism week will start from March 26 to April 1 to welcome Hue Festival 2014.

The second gold tourism week also will take place at the end of the year from December 24-30.

Based on statistics, until now Hue Monument has welcomed two million visitors.

In related news, on the same day the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Tourism Association of Ho Chi Minh City, and Vietnam Airlines also held a welcome ceremony at Tan Son Nhat International Airport to welcome the fourth million international tourist to the City, who happened to be Yamamoto Shoichi from Japan.

Yamamoto Shoichi and his wife travelled from Narita International Airport to Tan Son Nhat International Airport on December 24.

At the ceremony, Yamamoto Shoichi and his wife expressed their pleasure and thanks for the welcome ceremony.
Source: VNS/VNA/VOV/Nhandan/SGT

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