Archive for August, 2011

Located around 10 kilometers from Nha Trang City, Dien Khanh Township, known as Thanh to locals, welcomes visitors with its spacious streets, green rice fields, fragrant star apple and jackfruit orchards.

On a July morning, I borrowed a friend’s motorbike to leisurely ride to Thanh from Nha Trang, the spacious road was a delightful experience for me as for many years I have felt too cramped with the smoky and busy streets of Saigon. The further I went away from Nha Trang, the more I was excited as the number of houses became thinner, giving room for green fields and orchards.

The number of tourists coming to the 13 provinces and cities in the Mekong Delta recorded a slow growth and even tends to drop lately but tour operators have yet to come up with any effective solution to create attractive products and services for visitors.

This was the view shared by many enterprises, administrators and specialists at a meeting on tourism potentialities of the Mekong Delta held by Sai Gon Tiep Thi newspaper on Tuesday.

The Saigon Railway Station will add more trains on the occasion of National Day on September 2 to meet the increasing demand.

Sai Gon-Nha Trang route trains No.SN3/4, SN5/6, SN7/8 will depart from Ho Chi Minh City on September 1 and return from Nha Trang to the city on September 4.

Sai Gon-Phan Thiet route trains Nos.PT4 and PT3 will also run from September 1-4.

Binh Dinh Province and Ho Chi Minh City leaders yesterday discussed plans to promote martial arts and other cultural activities in the province as a tourism attraction.

“Though the province has carry out many activities to call for investment in tourism, the result has not corresponded with the resources,” said Nguyen Thanh Son, deputy director of Binh Dinh’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

“The province wants to learn from and closely work with Ho Chi Minh City tourism officials as our province is an important link to south central coastal tourism.”

Many domestic and outbound tours on the occasion of National Day holiday, September 2, are still available as more tour programs have been put on this year while demand is in decline.

Companies of Vietnam tour started selling tours two months earlier, so anyone making bookings these days might find it hard to stay at a hotel or resort as wished.

Saigontourist Holding Company still has many holiday tours on offer but those of the central coast city of Nha Trang, and Con Dao and Phu Quoc islands have been closed.

The national flag-carrier, Vietnam Airlines, announced it will officially expand its domestic program, “Free & Easy”, to better serve its customers who travel between Hanoi, Danang, Hue, Tuy Hoa, Nha Trang, Dalat and Ho Chi Minh City on August 24th.

The prominent feature of this program is that travelers will have additional choices to stay in 3- to 5-star hotels across Vietnam, instead of only 4- to 5-star ones in the Central Region before.

Companies of Vietnam tour now feel elated when many international tour guides who have been practicing without practice cards, may escape punishment if they can get temporary practice cards.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has sent a document to local departments of culture, sports and tourism, requesting the departments to submit reports about the tour guides who use less common languages to VNAT for consideration.

Vietnam’s tourism remains underdeveloped compared to neighboring countries’ due to an unhealthy competition and shortage of cooperation between travel agencies.

Experts warn that many destinations of Vietnam tour get less attractive due to a shortage of close supervision.

The natural environment of the southern island of Phu Quoc – one of Vietnam’s most spectacular spot – is getting worse as they are poorly protected by both local residents and tourists.

Despite the low season, August has seen a month-on-month increase of 28.2% in foreign tourist arrivals in Ho Chi Minh City at around 264,000.

This is a turnaround in the city’s tourism sector that saw July’s international arrivals falling by 44,000 visitors from the previous month.

A report by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism says the number of foreign travelers to the city surged 10% from the same period last year. In the year to date, the city has welcomed 2.12 million visitors.

Thua Thien Hue — Japanese and Vietnamese experts discussed measures to preserve the 540-year-old Phuoc Tich Village on the outskirts of Hue city, train local residents in serving tourists, and promote its traditional pottery craft.

At a three-day seminar that ended on Thursday, they tabled a report under the Promoting Self-Sustaining Community Development in Three Provinces of Vietnam through Heritage Tourism project launched by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to develop tourism in traditional craft villages.