Vietnam travel in brief 6/7/2007
Vietnam travel in brief, which received 5,500 Indian visitors last year, wants to attract more tourists from this potentially huge market.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's visit to India this week helped to highlight the country's tourism. "We now want to pitch ourselves hard in India, especially as it represents one-sixth of the world's population," Do Minh Tuan, deputy director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said, as quoted in the Times of India.
One major reason for the modest amount of Indian tourists, Tuan said, was the absence of direct flights between the two countries. The newspaper said some Indian tourists felt that the high price of air travel and hotel accommodation were factors that made Vietnam's tourism industry less competitive compared to other regional countries.
"A round trip to Delhi and Hanoi with a stopover in Singapore or Bangkok costs nearly $440. With that money, many Indians can go to Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok and have money left over for shopping and sightseeing," said a leading tourist operator in New Delhi.
Wanted: tour guides from South Korea
Foreigners currently are not permitted to work as tourist guides, but VNAT wants South Koreans living in the country to work as guides. Pham Tu, deputy chairman of VNAT, said earlier this week that the tourism authority would work with the South Korean Embassy in asking the government to revise a law that makes it illegal for foreigners to work as tourist guides.
So far this year Vietnam has received over 43,800 Korean tourists, but has only 50 tourist guides who can speak Korean.
"The plan will not only help satisfy market needs but will also help us manage the Korean tour guides currently working in Vietnam illegally," said Tu.
Chefs fly to Beijing for VN food fest
The Ho Chi Minh City-based Renaissance Riverside Hotel last week sent its chefs to the Renaissance Tianjin Teda Hotel & Conventional Centre in China for a Vietnamese food festival. The group included chefs Phung Thi Thuy, Nguyen Tuan Nam and hostess Vuong Thi Kim Ngan.
Uwe Guenner, F&B director at the Renaissance hotel in China, said: "Vietnam has emerged as one of the Asian countries with great potential for the future."
He said along with the emerging profile of Vietnam, its cuisine, art and local fashion has become more popular.
EVA airline expands service to Hanoi
Taiwanese carrier EVA Air has expanded its service to Hanoi to further cash in on strong demands for business and leisure travel between Taiwan and Vietnam. The airline now operates five weekly flights from Taipei to Hanoi. EVA flight BR397 departs in Taipei at 9:05am on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
Return flight BR398 leaves Hanoi at 12:10pm, and arrives in Taipei three-and-a-half hours later. Hanoi-Taipei return costs US$510. The new service is on top of Eva's current 11 weekly flights from Taipei to Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam.
SuperStar Gemini docks at Sai Gon Port
The Malaysian-based cruise ship SuperStar Gemini with 1,100 passengers on board docked at Sai Gon Port on Thursday task week.
Saigontourist Travel Service Co, who organised domestic tours for the cruise tourists, said the visitors had a city tour on cyclos before visiting My Tho in Tien Giang Province, and Cu Chi Tunnels.
Many of them went to Ben Thanh Market to purchase materials for a Vietnamese cooking course. Saigontourist said Ho Chi Minh City received some 28,000 cruise tourists in the first half of 2007, a three-fold increase compared with last year.
Ben Thanh to launch homeland tour
The Ho Chi Minh City-based Ben Thanh Tourism agency has launched a new product called the "affectionate homeland tour". The 13-day tour gives tourists an opportunity to visit 11 provinces and cities and fine beaches at Mui Ne, Nha Trang Vietnam, Dai Lanh and My Khe.
After seven days of travelling by car to provinces in the southern and central regions, including Binh Thuan, Khanh Hoa, Binh Dinh, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Binh Vietnam, tourists will fly from Phu Bai Airport near Hue to Hanoi Vietnam.
The tour takes in famous sites in the capital and from Hanoi tourists will return to Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam by plane. The tour costs VND10.5mil (US$650) per person. Further information, call 8 520 520.
(Source: Viet Nam News)