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Tet tours see surge in bookings

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:17 am

Most tourist companies have said that several people plan to travel domestically and overseas during the Tet (Lunar New Year).

Children playing a popular game, in the ancient village of Pho Cao. This village is over 100 year old and it is located in Dong Van District, Ha Giang Province (Photo: My Hanh)

Nearly all domestic tours with flights from February 4-6, or January 2-4 in the lunar calendar, have been booked in advance. Schedules to Nha Trang, Phu Quoc and Con Dao are highly booked.


Similarly, tourist companies have stopped bookings for tours to Singapore, Thailand, China, Korea and Japan. They now expect that many people will book road tours, which depart from February 7.


Nguyen Van My, director of Lua Viet Travel Company, said that this year Singapore has become the ‘hot’ foreign tourist destination, instead of Thailand. After a short period of growth, people wanting to visit Cambodia, is slightly reduced.


Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, PR manager of Fiditour Tan Dinh Travel Company, said that the number of people purchasing tickets to travel abroad, is higher than compared to the same period last year.


Fiditour is hoping to receive about 15,000 visitors during the coming Tet holidays, 30 percent up from last year’s same period. They said that 40 percent of the visitors would travel abroad, a 20 percent increase to that of 2010.


Meanwhile, the leading tour operator in Vietnam Saigontourist said 2,500 people have booked tours to travel abroad. The company is expected to see a 20 percent increase in the number of people traveling this Tet, as compared with the previous.


More new domestic tours 


The domestic tourism in three recent years has seen a high growth. In 2010, the number of people traveling domestically was over 27 million visitors. The toll is forecast to rise to 31 million this year.


Travel companies have diversified many tours in order to attract more tourists. Many of them have introduced several new and original touring ideas. 


Specifically, The He Tre Travel Company is providing a special tour to discover famous tourist destinations, in the northeastern region, over six days and nights.


The journey begins at Dong Van stone plateau; leading through Lung Cu, Ma Pi Leng Mountain pass, Gam River, Na Hang, Nang River and finally finishing at Ba Be Lake.


Tran The Dung, the company director, said that the tour will cut short the distance to travel between the Ba Be Lake in Bac Kan Province, and Dong Van stone plateau in Ha Giang Province, as the two places are be connected by the Gam and Nang rivers. This tour has attracted 70 customers, within one month of its opening.


This tour will depart on February 10, with the package price of VND10.5 million per person, including the cost of the flight.


Welcoming the New Year’s Eve at remote islands is also a desirable location chosen by many travelers.


Fiditour said it would provide a three-day tour to Phu Quoc Island by plane, which departs on January 27, or December 30 of the lunar calendar. The total cost is VND4.5 million per person.


In the meantime, the Saigontourist announced a three-day trip, priced at VND1.7 million, to greet the Lunar New Year, in the Central Highlands. Travelers will depart on February 4 and February 6.

Source: SGGP

Central Highlands see positive socio-economic changes

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:09 am




Central Highlands see positive socio-economic changes


QĐND – Monday, December 27, 2010, 20:34 (GMT+7)

The Central Highlands Steering Committee held a conference in Buon Ma Thuot, Dak Lak province on December 27 to review ten years of implementing the political bureau’s resolution on socio-economic development and national defence and security in the Central Highland region in the 2001-2010 period.


Over the past ten years, localities in the central highlands have achieved impressive results in socio-economic development. The average income per capita in the region increased remarkably from VND2.9 million in 2001 to VND15.5 million in 2010 (making up 67 percent of the nation’s average rate with economic growth rate reaching 11.9 percent per year.


In the reviewed period, the Central Highlands upgraded to two first-tier urban areas, and established two cities and four towns. Infrastructure in both urban and rural areas in the region improved. 91 percent of communes possessed roads leading to the centre while 98 percent of hamlets had access to the national grid. All communes have primary schools, kindergarten, and health stations. Five provinces in the region have completed compulsory high school education.


Vocational training and job generation also gained positive results with nearly 1 million recruited workers including more than 180,000 ethnic minority people. The unemployment in urban area dropped to 2.51 percent. Nearly 111,000 households escaped poverty. The proportion of poor households fell to just 10.34 percent. In the ethnic minority group alone, the rate of poor households dropped sharply from 47.8 percent in 2006 to 19.9 percent in 2010.


Delegates also pointed out some shortcomings in the region. For example, socio-economic infrastructure in the region remains low while the quality of human resources has not been improved. While the rate of poor households decreased sharply, the rate of households fall into poverty again remained high. Over 11,000 households have had enough land for production.


