Sustainable homestay tourism taking shape

(VOV) - The escalating number of international tourists visiting Vietnam over recent years has motivated almost every ethnic group to set up their own homestay and this type of tourism is rapidly gaining in popularity. For ethnic groups in mountainous areas that cannot make extensive infrastructural investment but possess an abundance of tourism richness, homestays are an attractive tourism product. It entails a tourist living in an ethnic minority household to experience and learn about their way of life including local food and drinks and interaction with family members and friends. The tourist also has an opportunity to partake in daily activities such as cooking, farming and shopping. A few years ago, the livelihood of Giang A Tu and his wife-Ma Thi Chu in Giang Ta Chai village, Ta Van commune, Sapa district in the northern province of Lao Cai centred solely on rice cultivation and selling a few novelty items and souvenirs to passing tourists. Now they operate a homestay, which … [Read more...]

Tourist Attractions: Busy during National Day Holiday

The four-day holiday for National Day 2014 has driven a high travelling demand of Vietnamese people. This is also a golden opportunity for travel operators in Hanoi to discount tour prices, improve service quality and open new tours to draw more tourists. Orders for the holiday have increased from 20 percent from a year ago since June 2014, according to many travel agencies. Tourists are very interested in new domestic destinations. Vietrantour Company has opened air and road tours to Sunspa Quang Binh Resort, Paradise Cave, and General Vo Nguyen Giap Tomb in Vung Chua, Dao Yen, Quang Binh province. Ms Pham Thanh Tam, Head of Domestic Tour Department, Vietrantour Company, said that, with distinctive products and attractive promotion policies, Vietrantour expects to see a sharp rise of 20-30 percent in customers during the National Day holiday. "With lower tour prices than a year ago, as a big travel operator, Vietrantour has managed to sign contracts with domestic and international … [Read more...]

Hanoi forecasts 35% tourist growth during Tet

The Hanoitimes - Hanoi 's tourist industry expects the number of travellers will increase by 35% during the nine-day Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday. Many travel agencies have their Tet tours fully booked as early as one month before Tet. According to Duong Mai Lan, head of the Planning and Marketing Department of the Vietravel Company's Hanoi branch, about 3,000 people have booked tours during the period from December 27 to January 6 (Lunar calendar) via Vietravel Hanoi, a year-on-year rise of 35%. More than 80% of inbound tours have been filled while the figure for outbound tours is 98%, Lan added. Vietrantour Company reported a year-on-year increase of 12% in the number of tourists booking Lunar New Year tours. New destinations and short tours are the choice of most tourists. Among their favourites are the central beach cities of Nha Trang, Da Nang and northern mountainous mountains such as Sapa and Ha Giang. Some regional countries such as Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia … [Read more...]

Hanoi forecasts 35 pct tourist growth during Tet

Hanoi's tourist industry expects the number of travellers will increase by 35 percent during the nine-day Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday. Many travel agencies have their Tet tours fully booked as early as one month before Tet. According to Duong Mai Lan, head of the Planning and Marketing Department of the Vietravel Company's Hanoi branch, about 3,000 people have booked tours during the period from December 27 to January 6 (Lunar calendar) via Vietravel Hanoi, a year-on-year rise of 35 percent. More than 80 percent of inbound tours have been filled while the figure for outbound tours is 98 percent, Lan added. Vietrantour Company reported a year-on-year increase of 12 percent in the number of tourists booking Lunar New Year tours. New destinations and short tours are the choice of most tourists. Among their favourites are the central beach cities of Nha Trang, Da Nang and northern mountainous mountains such as Sapa and Ha Giang. Some regional countries … [Read more...]

Viet Nam looks to tap tourism market in India

Vietnam hopes to expand its share in India’s great tourism market in the coming time, a Vietnamese official told a round-table seminar on tourism in New Delhi, India on April 25. The seminar was part of the Global Exhibition on Services (GES) that is underway in New Delhi on April 23-25, with delegates from more than 40 countries taking part. Addressing the seminar, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Ha Van Sieu praised the progress of bilateral tourism engagement since the two governments signed a cooperation agreement in 2001. Tourism cooperation is part of the agenda of talks during respective visits by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last September and October. Ha Van Sieu said with a 1.2 billion population and soaring demand for foreign travel, India is becoming a promising market of Vietnam. However, few Indian tourists go to Vietnam, and most Indian visitors arrive in the country for … [Read more...]

