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Archive for July 1st, 2010|Daily archive page

Seminar discusses ways of developing tourism

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm




Seminar discusses ways of developing tourism


QĐND – Thursday, July 01, 2010, 21:19 (GMT+7)

Ways of developing Vietnam’s tourism industry during the country’s international integration process topped the agenda of a seminar in Hanoi on June 29.


While addressing the seminar, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan highlighted the tourism industry’s role and the important contribution it has made to the national economy, noting that the sector annually caters for more than 10 million domestic holidaymakers and over 4 million foreign tourists. 


Nhan, who is also Head of the State Steering Committee on Tourism, said that Vietnam has just been listed as one of the top 40 countries and territories in the world to receive the largest numbers of visitors. 


“Vietnam has a lot of advantages in terms of its landscape, culture and history to develop its tourism industry. However, we also need to uphold cultural and family values – the cradle of our nation’s traditions – to enhance the uniqueness and attractiveness of Vietnam’s tourism sector,” he said. 


Regarding solutions to develop tourism as the country is integrating into the global economy, Nhan said that the first measure is to modernise exit and entry procedures and upgrade 50-60 national tourist destinations to meet international standards. 


The deputy PM also pointed out a number of shortcomings that face the industry  in training professional managers to improve the quality and efficiency of tourist services, including a poor transport network, untrained staff, unattractive tourist products and a lack of promotions. 


According to Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tran Chien Thang, the tourism sector received only 250,000 overseas tourists during its first three decades from 1960-1990. Currently, Vietnam ranks fifth among Southeast Asian countries in terms of the number of foreign visitors and revenues from tourism. 


The tourism industry has created jobs for millions of workers and helped to eliminate hunger and reduce poverty, restore traditional craft villages, revive cultural traditions and foster socio-economic development in many parts of the country. 


Despite the sector’s efforts, the number of overseas holidaymakers to Vietnam remains low as compared with other regional countries such as Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.

Source: VOVNews/VNA

Source: QDND

Viet Nam, Thailand ink MICE deal

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm




Viet Nam, Thailand ink MICE deal


QĐND – Thursday, July 01, 2010, 21:23 (GMT+7)

The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Department (Viettrade) yesterday, June 30, in Ha Noi signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on strengthening MICE trade co-operation between the two countries.


The event aims to create opportunities for the development of two countries’ MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) industry, implementing MICE market surveys in the Southeast Asia region and exchanging information on industry.


“The MoU is the latest pledge between the two countries and it is hoped that it will help the progress of economic integration of Southeast Asian countries through the MICE industry,” said Ta Hoang Linh, deputy head of the Viettrade under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.


The number of Vietnamese arrivals in Thailand increased to over 362,000 visitors in 2009, up from 2008’s figure of 338,300, with MICE visitors accounting for 13 per cent of the total.


Supawan Teerarat, director of the TCEB said that Viet Nam and Thailand had good relations and shared many common viewpoints. Strengthening trade co-operation would benefit both sides.


She also confirmed that the recent political crisis in Thailand had no affect on the country’s MICE industry.


According to the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand, bilateral trade turnover with Viet Nam is expected to reach US$10 billion this year, an increase of nearly $4 billion on 2009.


Last year, Thailand’s investors ranked 8th position among foreign investors in Viet Nam, up from the 12th position in 2006. So far, 25 Thai companies have invested in Viet Nam with a total of 216 FDI projects, according to the National Statistics Office of Thailand.


At present, Thailand ranks third in trade exchange in the ASEAN region.


The TCEB said that it was deploying a promotional programme named “One more night, one more smile” to encourage Vietnamese MICE visitors to Thailand to take part in exhibitions.


Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


 


Source: QDND

Old Hanoi house to be preserved as tourist site

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm




Old Hanoi house to be preserved as tourist site


QĐND – Thursday, July 01, 2010, 21:23 (GMT+7)

Hanoi authorities have decided to preserve an old house at 11 Hang Bac Street, in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem District, as a tourist site. Amidst the hustle and bustle of city life, the house looks like a small oasis, bringing passers by feelings of peace and tranquility.


The house is owned by Pham Ngoc Giao, eldest son of 98-year-old woman Pham Thi Te. His family bought the house in 1945.


