This is an example of a HTML caption with a link .
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Vietnam's tourism in clips of foreign visitors

Vung Tau, Ha Long, Dong Thap or Ca Mau are beautiful in video clips by foreign tourists.

Nha Trang in a clip shot by a Korean travel firm.

"I Love Vung Tau" is the particularly impression about Vung Tau by David Morgan. For this tourist, Vung Tau is "the heaven that has stolen my heart," which has a beautiful coastline, the people with happy smiles, and romantic evenings for couples to walk on the beach.

With the gentle background music, the images of Vung Tau city, the sea and the smiles of the locals show up as impression to hold the author back. The lyrics are English sentences that are simple and easy to remember, with the chorus: "Vung Tau is a special place. I love Vung Tau."

The clip is supported by many foreigners and Vietnamese.

Besides “I Love Vung Taum” David Morgan also devoted his love for Ha Long Bay in the clip “Dawn in Halong Bay.” For this visitor, the new day in this world natural wonder began with birds singing and beautiful sunrise. The clip as a tour guide film to Ha Long Bay.

"King Chef" Martin Yan and Miss Vietnam’s runner-up Hoang My made a trans-Vietnam journey to explore the beauty of Vietnam through the scenery, cuisine and culture of various regions. At each place they visited, Yan enjoyed the food and the life there.

In the over 1-minute clip, the majestic natural beauty and famous tourist sites made the famous chef admire.

The clip “Dong Thap - having such a place” helps viewers discover lotus ponds, yellow-ripe rice fields, orchards, historical places full of legends, kindly people and economic potentials.

Previously, the beauty of Viet Nam was also advertised on the famous TV channels such as CNN, NBC and BBC. (Watch the clip)

Blue sea, white sand and the famous sights in Nha Trang appears amazingly in an advertising clip of a Korean travel film. The clip even makes Vietnamese amazed at the beauty of this land.

In nearly three minutes, Nha Trang appears with white sand coast and green sea. Two Korean girls cycle to explore the city’s tourist sites such as Long Son Pagoda, Ponagar tower, Hon Tam Island. In each place, the two travelers enjoy exploring the lives of local people, good food, and play sports at luxury resorts.

The beauty of Nha Trang from the perspective of foreigners is both familiar and strange. The clip has been uploaded to the Internet for a short time but it attracted thousands of views and comments.

Many expressed their admiration to the beauty of Nha Trang and compared it as Hawaii.

I love Vung Tau

Visitors bring firms festive cheer

The upcoming holiday season has heated up the tourism market with an increase in the tours being booked despite the ongoing economic crisis.

Tourists visit Vinh Hy bay in the southern province of Ninh Thuan. The upcoming holiday has heated up the tourism market.

Several travel agencies say that their Christmas, New Year and Lunar New Year tours are already fully booked.

Nguyen Minh Man, marketing and communication deputy director of Vietravel, said the information that employees would get four days off for the New Year and nine days off for Tet (Lunar New Year) has roused the tourism market.

Vietravel has around 300 inbound and outbound tours to serve customers on these occasions.

Man said Vietravel expected to serve 75,000 customers from end of this month to March 2013, up 25 per cent year-on-year.

He said the number of bookings for the company's tours for the New Year has already reached 75 per cent of the target.

Many tours to the northern and the central regions are already fully booked, he added.

This year, the number of customers choosing to visit domestic destinations including Ha Noi, Sapa, Hoi An, Hue, Da Nang, as well as attractions in the northwest and northeastern part of the country from HCM City has increased significantly in comparison to the same period last year, Man said.

Many tours had to be closed soon because flight tickets were not available, he said.

Saigontourist, a leading travel firm, has launched 50 tours for New Year and 300 tours for the Lunar New Year holidays.

Doan Thi Thanh Tra, head of Saigontourist's marketing department, said one of the company's strengths was serving overseas Vietnamese returning to their motherland to celebrate Tet, or bringing their families and friends over to tour the country.

