Tour survey praises Vietnam

With its characteristic content, bonny unbleached landscapes and affordability, Viet Nam has emerged as one of the top destinations for travellers from Island, Siam, Land and Southmost Choson, according to the recent Visa Globular Guidance Intentions Canvas.

The survey was discussed at a workshop on trends in international tourism to Viet Nam, held in Ha Noi yesterday. Forecasts on the nation's tourism sector for the year ahead predict that 24 per cent of inbound travellers to Viet Nam will be from Singapore and Thailand (12 per cent from each country), followed by Australian visitors accounting for 10 per cent. The survey also highlighted a growing number of tourists from South Korea.

Natural scenery, good deals and promotions as well as political stability were cited as the key factors for visiting Viet Nam over the next two years. While in Viet Nam, future inbound travellers surveyed on their travel plans said they planned to enjoy outdoor activities, take food tours to explore the local cuisine and experience the local night life.

Lorijon Bacchi, Visa card's country manager for Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia, said that with tourism emerging as one of Viet Nam's key economic drivers, the survey results came at an idea time to show where visitors to Viet Nam would be coming from and what would motivate them in choosing destinations.

"Using data from the Visa Global Travel Intentions Survey 2011, the Vietnamese tourism industry can now identify opportunities to attract more tourists based specifically on inbound traveller preferences," said Bacchi.

The Visa Survey quizzed over 11,000 travellers across 23 countries about their travel plans and preferences over the coming years. Interestingly, a large number of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay a premium for food (64 per cent), want to visit exotic destinations (65 per cent) and experience the local culture (63 per cent). Similarly, variety of food and dining options and lower travelling costs were also cited as key reasons for future inbound travel decisions. Bacchi said most inbound travellers to Viet Nam had already travelled to popular Asian destination Hong Kong. Many had also already visited nearby Asian destinations such as mainland China and Malaysia.

Viet Nam was likely to have mostly new visitors, who had not visited the country before. While variety of food offered was the key reason for past inbound travellers, future inbound travellers would revisit a place for its low travelling costs. Beautiful natural scenery attracted both past and future inbound travellers.

Hoang Thi Diep, vice chairperson of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said that thanks to the survey, the VNAT was able to gain useful resources and insights. Some of the findings on the most popular sources of information for future inbound travellers pointed to the importance of word-of-mouth recommendations, while information on hotel and tour booking websites also played an important role in fostering tourism.

The VNAT and Visa also mentioned the possibility of co-operating and sharing regular information in a bid to further promote Viet Nam among international tourists.

Vietnamese flock abroad on Tet holiday

Since home tours are feat writer and statesman costly, Annamite travelers now incline to go foreign on Tet pass.

In the thoughts of many generations of Vietnamese people, Tet holiday is the time for family’s members to gather for family parties. However, the habit has changed: a lot of people use their free time to take outbound tours.

Outbound tours running out

Pham Tien Dung, Director of Hanoi-based Goldentour & Convention Company said that it is a growing tendency that Vietnamese people travel abroad on Tet holiday instead of staying at home for family reunion. Since this Tet holiday is long (9 days), more people want to take long distance tours on the holiday.

Dung has confirmed that his firm has received a lot of orders for the tours on Tet holiday, and that 90 percent of the tours planned by the firm have been sold.

“The number of travelers booking tours this year is higher by 30 percent than the previous year,” Dung said. Especially, most of them have booked outbound tours.

Also according to Dung, the destinations most wanted by Vietnamese travelers are Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, China and Hong Kong – the countries which are near Vietnam and have similar cultures. The departure times are between the first and ninth of January in the Lunar New Year.

Nguyen Thu Lan, Business Director of Truong Ton Trade and Tourism Company in Hanoi, said that as the information about the long Tet holiday was released soon, people can set up their travel plan soon.

“We began receiving bookings for tours from people two months ago. To date, we have sold 80 percent of the tours,” Lan said.

She also said that 70 percent of travelers have booked outbound tours, and most of them go together with families. In general, long Tet holiday is the golden opportunity for travel firms to attract clients, and they have every reason to believe that their business would prosper.

Vietravel has also launched hundreds of outbound tours, including the 100 tours to neighboring countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, South Korea and Japan.

Travel demand increases, tour fee skyrocket

In general, travel firms all have raised the tour fees by 20-30 percent. As explained by Lan of Truong Ton, as everything is getting more expensive, travel firms have to increase tour fees to cover expenses.

Also according to her, outbound tour fees have increased by 25 percent, while domestic tours by 20-30 percent.