The house exhibits harmony between Vietnamese décor and French architecture. Striking amid greenness of mature trees is the red-tiled roof, curved in the style of the traditional Vietnamese pagoda. Large pillars, many windows and separated rooms make people think of old houses in Paris.


The house has two storeys and has about 200 square meters of floor-space. It is in a poetic 180-square-meter garden with flowers, mature ornamental trees and clusters of bamboo. Paths in the garden are shaded by lines of areca and small bamboo trees, arousing in people peaceful images of the countryside.


Through ups and downs of history for nearly a century, the house has kept its old decorations and some wooden tables and chairs and paintings.


The house, particularly with the garden, has gained much attention and high evaluation from local and foreign experts. It has been listed in the book “The 36 guild streets area in Hanoi’s Ancient Quarter”, by Japanese experts.


After preservation, the house will be developed as a tourist destination for city tours in Hanoi. The site is expected to give visitors a glimpse of  old Vietnamese architecture and culture, as well as to give tourists a space of stillness and peace, escaping from the bustle of urban life.


Source: VietNamNet/SGT


 


Source: QDND

Vietnam Airlines halts selling domestic low-cost air tickets

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm




Vietnam Airlines halts selling domestic low-cost air tickets


QĐND – Thursday, July 01, 2010, 21:23 (GMT+7)

Vietnam Airlines (VNA) suddenly announced it would temporarily cease applying its special airfare scheme for agencies participating in a domestic tourism stimulus program between July 1 and August 15, 2010.


Tran The Dung, vice deputy head of the HCM City Tourism Stimulus Group, also director of the Young Generation Tourist Company, said the decision will negatively impact tourist companies and the tourism stimulus program “Vietnam – your destination’’ launched by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.


Participating in the stimulus program, VNA had pledged to cut airfares for domestic tours provided by travel agents that join the program until the end of this year, excepting specific holidays.


Travel agents speculated that perhaps so many customers have exploited the low-cost air tickets that VNA had to adjust its program.


Under the Vietnam Airlines’ special airfare program, the HCMC Tourism Stimulus Group attracted 4,052 tourists to central and northern provinces in all-inclusive tours packaged together with low-cost airfares this June.


Tours were offered at rates discounted by 30-35 percent. The number of tourists soared by three times compared to that of May, and ten times over the same period last year when the first tourism stimulus campaign, “Impressive Vietnam,” launched.


After the launch of the first tourism stimulus campaign, authorities and businesses of Vietnam’s tourism industry announced the second tourism stimulus campaign of 2010, “Vietnam – Your destination,” with the hope of attracting more domestic travelers as well as foreign tourists. The program’s goal is to welcome 4.2 million International arrivals and 27-28 million of domestic tourists.


Realizing the opportunity to boost revenues, many businesses within the tourism industry have come to support the new campaign. Hotels, restaurants and other businesses related to tourism have dedicated a variety of discounts to customers participating in the program.


Source: Sai Gon Giai Phong/ VietnamNet


 


Source: QDND

Storm season may be wilder, says forecaster

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm




Storm season may be wilder, says forecaster


QĐND – Thursday, July 01, 2010, 21:19 (GMT+7)

This year’s rain and storm season is expected to arrive late – and be even more unpredictable.


Low-pressure systems over the East Sea usually bring tropical storms and heavy rainfalls between May and June.


However, so far, none had been reported, said the head of the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, Bui Minh Tang


He said that this could mean that when they did arrive, they would be far more complicated and could lead to serious flash flooding.


“And this year’s storm season is likely to last until the end of this year, just like in 1983 and 1998,” Tang warned.


Large-scale flooding is now forecast for central and northern rivers from August to October and from July to November in the Central Highland region.


Tang warned people to prepare against sudden floods, storms and landslides in mountain areas.


Head of the Department for Dyke Management and Flood and Storm Prevention Tran Quang Hoai said only limited work had been done this year.


Hoai said the situation was getting worse, blaming urbanisation for encroaching on flood-drainage corridors.


He said district-level authorities were the key to improving the situation.


The vice chairman of Phu Xuyen District People’s Committee in Hanoi , Nguyen Dinh Chieu, suggested local authorities be regularly updated about storms.


He also called for tighter management of dyke systems and sand exploitation along river banks.


The chairman of Thach Ha District People’s Committee, Do Khoa Van, said the State should give financial support to local authorities to consolidate dyke systems – and to supply rescue equipment.