The company expects to have 6,000 customers for the New Year holiday, up 10 per cent year-on-year.

The company has also tours on land to Da Lat, Phan Thiet and Nha Trang.

It hopes to serve 20,000 tourists during the Tett holiday, 7,000 of whom are expected to use outbound tours, up 15 per cent over last year.

Tra said tours that depart on the second day of Lunar New Year are almost fully booked. Several tours to Europe, America and Australia have few spaces left, she said.

Saigontourist is going to open new tours to respond to customer demands, Tra said. She noted that the company's tours on this occasion have not increased in price, but include additional services.

The prices of several tours to Thailand and Singapore have gone up by 5-7 per cent due to increases in airfares, she added.

The Viet Media Travel company is offering a special promotion under which discounts of up to VND3 million are being offered for bookings made before end of this month for tours depart during the Tet holiday.

Group bookings will receive additional discounts, a company representative said.

He said Viet Media Travel expects to serve 6,000 customers this Tet, 60 per cent of whom will take outbound tours.

Lien Bang Travelink has also launched new outbound tours to Taiwan, America, Singapore and Malaysia as its existing tours are almost fully booked.

Besides, the company is offering discounts of VND200,000 to VND400,000 on domestic tours booked before the end of this month.

Source: VNS

Coastal province sets sights on tourism

The southern coastal Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province could become a major centre of tourism, industry and seafood processing.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau. (Photo: Internet)

Nguyen Viet Lien, deputy chief of the Regional and Local Economy Division under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, noted that the province was already a centre of the offshore oil industry.

With its abundant oil fields, the province is able to exploit up to 20 million tonnes of oil every year.

Although the area is a well-known tourism destinations with 150 kilometres of coastline, it still has potential to develop.

Con Dao Island, famous for its pristine beaches and primeval forests, lies offshore Vung Tau. The island district attracts tourists because of its historic value, including prisons used during wartime to jail thousands of Vietnamese patriots.

In addition, the province has great potential to develop its fishery and agriculture, especially seafood processing.

With the advantage of basalt red soil, the province has cultivated industrial trees such as rubber, coffee, pepper, cashew nuts and orchards as well.

The province has around 19,150 hectares of rubber, 12,000ha of coffee, 12,360ha of cashew, 2,400ha of pepper and 7,800ha of fruit trees, according to figures from the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The Cai Mep-Thi Vai deep seaport complex, which is a gateway to the province, was designed to receive vessels with a loading capacity of 80,000 DWT and capacity of 600,000 – 700,000 TEU per year.

Due to its depth, the seaport can allow large vessels to go in and out, and the transport time between southern Viet Nam and other countries can be shortened since large vessels no longer need to transit via Singapore.

The province also plans to build seaports in Vung Tau City and Con Dao District.

The province has attracted total investment of more than VND30 trillion (US$1.44 billion) annually in recent years, or 25 per cent of the total investment of the southern economic zone.

Of this, investment from the state budget was VND4.5 trillion ($215.9 million), state-owned companies VND8 trillion ($383.9 million) and FDI companies VND19 trillion ($911.8 million).

Due to its great potential in oil and seaports, and its Phu My electricity plant, the largest in the country, the province can attract many projects to develop industrial parks, ports and tourism projects.

The province is currently investing more in infrastructure and completing site clearance work to create a land fund to attract local and foreign investors.

As of October this year, Ba Ria-Vung Tau had 282 FDI projects with total registered capital of $26 billion, according to the ministry.

In 2010, the GDP of the province rose by more than 12 per cent. Of this, the GDP of the industrial sector increased by 18 per cent, the service sector by 17.9 per cent and the agriculture sector by 5.3 per cent.

The southern economic zone contributes about 40 per cent to the state budget. Of that amount, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province contributed more than 30 per cent.

According to Lien, to tap its own potential, the province needs to review and update general planning for socio-economic development.

It needs to improve linkages with other provinces in the southern economic zone, especially in building and improving road infrastructure and seaport systems.