Vietnam looks to tap tourism market in India

Vietnam hopes to expand its share in India’s great tourism market in the coming time, a Vietnamese official told a round-table seminar on tourism in New Delhi, India on April 25. The seminar was part of the Global Exhibition on Services (GES) that is underway in New Delhi on April 23-25, with delegates from more than 40 countries taking part. Addressing the seminar, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Ha Van Sieu praised the progress of bilateral tourism engagement since the two governments signed a cooperation agreement in 2001. Tourism cooperation is part of the agenda of talks during respective visits by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last September and October. Ha Van Sieu said with a 1.2 billion population and soaring demand for foreign travel, India is becoming a promising market of Vietnam. However, few Indian tourists go to Vietnam, and most Indian visitors arrive in the country for … [Read more...]

Korean tourism awards ceremony in Hanoi

(VOV) - The 2014 Korea Double Double Incentive awards ceremony was held on December 12 in Hanoi by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) of Vietnam. The country has welcomed more than 70,000 Korean arrivals so far this year, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Ha Van Sieu revealed at the ceremony. Meanwhile more than 130,000 Vietnamese tourists have visited the Republic of Korea (RoK), Sieu added, noting the impressive figures are the result of the great cooperation between the KTO and Vietnam’s travel agencies. Kang Sungghil, KTO representative office in Vietnam, in turn said the event aims to honour individuals and collectives in Vietnam who have greatly contributed to the development of the tourism industry in the RoK. In 2014, KTO in co-ordination with Vietnamese travel operators had organized many worthy activities and campaigns including those to encourage Vietnamese athletes to compete at the Incheon Asian Games. … [Read more...]

Korean tourism awards ceremony held in Hanoi

(VOV) - The 2014 Korea Double Double Incentive awards ceremony was held on December 12 in Hanoi by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) of Vietnam. Vietnam has welcomed more than 70,000 Korean arrivals so far this year, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Ha Van Sieu revealed at the ceremony. Meanwhile more than 130,000 Vietnamese tourists have visited the Republic of Korea (RoK) Sieu added, noting the impressive figures are the result of the great cooperation between the KTO and Vietnam’s travel agencies. Kang Sungghil, head of representative office of KTO in Vietnam, in turn said the event aims to honour individuals and collectives in Vietnam who have greatly contributed to the development of the tourism industry in the RoK. In 2014, KTO in co-ordination with Vietnamese travel operators and other agencies the KTO had organized many worthy activities and campaigns including those to encourage Vietnamese athletes to compete at the … [Read more...]

Vietnam promotes tourism between Vietnam – Indonesia

The Hanoitimes - On December 3, to promote the exchange of visitors between the two countries Vietnam and Indonesia, a conference on tourism between Vietnam and Indonesia was held by Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. The event drew participations of tour companies, hotels, over 10 enterprises, Indonesia's media which are exploring destinations in Vietnam. Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Administration ofTourism Ha Van Sieu said the traditional friendly relation, strategic partnership Vietnam - Indonesia have been established and continually strengthened. With nearly 250 million people, the proportion of the population belonging to the middle class and their needs to travel abroad are increasing. Indonesia has become a potential market with an important source of tourist arrivals to Vietnam . In 2013, roughly 8 million Indonesians traveling overseas including 88.6% of those travelled to Asia - Pacific, while the number of Indonesian visitors to … [Read more...]

Hungary communications delegation visits Vietnam

(VOV) - A Hungarian delegation comprising representatives of TV stations, press and travel agents are visiting Vietnam’s famous landscape and tourism sites and enjoying cuisines. Chairwoman of the Fund for Hungary-Vietnam Relations Phan Bich Thien said the delegation includes representatives of Hungary TV 2, HVG magazine, Turizmus Trend, Nepszabadsag, index.hu and travel agents. After visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Danang, Hanoi and Ha Long bay, they will make TV programmes and write articles on Vietnam’s tourism to introduce to Hungarian people. Thien added that the delegation members have deep impression on Vietnam and agreed that the country has great tourism potential with long and beautiful beaches, rich nature, hospitable people and delicious dishes. Kohegyi Anna, Editor-in-chief of Aktiv TV programme on TV2 said during their time in Vietnam they had tasted dozens of delicious dishes. Ha Van Sieu, Deputy Director of the Vietnam National Administration of … [Read more...]