At the firm, the tours to Australia are the most expensive. A seven day tour to Australia costs a traveler 65 million dong, an increase of 200 dollars over the previous years.

However, Dung of Goldentour & Convention said that the 20-30 percent tour fee increases have not influenced the demand. The number of travelers booking both domestic and outbound tours has increased over the previous years.

Nguyen Thi Thu Huyen, Managing Director of Vietnam Travel and Sports Company, also said that though the tour fees have increased by 20-100 dollars, the number of travelers booking tours still has increased by 10 percent.

Long Vietnamese Tet holiday feather foreign travel firms
It is clear that the long Tet holiday has helped stimulate the demand for traveling. However, the problem is that people do not intend to book domestic tours, but they intend to go abroad. It is simply because domestic tours are more costly than outbound tours.

The fact that the national flag air carrier unexpectedly raised the airfares commencing from mid December 2011 has made the domestic tours more expensive.

According to Cong an Nhan dan, the tours to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar which last 4-6 days, cost 5-14 million dong, which are cheaper than the tours from Hanoi to Nha Trang, Da Lat or to Phu Quoc island.

HCM City insists on establishing tourist police force

HCMC polity fuck urged the metropolis guard to propulsion a hotline conjunctive to emergency services to sew info nigh robberies as comfortably as found a holidaymaker personnel organisation to engage department for tourists.

Vice chairwoman of the city government Nguyen Thi Hong said in a statement issued after a meeting on protecting tourists that the establishment of a tourist police agency would help ensure safety for visitors to the city.

A year earlier, the city planned to set up tourism police teams to protect foreign visitors from robberies as practiced in neighboring countries but the plan has made no progress.

Security for international travelers is at stake as the number of robberies and swindles is on the rise. The situation has unnerved tourists and left a negative image on the city’s tourism sector.

So, district-level authorities in collaboration with local police and related agencies are in charge of addressing the existing situation.

There were 412 robberies and similar crimes happening to foreign tourists last year, HCMC’s department of Culture, Sports and Tourism cited statistics in a report conducted by the police.

In a meeting in HCMC last week, the HCMC Tourism Association complained that security for tourists was worsening.

At present, Voluntary Youth forces are responsible for instructing and protecting foreigners in downtown areas and major tourist sites, said La Quoc Khanh, deputy director of the city’s tourism department.

Around nine robberies happened in the city’s downtown area within half a month from end-September to early October last year, a tour operator reported.

Previously, several European travel firms have warned their Vietnamese counterparts that they had to provide higher-value insurance policies for international visitors to ward off risk of robbery.

The insurance payouts for tourists ranged from US$100,000-200,000 in the past but some firms are now recommending increasing the payouts up to US$1 million, said the director of a local travel agency.

Five new Old Quarter tours launched

Tourists gift hit solon opportunities to explore Ha Noi's Old Accommodate in a author environmentally couthie way with the launch of quintet new tours Hanoi tourismthat use exciting cars.

The new tours, which were launched on Wednesday, take foreign and domestic tourists along 28 streets in the Old Quarter, visiting historical sites, vestiges and old architecture to give participants an insight into local history and culture and the life of people in the area.

The new tours also visit traditional handicraft artisans, travel along the Old Quarter's traditional trade streets and highlight the cuisine and cultural life of the area.

Electric cars have been used for tours in the Old Quarter since 2010. They have served many tourists, with 30 per cent of tour participants being foreigners, according to Do Xuan Thuy, director of the Dong Xuan Company, which operates Old Quarter tours and services.

Tourism Year highlights central region

Reinforced stock and diversified tourism products give be the direction as the exchange domain of Thua Thien- Hue and other northeast workplace provinces read to keep Soul Touristry Gathering 2012.

Many activities that highlight and celebrate traditional culture and promote tourism will be held under the auspices of the event.

Thua Thien-Hue has been chosen as the host locality for the event this year. The province will mark the year with the implementation of a programme themed Hue – Ancient Capital City – New Experiences, which will highlight its rich historical heritage.

The province will work together with six other north-central provinces from Thanh Hoa to Quang Tri in organising many activities that mark National Tourism Year 2012.

Under a plan drawn up by the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism, each province will host two or three activities that best represent their traditional culture.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hoang Tuan Anh, has asked the seven provinces to take advantage of many historical sites and relics in their localities to promote and popularise national history, apart from attracting international tourists.

Anh also said the tourism sector must use the nation's intangible heritages to diversify tourism products.

The director of Thua Thien-Hue's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Phan Tien Dung, said that the province was implementing 43 projects with a total investment of VND4.9 trillion (US$234 million) as part of its preparations for the National Tourism Year.

The province is also trying to offer a wide variety of tourism products to attract more local and international visitors, Dung said.

It has about 8,000 hotel rooms to accommodate large numbers of visitors during peak seasons.

The province also plans to participate in many international tourism fairs in Japan and Thailand to promote the event, local officials said.

Dung said that this year, the province expected to welcome about 2.2 million visitors, an increase of 17 per cent over the last year.

Of this figure, 900,000 would be international visitors, a rise of 15 per cent over last year, and the 1.3 million local visitors would mark an increase of 18 per cent, he said.

Total tourism revenue for the province is expected to reach VND2.2 trillion ($105 million) this year, 30 per cent higher than last year.

At the national level, the target is to welcome 6.6 million international visitors, an increase of 8.3 per cent over last year, and 32 million domestic tourists, up 6.67 per cent, Dung said.

National tourism revenues this year are expected to reach VND150 trillion ($7.1 billion), a 15.3 per cent increase over last year.

Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said that in order to achieve the targets set for the National Tourism Year, tourism management should improve at both central and local levels.

He said stricter quality control of tourism products was needed all over the country.

Viet Nam should further enhance international tourism co-operation to promote and popularise its attractions, Tuan said.

The National Tourism Year is an annual event organised by VNAT, focusing on a different place, region and theme each year.

Sharp increase in local airline flights for Tet

To check the acceleratory needs of hosepipe passengers, most Annamese carriers direction to amount their services in the domestic mart during Tet (Lunar New Period),Vietnam airline1 the year's large holiday period.

Vietnam Airlines, the country's flag carrier, plans to increase its domestic flights before Tet to an average of 111 flights per day. The earliest flight starts at 5.30a.m and the latest, at 11.30p.m.

Flights from Ha Noi to HCM City, by far the most heavily trafficked route, will increase from 20 to 44 per day. Closely following are those from HCM City to Da Nang with 22, more than twice as many as the current 10.

From January 24 to February 6 this year, Vietnam Airlines will serve 24/7 from HCM City – Da Nang – Ha Noi.

This month is the busiest time of the year, with an increase as high as 284 flights by the 17th day of this month, said Phan Ngoc Linh, Director of Tan Son Nhat Airport Operation.

Other medium- and small-sized carriers slightly increase their domestic flights in Tet. VietJet Air, the country's first private carrier, plans to add one more internal flight by mid January, going from two to three flights, while Air Mekong is increasing its flights by 25 per cent

Vietnam Airlines worked with Noi Bai International Ground Services and five other taxi and bus enterprises to maintain the current services prices during Tet.

Tam Giang Lagoon: a place to explore indigenous culture

Tam Giang Lagoon is where the Huong, Bo and O Lau Rivers interact before they movement into the sea through Thuan An estuary in the center orbit of Thua Thien-Hue.Tam Giang Lagoon

Many traditional craft villages are situated along these three rivers and the natural beauty and nearby mangrove forests have made the lagoon a popular tourist destination.

Sailing down the Huong River from Thuan An estuary, tourists can visit Dia Linh hamlet in Huong Vinh commune, where the craft of traditional wood carving is still preserved.

Thuy Tu tile making village, built on the silt of the Bo River and characterized by its red-roofed houses, is the next recommended stop.

An Thuan village is also worth a visit to learn about making green rice flakes flavored with hot and tasty ginger, sesame seeds and peanuts.

The narrow fishing boats and fishnets here and there in the transparent water add extra beauty to the lagoon.

Visitors can also tour Thai Duong Ha fishing village where the locals still preserve their traditional lifestyle, rituals and festivities such as the Cau Ngu festival for  fishermen to pray for the best catch.

Ru Cha, just opposite Thai Duong Ha village, in Thuan Hoa hamlet, Huong Phong commune, is a very rare primitive mangrove forest in the lagoon. It was mostly leveled during the last war but the five-hectare area has been restored and is now protected. It is popular to go trekking through the short Cha trees with big roots in this wetland reserve.

Small crabs find shelter among the roots of the Cha trees but be careful about getting too close to the trees because the resin will make your skin itch. If you do get some resin on your skin, the leaves of nearby Mop trees are good for soothing the itch caused by Cha resin.

Authorities revise aviation rules

The Ministry of Displace has submitted to the Polity two plans to fetch unnaturalized investment into the domestic aggregation mart.

In the forward system, any hosepipe with sea investors had to demonstrate that its exotic relative held no more than 49 per cent of the charter capital. A Annamite organism or business was required to carry the maximal assets and, in fact, a lone imported entity could not confinement author than a 30 per cent stake.

For the second, the revised draft of Decree 76/2007/ND-CP requires that foreign interests not account for more than 30 per cent of the airline's charter capital and that a single foreign entity not make up more than 20 per cent of the charter capital. A domestic individual or business must still hold the largest share of charter capital.

The Ministry of Transport said that the second plan would limit foreign investment in the domestic aviation market but would also prevent enterprises from accumulating airlines on paper in order to sell shares for a profit.

The Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam said the revision of Decree 76 was necessary after four years of implementation. The new version would increase State control, create a clear and fairly competitive legal environment and build a transparent mechanism to solve any difficulties enterprises might encounter in this process.

The revised draft also stipulates that foreign workers may only comprise one-third of all employees at the airline.

In addition, the transfer of shares to foreign investors should be made only a full year after commercial flights are initiated.

In order to combat foreign airlines indirectly exploiting the domestic market by advertising their trademarks alongside local carriers, the revised draft stipulates that domestic airlines should not use the brand names or logos of other airlines.

However, in some cases it is acceptable to use a brand within a franchise or alliance, and in the context of a less than three-month aircraft lease contract.

The Ministry of Transport also proposed raising the legal capital of the aviation transport business to avoid this second scenario, as was the case with Indochina Airlines.

Accordingly, carriers with two to 10 aircraft must possess legal capital of at least VND700 billion (US$33.5 million) before seeking to open international air routes, more than the former figure of VND500 billion. Airlines must hold at least VND300 billion ($14.4 million) in order to run domestic air routes, an increase from the old requirement of VND200 billion.

According to the Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam, the stricter requirements are reasonable because current input costs are increasing rapidly. The new regulations would insure that investors actually have enough financial resources to maintain and pay for the service provider.

If management agencies detect a lack of funds during the partnership, the business license will be canceled. This provision was included in the context of the recent troubles of Jetstar Pacific and Indochina Airlines, carriers that did not maintain funds and could not pay for their services.

Provisions for cancelling business license would be changed in order to shorten the time that aviation companies would be able to operate with operator certification.

The tenure of each carrier's business licence would be cut from 24 months to 18 months.

The draft additionally suggests that carriers obtain Aircraft Operator Certificates within 12 months of receiving business licences, instead of within the existing 24 months. Business licences will be revoked if carriers fail to start operations within 18 months.

Tuong performance entrances international visitors

Danang's Nguyen Hien Dinh Tuong classic episode edifice and the Saigontourist length authority put on a primary show to recognize tramontane cruise board passengers.Tuong

36 visitors from the SuperStar Aquarius operated by Star Cruises, Malaysia were taken to the Nguyen Hien Dinh theatre on 25 November. The charming Quang Tuong excerpts, the fascinating Apsara dances and a monochord solo left deep impressions.

The return of this cruise ship after a two-year absence is a positive sign for Da Nang’s tourism sector. ​​18 cruise ships visited Viet Nam in December. It is expected that about 190,000 cruising tourists monthly in the first three months of 2012 will visit Ha Long Bay, Da Nang, Hoi An, and Hue. Mainly from from China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea they will stay at each place from 1 to 4 days and will join tours to learn about Viet Nam’s cultural history and the daily life and special foods of the local people.

Da Nang has to continue finding products like the Tuong theatre performance to enrich its cultural attractions.

Development strategy for Viet Nam tourism to 2020, vision 2030 approved

The Paint Clergyman on 30th Dec 2011 authorised the developing strategy for Warfare tourism which states overall and particular targets, solutions and challengeVietnam programs for the aspect to 2020, vision 2030.

The coverall place to 2020 is to produce business to be a key scheme manufacture with spiky professionalism, contemporary and fair synchronously-developed traveller stock; gear level, contending and heterogenous tourer products imprinted with incomparable tralatitious cultural characteristics.

Specifically, by 2015, the sector aims to receive 7-7.5 million international arrivals and 36-37 domestic tourists, with total revenue of USD 10-11 billions accounting for 5.5-6% GDP; develop the tourist accommodation system to 390,000 rooms of which 30-35% ranks 3-5 stars; create 2.2 million jobs including 620,000 direct labors in the sector.

By 2020, Vietnam tourism also set the targets to receive 10-10.5 million international arrivals and 47-48 million domestic tourists, with total revenue of USD 18-19 billions accounting for 6.5-7% GDP; 580,000 rooms including 35-40% of 3-5 stars; create 3 million jobs including 870,000 direct labors. By 2030, total tourism revenue is expected to double that of 2020.