Published: 07/04/2011 05:00



Tourism Day opens in HCM City

The HCM City Tourism Day opened yesterday, April
7, at the city’s September 23 Park with participation of 80 companies that offer
various services in the sector, including travel agencies and tour operators.

The four-day annual event will include a travel
exhibition, cooking festival, a photo exhibition and a concert.

Participating companies are marking the event with
many promotions and discount programmes.

The companies said they would offer 5 to 10 per
cent discounts for domestic tours and US$10 rebates plus gifts on each overseas
tour. Festival Travel will discount US package tour prices by $120 while TST
Tourist will organise lucky draws for both domestic and overseas tours with
prizes worth a total of VND2 billion ($95,000).

Ha Long to hold
Tourism Week

The Ha Long Tourism
Week 2011 that will be celebrated at the famous bay in Quang Ninh Province from
April 28-May 1, will feature a series of festivities supporting the bid for Ha
Long Bay to be one of seven new natural wonders of the world this year.

Cultural and artistic
events including a poetry night and a food festival, an international beach
volleyball contest as well as a trade fair will be held during the Ha Long
Tourism Week.

The highlight of the
week will be the Ha Long Carnival and a public street party on the night of May
1 at the Bai Chay Beach. Organisers said the carnival has been designed to
revive several local cultural traditions.

Tour prices
rise by 5-10 per cent

Local travel agencies
are set to raise prices of tours during the coming peak season, from October to
March, by five to 10 per cent to offset rising costs. Tour operators say a sharp
increase in transportation fees due to higher fuel prices and inflation has made
the price-rise inevitable.

Bui Viet Thuy Tien,
managing director of Indochina Trails Co., said her company’s tour prices may go
up by 10 per cent in the next season.

But overseas partners
have asked local travel agencies why tour prices in Viet Nam are being hiked
while those in neighbouring countries including Thailand remain stable,
according to Tu Quy Thanh, director of Lien Bang Travelink.

According to the Viet
Nam National Administration of Tourism, the country welcomed 476,000 foreign
visitors in March, a year-on-year increase of five per cent.

foreign arrivals top 1.5 million

With 1.51 million
visitors, Viet Nam recorded a 12 per cent year-on-year increase in first quarter
tourist arrivals, according to the General Statistics Office. The largest groups
of visitors during this period were from China, South Korea, Japan, the US,
Taiwan (China), Australia, Cambodia, France, Malaysia and the UK. The national
tourism industry has set a target of welcoming 5.3 million foreign visitors and
providing services to more than 30 million domestic tourists this year.

Steady growth
in MICE tourism

HCM City-based travel
firms have obtained very good results with MICE (Meetings, Incentives,
Conventions and Exhibitions) tours this year. The Saigontourist Travel Service
Co. arranged tours for over 10,000 MICE tourists, including local visitors, in
the first quarter of 2011. It is currently handling a group of 50 tourists from
Ukraine on a two-week visit to Ha Noi, Ha Long, Hue city, Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang
and HCM City in Viet Nam and Siem Reap in Cambodia.

Fiditour says MICE
tourists account for 30 per cent of the number of visitors the company has
received this year, while Vietravel says it has received over 11,000 MICE
tourists over the past three years, a year-on-year increase of 30 per cent.

May Day holiday
flights fully booked

Travelers are
complaining that they are not able to book flights to popular tourism
destinations like Nha Trang, Da Nang and Phu Quoc during the April 30-May 1
holidays.On March 18, Vietnam Airlines announced on its website that flights
from HCM City and Ha Noi to Da Nang on April 28, 29 and 30 were fully booked.
Passengers will have to take business class tickets on the late flight from Ha
Noi to Da Nang for VND2.1 million per ticket. All flights of the national
carrier on this route for April 29 and 30 are fully booked.

Jetstar Pacific and
Air Mekong have also reported that tickets on some routes are running out.
Passengers booking tickets for flights prior to April 28 or after April 30 will
still be able to get some seats on the flights from HCM City and Ha Noi to Da
Nang with Jetstar Pacific if they book the most expensive tickets at VND1.1
million per passenger.

Nam News

Provide by Vietnam Travel

TRAVEL IN BRIEF 8/4 - Travel - News |  vietnam travel company

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