Last week, 80mm of heavy rain caused flash floods in Tuong Duong District in the central province of Nghe An. Initial losses were estimated at 10 billion VND (526 million USD).


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Japan helps VN raise capacity in natural disaster control

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm




Japan helps VN raise capacity in natural disaster control


QĐND – Thursday, July 01, 2010, 21:19 (GMT+7)

The Japanese Government will help Vietnam raise capacity in coping with natural disasters caused by climate change through a programme worth 2 billion JPY (22 million USD), according to the Japanese Embassy in Hanoi.


Documents on the programme were signed in Hanoi on June 30 by Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Sakaba Mitsuo and Natural Resources and Environment Minister Pham Khoi Nguyen.


The Japanese embassy’s press release said the programme is under the framework of the Japanese Government’s non-refundable aid and it will focus on improving the rain and flood forecast and warning system in Vietnam ’s northern region.


Ambassador Sakaba said he hope that through the strategic cooperation relations between the two countries, particularly the programme, the two sides would join hands to implement activities to cope with global climate change and Vietnam would strengthen its mechanism on natural disaster control to protect people’s lives.


Japan has actively assisted Vietnam in strengthening its disaster control capacity through the provision of loans and non-refundable aid and technical cooperation.


As one of the countries hardest hit by climate change, the Vietnamese Government considered natural disaster mitigation as an important issue in socio-economic development. The nation’s strategy in natural disaster control and mitigation till 2020 has set a target of raising capacity of meteorology forecast.


Source: VNA


 


Source: QDND

Tiger reserves to be formed in Highlands

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm




Tiger reserves to be formed in Highlands


QĐND – Thursday, July 01, 2010, 21:19 (GMT+7)

Five tiger reserves will be established in the Central Highlands and southern provinces under a national programme to preserve and expand the country’s tiger population.


The development of tiger conservation areas is the first step in the national programme, said Hoang Thanh Nhan, an official from the Biodiversification Conservation Department under the Vietnam Environment Agency (NEA). 


The programme, designed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in co-operation with foreign experts, was in response to the Global Tiger Initiative launched by the World Bank to protect the Asian tiger from extinction by 2020. 


The five areas will be established in the Central Highland provinces of Dak Lak, Kon Tum and Dak Nong, the southern province of Binh Phuoc and the central province of Quang Nam. 


York Don National Park in Dak Lak will be a key area in the programme and will be developed in close co-ordination between forest protection staff, border police and non-government organisations. 


When the reserves in operation, qualified staff and modern facilities will take on the protection, supervision and management work, said Nhan at a national tiger conservation seminar held recently in Hanoi . 


The number of wild tigers in Vietnam has dropped sharply over the past few decades and they face extinction within the next ten years, said experts at the seminar. 


Although Vietnam is one of the 13 countries in the world to have a wild tiger population, the country now has less than 50 wild tigers that are in serious danger of extinction, due to hunting and deforestation, according to Nguyen The Dong, the NEA’s vice chairman. 


In Vietnam, tigers have habitually lived along the border between Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, in the central provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, the Central Highland provinces and the southern province of Binh Phuoc . 


However, the tiger population only numbers a handful in many of these areas, with some districts only possessing paper records of tiger numbers backed by little evidence of real tiger populations, he said. 


Nguyen Manh Hiep from the NEA’s Nature Conservation Department suggested setting up a dedicated wild-life border patrol because wild tiger populations were not confined to just Vietnam but regularly crossed borders. 


Hiep added that another reason for the decline was that Vietnamese and other Asian people hunt tigers for their body parts to manufacture supposed medicines. People also believe that tiger teeth will help them avoid bad luck


Source: VOVNews/VNA


Source: QDND

All ready for all-important university entrance examinations

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm




All ready for all-important university entrance examinations


QĐND – Thursday, July 01, 2010, 21:23 (GMT+7)

More than 1.9 million students will participate in the university entrance examination in the few next days in Vietnam.


They have poured into Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with fervent hopes of passing the most important examination of their lives.


Hanoi’s Electricity Company promised not to cut power in the entire city during the examination, while traffic wardens said they would ensure that traffic flow not to become congested. Hanoi has temporarily banned trucks with a loading capacity of over one ton and passenger coaches with over 30 seats during the morning and afternoon rush hours. All vehicles will be prohibited from parking on streets in front of schools where examinations take place. 