There is an urgent need for the province to train high-quality human resources to meet the demand of industrialisation and modernisation. Social welfare policies should be improved and pollution should be curbed, Lien said.

Source: VNS

Vietnam needs joint visa to attract Chinese tourists

Vietnam’s tourism has proposed cooperating with Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar to develop a travel program with a joint visa for Chinese tourists in an effort to attract more tourists from China.

Vietnam’s tourism has proposed cooperating with Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar to develop a travel program. (Photo: Internet)

Under a scheme aimed to attract Chinese tourists, the Vietnam National Administration for Tourism (VNAT) expects to attract 2-2.5 million Chinese tourists in 2015 compared to over 1.4 million last year.

The model in which countries cooperate with one another and loosen visa requirements to offer a tour with many destinations has in fact paid off well in the world. Examples include the tour to five European countries of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, and the Asian tour to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

The local tourism authority also lays emphasis on the creation of new products and shopping tours as well as the cooperation with air carriers to offer discounted airfares for tourists.

The cooperation program with big travel agencies in China has been cited as one of the important programs to promote tourism products. VNAT has also proposed support for the opening of direct flights from big Chinese cities to Vietnam and the program of using charter flights to bring tourists from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Shenzhen to central Vietnam.

The scheme targets not only to attract more tourists, especially those traveling by air and sea with high spending, but also to extend their stays and increase their spending.

According to VNAT, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Vietnam by air has grown well. Among over 1.4 million Chinese tourists to in Vietnam last year, there were 68% coming by air while the figure was only 52% in 2010.

China has always ranked first in the top ten visitor-generating markets for Vietnam.

Source: SGT

Capital slammed for having ‘little to offer'

Touring city sites is an appealing attraction for visitors to many countries, however, Ha Noi has been accused of having little to offer.

Foreign tourists buy souvenirs in the Old Quarter in Ha Noi. The capital has been criticised for failing to visitors due to lack of investment and poor services.

"This has been blamed on a lack of investment and poor service and knowledge of what tourists actually want," said Mai Tien Dung, deputy director of the Ha Noi Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism.

Duong said the tourism sector in Ha Noi contributed 4.6 per cent of the city's GDP in 2011 and this was expected to reach 6.6 per cent this year.

Annual funding for tourism promotion in Ha Noi ranges from VND2 to 2.5 billion (US$96,000-120,000), but this was too low to build infrastructures, tourism services, and training tour guides, Dung said.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, deputy director of travel at the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism said on the official Vietnamtourism site: "Visitors to Ha Noi don't stay more than two days because on the third day, they don't know what to do.

"Ha Noi is proud to have over 5,000 historical relics, but really how many interest tourists?" he said.

"However, the city can develop tourism and entertainment linked to Vietnamese trade villages. If these villages were tied to tourism development and investment, they could become outstanding products," he stressed.

Vu Chinh Dong, vice chairman of the Ha Noi Tourism Association said that city tours were poorly organised and lacked new places to go.

Dong added that "all have the same journey format, such as Ngoc Son Temple - the Old Quarter-Literature Temple - the Museum of Ethnology. They don't create any tourism services. No one finds out new ways to develop the tours.

"Activities for guests in the evening are also quite insipid. Most tour guides take foreigners to see the water-puppet show or for a walk around the Old Quarter," Dong said.

According to tourism experts, in big cities in Viet Nam, city tours exploit tourism services in a disoriented fashion.
They say Ha Noi has many potential tourist sites it could develop, but authorities have shown little interests. And small private travel companies cannot afford to create new tourism products.

Noang added that funding for tourism advertising to the world was very limited and unprofessional.

Deputy director Truong Minh Tien from the department said that Ha Noi had approved a master plan for tourism development up to 2020 with a vision to 2030.

This envisages the total number of visitors reaching 23.2 million a year by 2020, of which 3.2 million would be international and domestic travelers, 20 million.