Northern provinces establish partnership for tourism development

The four northern provinces of Bac Giang, Thai Nguyen, Hai Duong, and Quang Ninh need to work together closely to tap into their tourism potential, according to participants in a workshop in Bac Giang on October 4. The event concluded that tourism in the four localities, which are rich in natural and cultural resources, could generate substantial revenue from cooperating and developing new tourism services. Participants pointed out the lax coordination between the provincial tourism sectors. In particular, Thai Nguyen, Bac Giang and Hai Duong were yet to make full use of their proximity to Hanoi and Quang Ninh, two major tourism hubs in northern Vietnam , thus limiting the number of international tourists to the area. Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Ha Van Sieu said the localities needed to base their tourism cooperation on the specific features of each province and the common regional identity to create appropriate tourism services that … [Read more...]

Southeast Asian rivers set to become tourism products

A traditional Khmer boat race on the Mekong River in Vietnam. Photo credit: Vietnamplus Southeast Asian tourism officials agreed further utilize the region's web of rivers during a meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday. Officials at the conference, which included experts from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), pointed to the connective power of 33 big rivers in the region, including the Mekong which runs through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, Thoi Bao Kinh Te Saigon reported. The officials said they will establish river-based tours by turning the Mekong and its basins into a tourism product. Hans Jacobsen from UNWTO said the ASEAN river network can create a collection of dynamic destinations that one cannot find anywhere else. Ha Van Sieu, deputy head of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said officials in each country will come up with their own development plans and cooperation proposals with other bloc members -- all of which will be … [Read more...]

ASEAN countries discuss waterway tourism

Dao Loan A survey shows that aside from numerous small rivers, there are as many as 33 big rivers running through the region, including the Mekong River, which connects many regional nations and therefore, holds potential for tourism development. The tourism sectors of the ten countries have aimed to make the most of the enormous potential of rivers in the region to open attractive waterway tours instead of developing tourism on only a part of the river system as done currently. According to their plan, each country will have their own waterway tourism services. At the same time, they will focus on main rivers which flow through many countries such as the Mekong River, which connects Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, to develop specific tours for the region. Hans Jacobsen, consultant at UNWTO, said the river system in ASEAN is able to create a connection among eventful destinations which can hardly be found anywhere in the world. Ha Van Sieu, deputy head of the Vietnam … [Read more...]

Friendly exchange marks Vietnam-Spain diplomatic ties

The Vietnam-Spain Friendship Association and the Spanish Embassy in Vietnam held a friendly exchange in Hanoi on May 22 to celebrate 38 years of the two countries’ diplomatic relations. Chairman of the Vietnam-Spain Friendship Association - Deputy General Director of the Vietnam News Agency Nguyen Hoai Duong expressed his pleasure at the growing relations between the two countries since they established bilateral diplomatic ties in 1977 and a strategic partnership in 2009. He emphasised that this has benefited the two nations and peoples not only in economics and trade but also culture, tourism and education. The association has made great contributions to bilateral relations by organising a number of activities under various forms to promote the friendship and cooperation with Spanish partners, he said. The chairman added that in 2015, the association will further expand friendship and cooperation exchanges, especially with the Spanish Embassy in Vietnam . He said he … [Read more...]

Thai firm replaces Swiss company to manage HCM City hotel

Thailand-based Absolute Hotel Services (AHS) has taken over the management role in a five-star hotel under the management of Switzerland-headquartered Mövenpick Holding AG in Ho Chi Minh City. The takeover was completed with the opening of Eastin Grand Hotel Saigon, formerly known as Mövenpick Hotel Saigon, on Nguyen Van Troi Street, Phu Nhuan District on Wednesday, the hotel said the same day in a press release. Le Duc Binh, deputy general director of A-1 International Vietnam Corporation, the Vietnamese owner of the hotel, said at the opening ceremony that this is the third time in 21 years that the firm has changed the management group for the property. Jonathan Wigley (R, 2nd), CEO of Thailand-based Absolute Hotel Services, Le Duc Binh (L, 1st), deputy general director of A-1 International Vietnam Corporation, join other guests at the opening ceremony of Eastin Grand Hotel Saigon, formerly known as Mövenpick Hotel Saigon, in Ho Chi Minh City on May 20, 2015. … [Read more...]

