Ha Giang tours

Vietnam visa on arrival. Saigon has one more five-star hotel

Pullman Saigon Centre, the first five-star hotel in HCMC to bear Accor’s brand Pullman, held a soft opening ceremony on Tuesday.

Owned by Que Huong Liberty Corporation and located at the corner of Tran Hung Dao and Nguyen Cu Trinh streets in District 1, Pullman Saigon Centre has 306 superior, deluxe, executive and suite rooms. In addition to two restaurants, an outdoor swimming pool and other auxiliary facilities, the hotel has a section of over 700 square meters for conventions and events.

From now until the year-end, customers with the bookings of the meeting package at Pullman Saigon Centre will enjoy a 20% discount.

Water resources linked to tourism

The tourism sector could help protect water resource, said Deputy Director of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Nguyen Manh Cuong.

Speaking yesterday at a celebration of World Tourism Day, which falls today, Cuong said that the theme for this year's celebration is "Tourism and Water: protecting our common future", and aims to affirm the important role of water resource in tourism, as well as promote efficient usage and protection of the resource.

Kai Partale, tourist sector specialist from an EU-funded Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Programme, said that responsible water usage should be acknowledged as an important issue due to the fact that many regions are confronted with water scarcity.

"In the context of tourism, tourism activities are seen to impact and increase water problems within the regions tourists travel to," he said.

"In the case of Viet Nam, 63 per cent of the country's water has its source in neighbouring countries, which creates dependence on water sources, and especially the quality of water, from outside the country," he said.

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added that wasteful use and uncontrolled pollution portrays future challenges for responsible water resource management in the country while the conservation of water could help save money through reducing operational costs.

In the first nine months of this year, Viet Nam welcomed nearly 5.5 million foreign visitors, about 10 per cent higher than that of the same period last year.

Cuong from VNAT said that with this growth, the number of foreign tourists to Viet Nam could reach 7.5 million by the end of this year, meaning the country's tourism hit its target two years earlier than set in the National Action Plan on Tourism between 2013 and 2020, which planned to attract 7-8 million foreign visitors by 2015.

However, he noted that the sector still faces problems, including shortage of funding for tourism promotion activities, improper management over travelling and tourism agencies, shortages of trained competent tour guides and traffic accidents.

He said that co-operation between ministries, sectors and more engagement of private sector in tourism activities were needed to address the problems.

Early this month, the Prime Minister asked localities to take drastic measures to oversee their tourist environment and ensure safety for tourists, emphasising that it helped improve the image of tourist destinations and reduces violations. including robbery, overcharging and other annoyances to tourists.

Foreign arrivals to Vietnam surge

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has announced the nation’s foreign arrivals totalled 5.5 million after the first nine months of this year, up 9.9% compared to the same period in 2012.

The figures were released at a September 26 ceremony in Hanoi launching World Tourism Day 2013 themed “Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future”.

Foreign arrival numbers recovered after some minor declines at the beginning of the year. Domestic tourist growth never waned.

VNAT September statistics record nearly 615,000 foreign arrivals, down 9.1% from August but up 28.9% against September 2012.

Overall in nine months the tourism industry earned VND153 billion in revenue, a 23.5% improvement on a year earlier.

At the ceremony, VNAT Deputy General Director Nguyen Manh Cuong acknowledged some of the industry’s weaknesses, including disappointing progress in management and service quality, insufficient promotion, poor tour guide training, and supply and demand imbalances.

On September 27, 200 of Hanoi’s college and university students will participate in a cycling event marking World Tourism Day.

Bicycle parade celebrates World Tourism Day 2013

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism announced this morning that roughly 150 university and college students from Hanoi are joining a bicycle parade tomorrow as part of the 2013 World Tourism Day festivities.

This year’s celebration is themed ‘Tourism and Water: Protecting Our Common Future’, which shines a spotlight on the actions taken by the tourism industry to contribute to a more sustainable water future.

The bicycle parade is going to depart from the Hanoi Opera House in three groups and ride on major street routes before finishing at Thong Nhat (Reunification) Park, with a view to convey the message of responsible tourism and

Halong Vietnam

resource protection to local people and tourists.

According to a report released by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Vietnam has welcomed approximately 5.5 million international tourist arrivals in the first nine months of the year, representing a year-on-year increase of 9.9%, while domestic tourist arrivals are estimated at 31 million, up 11% compared to the same period of 2012.

Total revenue from tourists has reached roughly VND153 billion (US$7.2 million) in the period, increasing 23.5% against last year.

The report also pointed out the weak points and challenges Vietnam tourism needs to address, including poor service quality, overcharging and insufficient infrastructure.

Son Doong adventure tours all booked for 2014

Bookings to Son Doong cave in the central province of Quang Binh are full for next year, according to Oxalis international travel company, which is permitted to pilot the adventure tour to the world biggest cave.

Four hundred tourists have booked tours to the cave next year, at least 3,000 USD each. Six hundred tourists worldwide contacted the company for the tour in 2015.

Son Doong cave was first discovered in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park by a local man named Ho Khanh in 1991.

The cave was then made known publicly in 2009 by a group of British scientists from BCRA, led by Howard Limbert, after their surveying trip in the park.

According to Limbert, the cave is five times larger than the nearby Phong Nha cave, previously considered to be the largest in Vietnam .

Son Doong cave is found to have a length of at least 6.5 kilometres. It is estimated to be 200 metres in width and 150 metres in height. The largest chamber of the cave is judged to be 250 metres in height.-

Visa Guidance for foreigners to Vietnam

Vietnam has made strides to make visa easier for tourists to enter the country. The Immigration Department, Ministry of Public Security has