Around 7,000 students who volunteered to assist contestants were present at bus stations and universities to welcome the test takers and their relatives. Competitors can find free or cheap rented houses in Hanoi via the website: www.thapluatraitim.vn


Meanwhile, some 4,000 volunteers of the program Giving Strength in the Exam Season began their assignments at bus and train stations in the city to welcome examinees with maps, transport and help in finding suitable lodgings, even take them to cheap available rented houses in Ho Chi Minh City.


Quach Hai Dat, director of the Vietnam Student Association’s HCMC Student Assistance Center, said 40,000 lodgings are ready including 7,000 free rooms for disadvantaged candidates.


CT Group said it will provide 1,500 free places lodging to candidates who take examinations in schools in districts 1, 3, 5,10, Binh Thanh, Phu Nhuan and Go Vap; while those testing at facilities in suburban districts 9 and Thu Duc can reside in dormitories at Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City and  Nong Lam University (University of Agricultural Engineering).


The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee and relevant agencies were asked to help students participating in the university entrance examination. This year, some 593,000 high school graduates will take three all-important university entrance examinations. 214,000 students taking Option A (math, chemistry and physics) will test on July 4 and 5.


Approximately 193,000 students will take Options A, B (math, chemistry and biology), C (literature, history and geography) and D (English, literature and math). Gifted schools will participate in a second wave of examinations, for entrance into art academies. Students can still apply for other schools which offer the same options. For instance, Option B students can apply to the University of Natural Sciences or to Nong Lam University (University of Agricultural Engineering).


A hot line (08)38295173 is available to help newcomers to the city who are missing essential documents.


Activities were launched all over Vietnam to help competitors. The Mekong delta city of Can Tho has provided over 10,000 free or cheap places of lodging in districts Ninh Kieu, Cai Rang and Binh Thuy.


The Buddhist Shangha’s Management Board of the central province of Thua Thien – Hue agreed to supply 1,600 vegetarian meals to competitors who will test at Quoc Hoc and Hai Ba Trung. Thuan Thanh Commercial and Service Cooperative issued 10,000 food discount coupons to students.


The Bus Company in the central province of Binh Dinh announced it would give examinees a reduction of over 40 percent.


Source: Sai Gon Giai Phong/VietnamNet


 


Source: QDND

Deputy PM Khiem visits China’s Tianxin City

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm




Deputy PM Khiem visits China’s Tianxin City


QĐND – Thursday, July 01, 2010, 21:19 (GMT+7)

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem hopes that Tianxin City in China will continue to enhance its ties with Hai Phong City and other Vietnamese localities in maritime operations, high technologies, clean energy, and education and training.


While meeting with the Mayor of Tianxin city, Huang Xingguo, Mr Khiem praised the remarkable achievements that the city has made, saying its rapid development has demonstrated China’s emergence as a leading economic power.


Mr Khiem attended an exhibition on Tianxin zoning plans and visited an Airbus aircraft assembly plant. Later, he met with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.


Deputy PM Khiem has been in China to attend the fourth meeting of the steering committee for Vietnam-China bilateral cooperation.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

US official optimistic about Vietnam-US relations

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm




US official optimistic about Vietnam-US relations


QĐND – Thursday, July 01, 2010, 21:19 (GMT+7)

“I am really proud of the fact that the Vietnam-US relationship is very good and we have every reason to expect that it will continue to get better in the future,” says US National Security Advisor General James Jones.


On July 11, 1995, the then US President Bill Clinton, announced the formal normalization of diplomatic relations with Vietnam. Over the past 15 years, Vietnam-US relations have constantly developed, resulting in beneficial outcomes in various fields and with mutual respect and goodwill from both sides.


Marking the 15th anniversary of Vietnam–US diplomatic relations, this year Jones granted an interview to a VOV reporter on the future prospects for bilateral ties.


Reporter: Could you please review the Vietnam-US relationship over the past 15 years?


General Jones: First of all I am really very proud of the fact that the relationship is very good one and we have every reason to expect that it will continue to improve it better.