Experts: Card usage insecure in Vietnam

Van Ly An office worker withdraws cash from an ATM booth in HCMC. Many cardholders have fallen victim to data theft though banks have installed surveillance devices and cameras at ATM booths to prevent card fraud - PHOTO: UYEN VIEN ATM cards account for 88% of total bank cards in the country and international debit cards for a mere 4.22%, heard the two-day conference that ended in Hanoi on Tuesday. As ATM cards were issued based on old technology, it is easy for criminal organizations to fake them and steal personal data of cardholders. Nguyen Dang Hung, deputy general director of Vietnam National Financial Switching Joint Stock Company (Banknetvn), told the event that banks should apply modern technology for their cards in the face of rising card fraud in this market. "Although many banks have installed surveillance devices and cameras at their ATM booths to prevent card fraud, many cardholders have still fallen victim to information theft," Hung said. As many as 350 … [Read more...]

Enhancing Accountability to Scrub Apparatus

The Government Inspectorate of Vietnam organised training conferences on anti-corruption laws. This was an opportunity for governmental agencies to clarify the inner concept of accountability, thus helping enhance publicity and transparency of the exercise of power to partially cleanse the bureaucratic apparatus and root out corruption. According to Mr Tran Duc Luong, Deputy General Director of the Government Inspectorate of Vietnam, accountability of State agencies is a new legal concept in Vietnam. He said, it is necessary to clarify the connotation of accountability, requesters and explainers; and principles, contents, scopes, sequences, procedures, rights and obligations of requesters and explainers, thus adding oversight institutions to exercise public power of State agencies to enhance publicity and transparency in operations of State agencies to prevent and combat corruption and raise State management effectiveness. Besides, regulations on accountability are not only presented … [Read more...]

Thai firm replaces Swiss company to manage Ho Chi Minh City hotel

Thailand-based Absolute Hotel Services (AHS) has taken over the management role in a five-star hotel under the management of Switzerland-headquartered Mövenpick Holding AG in Ho Chi Minh City. The takeover was completed with the opening of Eastin Grand Hotel Saigon, formerly known as Mövenpick Hotel Saigon, on Nguyen Van Troi Street, Phu Nhuan District on Wednesday, the hotel said the same day in a press release. Le Duc Binh, deputy general director of A-1 International Vietnam Corporation, the Vietnamese owner of the hotel, said at the opening ceremony that this is the third time in 21 years that the firm has changed the management group for the property. The hotel, opening in 1994 as Ho Chi Minh City’s first international hotel, was known as Omni Saigon Hotel and changed its name to Mövenpick Hotel Saigon in July 2008. "Due to some specific reasons, like other companies owning many popular hotels in Vietnam and around the world, we have appointed a new … [Read more...]

Eastin Grand Hotel Saigon celebrates the grand introduction night

Eastin Grand Hotel Saigon has celebrated its official new brand grand introduction night on Wednesday evening, May 20, 2015 at the Grand Ballroom of the hotel with impressive dancing performances and live music to showcase the brand. More than 300 guests attended the celebration with the opening speech given by Mr. Le Duc Binh, Deputy General Director of A-1 International Vietnam Corporation – hotel’s owner and Mr. Jonathan Wigley, Chief Executive Officer of Absolute Hotel Services Group (AHS), the management company of Eastin Grand Hotels brand. The hotel's owner – A-1 International Vietnam Corp., Mr. Le Duc Binh, Deputy General Director and Mr. Danny Tse Chi Ho, General Director; AHS Group Regional Director, Mr. Mark Heather; Eastin Grand Hotel Saigon’s General Manager, Mr. Markus Schneider joined AHS Group CEO Jonathan Wigley for a ceremonial toasting. The 5-star Eastin Grand Hotel Saigon is part of the Eastin chain of international hotels and residences … [Read more...]

EVN still wants to buy electricity from China this year

VietNamNet Bridge - The contract to buy electricity from China is scheduled to terminate this year. However, EVN thinks it would be better to continue importing electricity from many different sources. EVN earlier this year announced that it planned to buy 1.8 billion kwh of electricity from China, though the domestic output is believed to be more than enough to satisfy demand. 2015 will be the last year Vietnam buys electricity from China under a 10-year contract signed between EVN and the Chinese exporter. Vietnam began importing electricity from China 10 years ago when it lacked electricity for industrial development and household use. It bought 5.6 billion kwh in 2010, but imports have been decreasing since 2012, when it bought 3.2 billion kwn. The figure was 2.29 billion in 2014 and is expected at 1.8 billion kwh this year. EVN has been repeatedly urged to stop buying electricity from China because the domestic output is high enough to satisfy domestic demand. Meanwhile, … [Read more...]