The master plan also envisages that by 2030, the total number of visitors will reach 31.3 million.

The capital has also set a target for the proportion of tourism in its GDP in 2020 at 8.2 per cent, and 9.3 percent by 2030.

According to the plan, the city should develop an infrastructure for tourism, particularly local tourist sites, improving the quality, diversification of tourism product types and associated with the development of professional tourism human resources.

According to statistics from the department, in the first six months of 2012, Ha Noi welcomed 7.3 million domestic tourists, up 24 per cent compared to the same period last year. It also had 1.03 million international passengers, an increase of 20 per cent over last year's same period.

Source: VNS

No more opportunities to buy air tickets for Tet flights?

It’s nearly impossible to book economy class air tickets for the flights on Tet holiday, though Tet comes only in two months.

The representatives of airlines all said that under the new policies, air tickets have been sold via Internet. Booking agents and individual passengers are all passengers who need to access the Internet to book tickets, and “first come first served.”

Air tickets for Tet flights have been selling very quickly since the day the tickets were put on sale. In an effort to prevent the speculation, airlines have decided to sell tickets in different sale campaigns, while passengers are required to make payment as soon as possible.

On normal days, the seat reservation duration allowed could be 48, 36 or 24 hours. However, as for the Tet flights, passengers have to make payment within one hour after they successfully book tickets or the tickets would be canceled to be sold to others.

However, it’s really very difficult to book tickets via the Internet. Analysts have commented that speculation still can be made even when the transaction mechanism and payment method are made public.

The national flag air carrier Vietnam Airlines began selling air tickets in the first campaign on November 1, 2012. However, passengers complained that they could not buy economy class tickets on that day.

Booking agents have confirmed that the tickets for main domestic routes have nearly run out, while the offers to buy tickets have been on “pending” status. Those, who want the tickets of the flights from HCM City to Hanoi on the 26th of December of Lunar New Year, or four days before Tet, now have the only choice of buying business class at 5.1 million dong.

A lot of passengers complained that in order to buy economy class tickets, they have to pay higher than the price levels announced by airlines, because they cannot get tickets directly from airlines, but from other individuals, agents or travel firms.

Under the current policies applied by the airlines, passengers would have to pay 300,000 dong for every ticket canceled. The modest sum of money has prompted not only booking agents, but individuals to speculate tickets.

Right after airlines launched sales campaigns, the speculators would book tickets in large quantities, accepting to make payment within one hour after the successful booking, and then re-sold to others at the prices which are 500,000 higher than the original prices. The fat profit is high enough to offset the compensation money for refunding tickets.

Thuy Hien, an office worker in Phu Nhuan district said that it is too difficult for office workers to book tickets via Internet, even though they have to work with computers everyday. It takes them too much time to hunt for air tickets on Internet. Meanwhile, Hien cannot buy tickets from booking agents, which always require overly high prices.

A speculator has confirmed that in order to obtain the tickets for the flights they want, passengers have to pay an additional fee of 500,000--700,000 dong, because the sellers also have to spend time to hunt for the tickets for reselling.

Some passengers, who cannot book tickets directly from airlines, tried to contact travel firms to buy tickets from them, even though the tickets from the sources are 1-2 million dong more expensive than the original prices.

Three Vietnamese hotels listed in world top 500

Three hotels in Vietnam have been named in the 2012 T+L 500 list following the selection of readers of the Travel + Leisure magazine, the biggest tourism publication published globally.

Hanoi-based Sofitel Legend Metropole. (Photo: Internet)

They are Hanoi-based Sofitel Legend Metropole, Ho Chi Minh City-based Park Hyatt and The Nam Hai in central Hoi An City.

This marks The Nam Hai resort’s first entry in the list, which considers the quality of accommodation, services, location, cuisine and values of nominated hotels for selection.

The 12-page covered full list, which is topped by Singita Grumeti Reserves Hotel of Tanzania, will be issued in January, 2013.
Source: Vietnam Plus