Deputy Head of the steering committee, Tran Viet Hung said poverty reduction and hunger elimination for ethnic minority groups remained an urgent task for the region. Therefore, he said it is necessary to improve infrastructure in the region.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Overseas remittances see impressive rise

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 10:02 am

Overseas remittances are expected to record USD8 billion  in 2010, an increase of 25.6 percent over last year.

A teller counts US dollar banknotes at a Sacombank branch in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: Sacombank).

According to the Foreign Currency Management Department under the State Bank of Vietnam, overseas remittances were USD7.6 billion  in the first 11 months of this year and likely to be USD770 million  in December.


In addition, Vietnam ’s commercial banks have said that foreign currencies are flowing into Vietnam and have seen a rise of between 20-30 percent against the previous year.


This high level of remittances is attributed to the recovery of the global economy, which enables overseas Vietnamese to send more money to their relatives in Vietnam , the strong development of banking networks and the improved services offered at banks and economic organizations.


This year’s remittances are mainly from the US , Canada , Australia and markets that accept Vietnamese workers, such as the Republic of Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia .


However, money from Europe is likely to be affected due to public debt in Greece and Ireland .


Overseas remittances are forecast to increase in the next two months until the Lunar New Year festival.


Earlier, the World Bank released a report on worldwide remittances in 2010, with Vietnam ’s overseas remittances forecasted to be USD7.2 billion against USD6.6 billion  in 2009.


The report also showed that Vietnam now ranks 16th out of the top 30 countries surveyed.

Source: SGGP

Country to see prolonged cold spell

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2010 at 6:20 am

A cold front has blanketed northern Vietnam, causing harshly cold on vast area, said the National Hydro Metrological Forecasting Center on Friday.

Vietnam weather will be cold until the beginning of December

In Hanoi, temperatures have fallen to 16-19 degree Celsius while they are 11-13 degrees in the northwestern region.


Additionally, another cold front is set to cover the north today and forecast to spread to the south. As a result, Vietnam will experience coldness until the beginning of December.


Affected by the cold fronts and the easterly wind zone, central provinces might see rains on several areas beginning Saturday.


In the meantime, northwesterly winds have moved further to south-central provinces and affected the southeastern region.


In Ho Chi Minh City, temperatures hover around 22-28 degrees with fog appearing on early morning.

Source: SGGP

Best Time to See the Leonid Meteor Shower Is Now

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2010 at 7:25 am

British PM agrees to see US senators on Lockerbie

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 11:24 am

WASHINGTON (AFP) – British Prime Minister David Cameron has agreed to meet during his visit to Washington with four US senators angry over the Lockerbie bomber’s release, his spokesman said Tuesday.


The British embassy in the US capital had originally said Cameron would not have time to meet the lawmakers as he had a full schedule, and would instead ask British Ambassador Nigel Sheinwald to see them.

British Prime Minister David Cameron seen in Hertfordshire, on July 16, 2010. AFP

But his spokesman later said the prime minister, on his first visit to Washington since taking office in May, had changed his plans and would invite the senators for a discussion later Tuesday at the British ambassador’s residence.


“The prime minister recognises the strength of feeling and knows how important it is to reassure the families of the victims,” said the spokesman.


“We are happy to see them face to face and find time in the diary.”


Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez of New Jersey wrote a letter to Cameron Monday asking to meet with him to discuss the Lockerbie case.


The lawmakers said they hoped to discuss “what we can all do to provide greater transparency into the circumstances surrounding the release, address the injustice, and ensure that a similar mistake is not repeated.”


The quartet said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had advised them that she had requested Cameron’s government to “review the facts and circumstances” leading up to the release of Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi.


Megrahi, the only person convicted of the 1988 bombing of a US Pan Am jumbo jet over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in which 270 people were killed, was freed from a Scottish jail last year.


He had been sentenced to life imprisonment but was freed in August on compassionate grounds after doctors said he had only three months left to live. Reports have since emerged that he could live another 10 years.


Britain has called the release a “mistake,” but said there was no evidence to back up media reports linking Megrahi’s release to BP’s efforts to safeguard a lucrative oil exploration deal with Libya.


Menendez earlier described Cameron’s initial refusal to meet with him and his fellow senators as “disappointing”, adding that “it is critical for us to get the full story from the British government.”

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Source: SGGP

July to see four more heat waves

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Vietnam will see four more hot spells in July alone, though forecasters do expect temperatures go down a bit, Le Thanh Hai, deputy director of the National Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Center, said on July 7.

Severe heat wave dries out central rice fields (Photo: SGGP)

The blistering heat wave scorching the northern and central regions over the last few days is the eighth since the beginning of the year and represent the second hottest temperatures in the past 50 years, Hai said.


