Hotels booked up for Tet

Most hotels at traveller destinations around the state eff rumored plangent bookings for the Tet (Lunar New Period) holidays in January.Hanoi tet

Textbook hotels (three-star and above) in coastwise destinations equivalent Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, and Phan Thiet according no vacancies before and after Lunar New Twelvemonth (Jan 23).

According to HCM City-based travel firms, most domestic Tet tours, especially by air – like tours to Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, and Con Dao – have also been fully booked.

But destinations in northern provinces have proved to be less attractive, with rooms still being available even in Ha Long Bay.

Le Huu Duc, director of the Sai Gon-Ha Long Hotel, explained that tourists from the south are not keen to go to the north during this period since the weather is chill while northerners often visit pagodas during Tet holidays.


* Travel agents launch website

The Viet Nam Society of Travel Agents (VISTA) has launched an official website

The website will help travel agents share information between themselves, the public and national authorities.

It will provide information about tourism in Viet Nam, regional tourism services and information to help promote the tourism industry in Viet Nam, said Vu The Binh, the society's director.

Everything old is new again

A one-year aviator programme to doctor Ta Hien Street in Ha Noi's Old Accommodate has been realized.

The externalize aimed to refund the 52m strain of the street ofttimes referred to as Pho Tay (Westerners' street) to its freehand mix of French and conventional Annamese Ta Hien sthouses.

The advance deception of 10 two-storey Carver architectural style render houses with sloping tiled roofs on one surface of the street and a foregather of Vietnamese-style houses on the another lateral was successfully repaired to it's previous honor.

All of the houses were built in the primitive 20th century when the land was still under the Sculptor complex find. The canonical structures were uncastrated, though they were in tatterdemalion premise.

The work involved plastering and repainting walls, balconies and windows, and a unified design was incorporated for the front doors, air-conditioning units and advertising boards.

The road surface was repaired with stone, while the drainage and night-light systems were upgraded.

The VND15 billion (US$798,000) project was the result of co-operation between Ha Noi, the French city of Toulouse and the capital's Institute for Urban and Rural Architecture and Planning.

"We have conducted serious research for this renovation work," said architect Nguyen Hoang Long, who is mainly responsible for the project. "But the real implementation required many adjustments to meet owners' demands."

The front face of the first house at the Ta Hien-Luong Ngoc Quyen junction, which is called "international junction" as many foreign back-packers flock there to enjoy bia hoi (draught beer), had been opened up a little more to accommodate more beer bars, he said.

"Unlike restoration work carried out on temples and pagodas, with these house we also had to meet the demands of local residents," he added.

The street will soon be pedestrianised on the weekends, as will neighbouring Hang Buom, Hang Giay, Luong Ngoc Quyen, Ma May and Dao Duy Tu.

Long said a nice touch would be to place wooden benches along the street to serve tourists.

Local residents said they were delighted with the street's makeover.

"In general, the street's architecture looks beautiful and uniform," said Trinh Tho, 81, who has been living in the street for half a century. "The houses look just like they used to. Guests coming to my house are happy and surprised with its new look."

Trieu Long, who runs a souvenir shop in the street, designed his wooden advertising board according to regulations issued by the Old Quarter Management Department. He was even asked to design boards for other shops in the street.

Nguyen Van Khoi, vice chairman of the Ha Noi People's Committee, said similar renovation work would be carried out in other streets in the Old Quarter and period houses in other parts of the country.

New slogan for Vietnam’s tourism announced

he Ministry of Civilization, Sports and Business on December 27, prefabricated overt the new slogan and symbolization of the War business promotion papers

“Vietnam – Timeless Charm” and the five petal lotus have been selected as the slogan and symbol of Vietnamese tourism in 2012-2015. Vietnam tourism slogan

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism’s (VNAT) Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, said that lotus is chosen as the symbol because it symbolizes the beauty of Vietnamese. The lotus has five petals while in Oriental philosophy, five is a good number, which presents vitality.

The bright green color of the symbol manifests island and sea tourism, Vietnam’s major tourism product. The green color presents ecological tourism and the nature. The yellow color is the symbol of cultural and historical tourism. Violet is for adventure tourism and pink is Vietnamese’s hospitality.

The symbol is designed by Tran Hoai Duc.

This symbol and slogan will replace the existing lotus bud symbol and the slogan “Vietnam – Hidden Charm”. They will be used for the national tourism promotion program between 2012 and 2015.

VNAT General Director Nguyen Van Tuan said the tourism sector became a spotlight in the context of Vietnam’s difficult and challenging economy. In 2011, the tourism sector attracted 6 million international arrivals, and served 30 million domestic tourists, earning VND130 trillion.

The sector has set a goal of receiving 6.5 million foreign arrivals, an 8.3 percent increase compared with 2011, and serving 32 million domestic tour arrivals, a 6.67 percent increase, earning VND150 trillion in 2012, he said.

Organizing national tourism years, what for?

The resolve of organizing soul tourism geezerhood in varied localities is to publicize the hosting localities as the tourism destinations, which answer as the key events of the eld to spread Vietnam touristry images. Still, the events tally not brought the wanted effects.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism VNAT has admitted that the biggest achievement of the national tourism years is… the monumental opening ceremony. Meanwhile, local authorities do not pay attention to develop their special tourism products to attract travelers.

National tourism years fail to fulfill their duties

According to travel firms, which can exactly measure the efficiency of the activities of organizing national tourism years based on the actual turnover and number of tourists, the event aims to popularize local tourism products and attract more travelers; therefore, the event should be organized in the localities with good tourism foundation that can serve as good destinations.

Meanwhile, in fact, Vietnam has been choosing localities for national tourism year events just after considering the political and historical events which relate to the localities. Besides, state officials simply think that it is necessary to organize the event in these or that localities in order to help develop the local economies, because the event would help attract more travelers.

As a result, the national tourism year events have not brought the desired effects, while local authorities, with poor infrastructure and bad conditions, still cannot attract more travelers though they have organized national tourism year events already.

Saigon tiep thi has quoted a state official as saying that local authorities believe that they have “fulfilled the task of organizing the national tourism year events” after they organized monumental opening ceremonies. Some local authorities believed that they successfully organized national tourism year ceremonies because they organized some trade fairs, sports tournaments, and local beauty contests…, which had no relations to the tourism development.

Especially, in the report of the Can Tho provincial authorities submitted to VNAT after the national tourism year was organized, one would not be able to read the figures about the efficiency of tourism development. The report only said about how to set up the steering committee, what were the members of the organization board, how to call for sponsorship, and what items should be in the opening ceremony.

What national tourism years bring?

The statistics show that the number of travelers to localities increases in the years where the localities host the national tourism year events. However, analysts have pointed out that the increase in the number of travelers to the localities is not enough to prove the efficiency of the tourism promotion events. The invited guests to the events alone accounted for a big proportion of the total travelers.

Meanwhile, in the localities, where the accommodation conditions remain poor such as Dien Bien, Nghe An, Thai Nguyen and Phu Yen, the invited travelers alone could fill up all the accommodation establishments in the localities.

Therefore, to date, Vietnam still does not have reliable figures about the numbers of tourists before and after the national tourism years are organize which can show the efficiency of the events.

Meanwhile, local authorities all complain that they have to run against the time to organize the events, because they have only 4-5 months to arrange everything. Therefore, organizing the events with no trouble should be considered a big success.

Travel firms say national tourism years bring nothing to local tourism. While the money spent is too much, the efficiency remains too modest. Thai Nguyen provincial authorities ordered to upgrade the provincial highway hurriedly, but the work was not completed, and travelers could not reach to excursion points. Phu Yen province advertised the Da Dia beautiful landscape, but tourists could not across the bridge to reach there in the tourism year.

Tourist project to link eight provinces

The maximal traveller process programme in Viet Nam testament signaling in octonary northwesterly mount provinces incoming period.

Anesthetic regime, officials from the Viet Nam Nationalist Organization of Touristry (VNAT), tourism operators and grooming institutions in the region gathered in Lao Cai Metropolis yesterday to cover the mean.

One of the prototypic steps to be purloined module be the start of the North Direction End Management Surface to co-ordinate inter-regional tourism.

Community-based tourism projects will be set up in ethnic villages to preserve local culture and protect the environment.

Part of the project will be to help local people make trips to successful community-based eco-tourism destinations to acquire experiences.

Particularly, there will be strong support on promoting tourism of the eight provinces on their official websites.

Representatives agreed for the need to build unique tourism products to harness the cultural and natural advantages of the region.

Deputy director of the VNAT Hoang Thi Diep said that the present approach to visitors did not meet demand, despite the large potential.

"We will work with local authorities to sort out the obstacles hampering tourist development of tourism and find out solutions," she said.

Representatives said one of the top challenges was the low quality of human resources. Most people went into community-based tourism without any training.

This made training an important component of the project.

The northwestern provinces - Dien Bien, Yen Bai, Son La, Hoa Binh, Phu Tho, Ha Giang, Lai Chau and Lao Cai - this year received more than a million tourists who spent trillions of Vietnamese dong.

The new project will be funded by an 11 million euro (US$14.3 milion) grant from the European Union and 1.1 million euro ($1.43 million) from the Vietnamese Government.

Going fishing in U Minh Thuong

Declared as a Mortal Tract in September 2000, U Minh Thuong (Upper U Minh) in the Mekong Delta's Kien Giang Sphere is a vast wetland flush in seek and waterbirds. The parcel has turn an enchanting parcel for tourists, especially those whose sideline is fishing

U Minh Thuong covers 21,100 hectares. The 8,000 hectare core area is strictly protected and locals live in the remaining 13,000ha growing rice, fruit and U Minh Thuongvegetables and  developing cajuput forests. In the core area, there is 500 hectares set aside for tourists to go fishing.

Tourists should pay VND40,000 for admission to the fishing ground and the ticket price includes a rod and baits but they should hire a wooden boat for VND30,000. If they catch any fish, they can ask locals for help to prepare dishes right there with indigenous vegetables.

This is one of the few protected tropical mangrove forests left in the world. It is home to over 250 species of flora, 200 insect species, 24 animal species and about 180 species of birds, many of them rare and some in the red book.

There is also a 44-hectare bird sanctuary with more than 70,000 birds.

Taking a stroll around the park, tourists will see many monkeys staring at them, birds perching on tree branches, worms lurking under leaves and thousands of bats buzzing noisily. The wind blows through trees, fish snatch seaweed, and birds twitter in the sky. All create what is like a natural symphony, entertaining tourists and helping them forget all urban life stresses.

Sunset there is fantastic as thousands of birds return from feeding grounds to their nests.  So tourists can get to watch towers of forest guards to take a panoramic view of the park.

Six millionth foreign tourist welcomed in Vietnam

On the salutation of Dec 26, the Annam Nationalistic Establishment of Touristry (VNAT) welcomed the six millionth extrinsic traveler of the twelvemonth in Ha Stressed City of the northern province of Quang Ninh.

The six millionth foreign tourists is a French man, Curvalle Bernard Francois who arrived in Ha Long Bay on the SuperStar Aquarius cruise ship, which departed from Hainan, China, with more than 1,000 visitors and sailors. The ship will then go to Hue City. The tour is organized by Saigontourist.

Vo Anh Tai, director of Saigontourist presented the lucky man with a ticket for two persons to visit Hoi An ancient town – My Son holy land - Da Nang city in central Vietnam for two days.

Officials of the VNAT and Quang Ninh province also presented a campaign medal and gifts to the 5,999,999th foreign visitor to Vietnam, Zhang DongMei, a Chinese tourist and to the 6,000,001st visitor Jonson Tjaij, from Indonesia.

Zhang DongMei received a ticket to tour Ha Long Bay and a dinner voucher at the Press Club in Hanoi for two persons.

Jonson Tjaij received a voucher for a three-night stay at a luxury room in Melia Hotel in Hanoi.Jorgen Stor, the captain of SuperStar Aquarius, said that it is a big surprise for him that a visitor on his cruise ship became the 6 millionth foreign tourist to Vietnam.

At the ceremony, tourists from the SuperStar Aquarius cruise ship enjoyed a special traditional music show performed by Quang Ninh province’s artists.

Most foreign tourists to Vietnam in 2011 came from East Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe and America.

The tourism sector expects to earn a revenue of VND130 trillion ($6.2 billion) this year. The figure was 96 trillion VND ($4.6 billion) last year.

Vietnam looks to welcome 10 million foreign arrivals by 2020.

92 businesses join Dalat flower festival

Ninety-two municipal and outside businesses individual enrolled to move in the 2012 Dalat supranational period fete, according to Lam Dong pokey Department of DalatSociety, Sports and Business.

This year’s festival will take place from December 30, 2011 to January 1, 2012, with “flower and light” street parade and the “flower space” show as its highlights.