Obviously, I think it started with the help and compassion that the Vietnamese government showed in our efforts to recover those missing in action (MIA) and we appreciate that very much. This grew into a more normal relationship which is highlighted by our trade relations. Starting at only a few hundred million US dollars, it is now a US$16-billion trade relationship, which is remarkable and there is no reason why that shouldn’t continue and even grow.


We have Vietnam as chair of ASEAN and we have, I think, a very interesting visit with a US navy ship commanded by a young man who came from Vietnam and rose to the commandership in the US Navy, which I think is a wonderful human interest story. And over here, we have quite a few people who came from Vietnam originally and who now travel freely back and forward to see their families and I have a very close group of friends who own a barbershop in my town so I know about their families and they all have families in Vietnam and when they come back they talk about the wonderful progress that Vietnamese society have made in the fields of medicine and education.


So this is a very strong bond and I am personally very proud of that.


Reporter: How do you expect relations between the US and Vietnam to develop in the future? And which spheres will be prioritised to promote bilateral relations?


General Jones: I think that the ties will continue to grow. There are no barriers to a much closer and growing relationship. We think that Vietnam has come along so quickly that it can now exert some leadership in the region. Vietnam can now play a leadership role by showing examples of a better way for countries to progress and provide for a welfare system.


I think that we have a balance, though it depends on how the world changes. In a few years it could be a security relationship in other years it could be trade but I think the growing friendship, the trust and the confidence are there and very strong and I think they will  continue to develop.


Reporter: What is Vietnam’s role in the US policy towards ASEAN and Asia? And what do you expect Vietnam to do for ASEAN?


General Jones: I think because of the Vietnam’s success, there will be a general expectation from other countries that you should lead and lead by example. . Vietnam is on the threshold of becoming a very responsible nation which should be capable of leading on big issues in the region and on global matters.


Reporter: Vietnam and the US currently have some differences on freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion, do you think the two countries will settle these issues? And how they will be settled?


General Jones: Some of these issues take a long time. We certainly offer ourselves to the world for criticism where we sometimes fall short. We recognize that we have a free society with the ability to self-criticize. Are we living up to our values? Do we do what we say we’re going to do, if we don’t we’ll correct it.


As I speak, I am very optimistic, like friends who can agree to discuss all kinds of things without being overly sensitive. And I think that as long as our leaders show goodwill and the willingness to work together, these issues will be resolved over time and we will find that a firm foundation.


Reporter: After 15 years of normalization, despite certain differences on some issues, the relationship between Vietnam and US has developed to its highest level on various issues, including security, national defense and nuclear cooperation. What is your opinion of such cooperation?


General Jones: I think on that a broad range of issues that define bilateral relations where Vietnam is concerned it is very good and has potential for the future. I think that the relationship will continue to develop, that we will engage in many more issues, for example, education, cultural exchanges, scientific exchanges, energy and climate change are huge issues for every country.


We have to worry about things like the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and terrorism which can appear in any country. So in this very small, much more globalized world  where communications are so quick, it is very important that we remain engaged in all of these issues and let the relationship grow as far as it can.


Reporter: As US National Security advisor, how does the US-Vietnam relationship contribute to the Asia Pacific region’s security?


General Jones: It is one of bright lights in our security relationship I have highlighted the tremendous effort that we have made in trade. Good trade relationship means greater stability for people in Vietnam and elsewhere and that translates to more security.


But I think that with regard to the Asia Pacific region, the US considers itself an Asia Pacific country as well. The peaceful development of the relationships between every country on the Pacific rim is part of our national strategy to make the world a safer and more peaceful place through better understanding, exchanging views and greater cooperation across a whole variety of issues, not just military to military.


Security in the 21st century is far more about how we handle our climate, energy and trade, scientific cooperation, and education. These are things we should be worried about in common. If we able to do that we all prosper and benefit. That is why I think the future for the US and Vietnam is very bright.


Reporter: Does President Obama have a plan to visit Vietnam in the near future? What kind of issues will he raise at the ASEAN-US Summit this year?


General Jones: Last year, President Obama spent more time out of the country than any other president in his first year of office. But I am quite sure that at some point, the president will visit this very important region.


I am also happy to hear that the US Secretary of State  Hillary Clinton also has plans to visit Vietnam, so we will have a very senior person representing our government, and the issues that I think she will raise will be will pretty much what we have talked about already.


Reporter: Thank you.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND