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Tourism Coordinating Office to be set up in Mekong Delta

 The Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Sports will set up a Tourism Coordinating Office for the Mekong Delta, said Vice Minister Ho Anh Tuan.

Tourism Coordinating Office to be set up in Mekong Delta

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Sports will set up a Tourism Coordinating Office, said Vice Culture Minister Ho Anh Tuan at a meeting held by the Ministry and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism in the Mekong Delta on March 26.

The administration will implement the program with specific tourism products for the region.

Tourism has not been as professional in the region, said Vice Minister Tuan. There is severe shortage of employees and no agencies to coordinate activities.

In 2013, the region welcomed 1.5 million international tourists or just 8.3 percent of total whole country travelers and 9.8 million local travelers, equivalent to 5.8 percent of the whole country figures earning revenue of VND5.1 billion (US$ 242,000)

2.3 million foreign visitors travel to Vietnam in Q1

Vietnam welcomed more than 2.3 million foreign arrivals in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 29.3% from a year ago, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

VNAT statistics show most of the arrivals were holiday-makers, accounting for over 1.4 million, and nearly 404,000 returned home to visit their relatives.

China had the highest number of visitors to Vietnam (587,475), followed by the Republic of Korea and Japan.

With only 5,817 visitors travelling to Vietnam in the last three months, Hong Kong (China) achieved the highest growth among Vietnam’s tourism markets.

However, the number of foreign arrivals in March dropped 15.7% compared to February to nearly 710,000, said the VNAT.

The central province of Thua Thien-Hue is attracting crowds of foreign travelers as it is hosting the biennial Hue Festival in April.

More than 270,000 foreign visitors came to Hue in the first quarter, a year-on-year rise of 2.1%.

The central province expects to attract approximately 200,000 visitors during the 2014 Hue Festival, with half of them foreigners.

The VNAT also reported that the number of Vietnamese holiday-makers also rose 6.85% in Q1 to 13.7 million.

Ho Chi Minh City tourism festival kicks off

The tenth Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Festival 2014, drawing the participation of 45 tourism agencies, is taking place from March 27-30 at the September 23 Park, District 1.

The agencies, from nearly 40 cities and provinces across the country, are displaying their tourism products over 160 booths, representing a 77% increase compared to 2013 and 30% higher than the set target for this year’s festival.

This year’s festival introduces the tourism stimulus programme, which includes promotional tours and preferential services provided by the city’s travel businesses, hotels, restaurants, tourism places and entertainment areas.

A series of activities, including sports; performances of Don Ca Tai Tu (Southern music), which is one of Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humankind; and an photography exhibition displaying the sites of Vietnam, are organised for the festival.

The highlights of this year’s event are a ceremony to honour the Ho Chi Minh City tourism brand and a contest to find the golden voice of the city’s tourism sector

The annual event aims to offer an opportunity for travel businesses to introduce their new and attractive products and services to consumers and seek to promote the promotional and stimulus activities to develop the city’s tourism sector.

Mekong Delta seeks to speed up tourism development

Localities in the Mekong Delta need to forge closer links among themselves to further the development of regional tourism products and services.

This idea was espoused by several participants attending a Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) workshop in Can Tho city on March 26.

Attendees suggested that regional localities should focus on promoting eco-tourism in Cham Chim National Park, Lang Sen Wetland Reserve, Ca Mau mangrove swamp and Phu Quoc island district.

They said that village tourism should be developed in Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Vinh Long and Hau Giang provinces and CanTho city, while spiritual and cultural tourism should be focused in An Giang, Soc Trang and Tra Vinh.

Vu Van Thanh, deputy head of the VNAT’s Hotel Department, stressed the need to develop homestay tourism in eco-tourism sites across the region.

Le Thanh Phong from the Mekong Delta Tourism Association also urged the regional localities to bolster cooperation with Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang city and the Central Highland province of Lam Dong in order to create a tourism network throughout the country.

A proposal of building transport infrastructure and accommodation facilities to serve tourism development was also put forth at the workshop.

Contest promotes New Zealand tourism in Vietnam

The New Zealand Embassy in Vietnam and the Vnexpress e-newspaper on March 26 launched the “New Zealand - New Horizon” contest, aiming to promote the country’s tourism in Vietnam.

In the next three weeks, contestants can send their feelings to the newspaper about various New Zealand-themed topics from people, culture and education to nature in forms of text, photo or video clip.

Visiting New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said the contest will help enhance people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, adding that tourism collaboration will contribute to their comprehensive partnership.

New Zealand Ambassador Haike Manning said about 15,000 – 20,000 New Zealand tourists come to Vietnam annually, while his country has also welcomed an increasing number of Vietnamese visitors in recent years.

However, the country remains a new tourism destination and a new horizon for many Vietnamese people, he added.

At the launch ceremony in Hanoi, McCully introduced Miss Asia USA 2006 Jennifer Pham as New Zealand ’s honourary tourism envoy in Vietnam.

Flying with Vietjet Air Offers $2 promotion

Vietjet Air is offering a promotion for flights starting at US$ 2 (about VND 40,000).

These offers will be available for flights between HCMC and Singapore, HCMC and Bangkok & Hanoi and Bangkok.

The promotion will be available to purchase from March 31 to April 13 daily.

Bookings can be made through the website

The HCMC to Singapore route has seven flights per week. The flight departs Tan Son Nhat International Airport at 8:50 a.m. and Changi International Airport at 12:40 p.m. (local time) daily.

Duration is one hour and 50 minutes with 2,520 seats offered per week.

Vietjet Air currently operates 23 domestic and international routes.

Architect wishes to raise profile of Danang

An architect has just proposed building a high-end tourist town in Son Tra Peninsula, aiming to make Danang a major attraction in Asia.

Danang is the most important part of the central and highland regions in terms of urban planning and so is considered a deciding factor in the development of that area of the country. Municipal authorities in Danang have held various conferences on how best to develop the city into a destination in Asia. Among the varied ideas put on the table, that of build a luxurious town on Son Tra Peninsula was the most controversial.

Tran Ngoc Chinh, an architect and president of the Vietnam Urban Planning and Development Association, suggested constructing an entertainment and hospitality complex at the western tip of the peninsula. The residential areas, resorts would be built near the foot of the mountain, close to Tien Sa seaport.

Chinh said, "This proposal has been made to make the most efficient use of this land. It has been estimated that the city will have a land problem once the population hits 2 million. The project will bring diversity in architecture and liven up the scenes, bringing Son Tra closer to Danang. The locations with a view onto the Han River are ideal."

When asked whether such ideas would be at odds with national security, Chinh said every problem includes national security considerations, as well as environmental and development concerns, must be reviewed carefully before carrying it out. Because of its location, Son Tra is very important for national security. "However, in the context of globalisation, we can have a more open mind and national security is not everything," Chinh said.

Chinh's idea has caught attention of the chairman of Danang People's Committee, Van Huu Chien. According to Chien, such idea are not impossible considering the large strides Danang has taken in urban development and planning.

Chinh said, even though the current airport has been upgraded, it can only accommodate 10 to 12 million passengers per year. According to him, authorities should upgrade Chu Lai Airport to accommodate international flights which could serve the central and highland regions.

Source: VNA/VNS/SGGP/Dantri/VOV


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