The opening ceremony of the biannual festival will be held on the night of December 31, 2011 to be followed by a series of cultural and arts activities, including a flower road at the Palace Hotel and tours of flower villages, fields, valleys, hills and villas, a trade village fair, a gala night of street dances and flower balloon performances. The event is expected to attract around 300,000 visitors.

Tourists discover “a desert” in national park

Nui Chua Mortal Green in the middle coastwise responsibility of Ninh Thuan is reasoned "a desert" thanks to its dry conditions and low rainfall.

Settled around 40km from Phan Rang Municipality, the 30,000-ha position in Ninh Hai dominion was position designated a subject parkland in 2003.

It is finite by the Asia Sea to the southland and asia, by Route 1 to the writer and to the statesman by component of Cam Ranh Bay in neighbouring Khanh Hoa arena.

The Nui Chua area consists of the southern end of the Truong Son Mountain Range of which the highest peak belongs to Co Tuy Mountain, situated at an altitude of 1,039m above sea level.

At the park's centre are the Chua Anh (elder brother God) and Chua Em (younger brother God) mountains, which are at over 1,000m in height, with temperate conditions.

”It's ideal to visit the park during the dry season that extends from December to July next year,” said the park’s director Huynh Vinh Kim.

”The harmonious combination of mountainous and marine landscapes, special geographical and weather features plus high biodiversity, makes the park an ideal tourist attraction,” Kim elaborated.

Entering the park, tourists will encounter green trees growing amid stones and sand in an intensely hot and dry climate.

The park sports its own ochna tree forest that, rooted in the arid soil, resembles a collection of bonsai trees. During spring the trees blossom yellow to create a beautiful landscape. Typical ochna trees in the area belong to the hong mai (pink apricot) family, which has pink flowers, some of which have up to 13 petals.

Visitors are additionally afforded the chance to explore the park via 20km of asphalted roads embracing Mount Nui Chua, the Ngoan Muc Pass and Treo Lake on Mount Da Vach at an altitude of 250m.

Trekking the 10km road to a small lake, fed by an array of little streams, takes around four hours.

Lo O Stream in particular is a historical beauty spot surrounded by cliffs and clear waterfalls, its flat granite stones idyllic for picnics.

The harsh climate combines both romantic lakes and effervescent waterfalls all year round. At a height of around 1,000m, 29,865ha of semi-tropical primeval forests on Chua Anh and Chua Em mountains are extremely bio-diverse thanks to an abundance of rainfall.

Flora in Nui Chua National Park includes 390 medicinal plants, over 100 varieties of bonsai as well as many edible varieties.

It also hosts 306 species of vertebrates, including the rare and precious black-shanked langur, the white-collared bear, and the jaguar.

The magnificent mountain ranges overlook the appealing and pristine bays of Vinh Hy and Ninh Chu Beach.

Guests interested in visiting the only savanna in Vietnam can drive from Ninh Chu Beach in Khanh Hai Commune along provincial Highway 702 to Vinh Hy Bay.

After a few hours of sightseeing, tourists are free to choose among beaches spreading over nearly 40km for swimming, as well as coral reefs with diverse marine life, visible via glass bottomed tourist boats.

The farthest border of Nui Chua National Park is Thit Beach where sea turtles come and lay their eggs.

Trekkers can also walk down to Cau Gay Village, home to the Raglai ethnic minority group, and visit local craft shops to catch a glimpse into the lives of the artisans.

Military base CK 19, used by the liberation army in the anti-American war, lies near Treo Lake on Mount Da Vach and includes traces of guerrillas trench shelters and the smokeless stoves.

The local coast was formerly used to transit weapon and other military equipment from northern Vietnam to battlefields in the south.

Largest capacity-building tourism developments roll out in the north-west

The largest capacity-building announcement for business employment initiated in Viet Nam instrument begin in octonary north-western elevation provinces succeeding period.

Local authorities in the provinces, representatives from the Viet Nam Administration of Tourism, tourism operators and training institutions in the region gathered in Lao Cai City today to discuss the action plan and co-operation mechanisms.

The establishment of the Northwest Travel Destination Management Board to co-ordinate inter-regional tourism and co-operation between the provinces will be one of the first steps taken.

Creating community-based tourism projects in ethic villages charged with preserving local culture and protecting the environment are also part of the plan.

Representatives have agreed on the need to build unique tourism products to harness the cultural and natural advantages of the region in a sustainable way.

The project, titled "Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Programme", is funded with 11 million euros from the European Union and 1.1 million euros from the Vietnamese Government.