Common temperatures from 37-40 Celsius degrees will continue in the central region over the next four to five days. In the northern region, the heat wave would last just two more days before the area experiences showers.


The central and northern regions July 7 continued to swelter, with common temperatures hovering around 39-40 degrees.


In the previous day, some places in the areas suffered through severe heat, with temperatures reaching 46-48 degrees.

Source: SGGP

Hanoi’s hotels see higher occupancy rates

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 9:02 am




Hanoi’s hotels see higher occupancy rates


QĐND – Sunday, July 11, 2010, 21:26 (GMT+7)

Occupancy rates of 3-5 star hotels in Hanoi rose to 54.52% in the second quarter of the year, a year-on-year increase of 10.26%.


Four-star hotels registered the highest average increase overall, up 53.09%.


This was attributed to the 12% increase of foreign and 13.5% increase of domestic tourists to the capital city, in the first half of 2010.


During this period, the average daily rate (ADR) of five-star hotels experienced the biggest decrease of 20.36% to US $119.9 per room and four-star hotel room decreased, 1.54% to US $65.74. The three-star hotel ADR posted an increase of 4.93% to US $39.17.


Meanwhile, the average daily revenue per occupied room in three-star hotels posted the highest increase of 26.1% to US $22.42, followed by four-star hotels, 6.26% to US $36.58.


Experts say the grand ceremony of the Thang Long-Hanoi millennium anniversary and the Vietnam National Tourism Administration’s promotion campaign are expected to raise the number of visitors to Hanoi in the second half of the year, and according hotel room occupancy rates.


During the six-month period, Vietnam welcomed 2.5 million foreign visitors, a yearly increase of 32.6%, and 14.8 million domestic tourists, up 10%.


Source: VNA/Nhandan


Source: QDND

Luxury hotel room prices see a sharp fall

In Uncategorized on June 9, 2010 at 7:13 pm




Luxury hotel room prices see a sharp fall


QĐND – Wednesday, June 09, 2010, 17:26 (GMT+7)


Average prices of high-class hotel rooms in Vietnam fell by 31.9 per cent in 2009, according to figures released on June 8th by Grant Thornton Vietnam.

The firm believes that the global economic crisis had a long term and considerable impact on tourism and hotel sectors in Vietnam and across the world.


Especially, five-star hotels were hit hard as tourists tended to cut down their spending during their tours and rich people seemed to travel less.


However, the survey shows that proceeds from other tourist services like restaurants, spa, banquets and conferences rose 8.2 per cent. As a result, hotels still maintained their incomes in 2009.


Figures also points out that, while the number of international visitors to Vietnam fell, the number of domestic tourists sharply increased.  


Source: Vietnam+


Source: QDND

Vietnamese youth see much better living standard

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2010 at 2:07 am




Vietnamese youth see much better living standard


QĐND – Wednesday, June 02, 2010, 21:31 (GMT+7)

Vietnamese youth enjoy a much better standard of living than they did just five years ago, according to the Survey Assessment of Vietnamese Youth released in Hanoi on June 1.


The survey, based on the responses of 10,050 young people aged 14-25 in every city and province in the country, was conducted by the General Department of Population and Family Planning, the General Statistics Office, the Asian Development Bank and the Project on HIV/AIDS Prevention in Young People.


Similar to results in the first survey in 2005, Vietnamese youth reported being optimistic about the country’s rapid development which has given them opportunities and confidence in their future.


The survey results suggested young people had better access to education, jobs, and information than just five years ago. Over 70 percent of respondents thought that their material lives would be better in three years’ time.


Family remained the firmest support for young people, but the survey also gathered extensive information about Vietnamese youth in such areas as health, employment, and awareness and attitudes towards important issues in life.


The new survey also found that the dropout rate, particularly those under 15, was much lower than in the 2005 survey. Nearly 40 percent of the interviewees said “to keep going to school” was their first wish for the next five years, while getting good academic marks was not only their dream but also their parents’ top priority.


The northwest witnessed the lowest rate of young people attending school (86 percent), compared to an overall average of 97 percent.


The survey also saw an increasing trend of pre-marital sex among Vietnamese youth. Almost 10 percent of the interviewees admitted having sex before marriage, while 53 percent of young people living in cities and 34 percent of those living in the countryside said premarital sex was acceptable.


On average young males had sex for the first time at the age of 18.2 while the girls had their first experience only slightly younger, at 18.


The survey also showed that acceptance of homosexual behaviour ranged from 9 percent among uneducated respondents to 24 percent among university graduates.


About 60 percent of Vietnamese youth thought prostitution was immoral, while 20 percent thought prostitution could be understandable in some certain circumstances.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND