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VietNamNet – Travel agents across the country have introduced newly designed tours for the summer. Along with tours to beaches, football events are also a special way to attract more customers.


Tourism enters the high season


Although it is just at the beginning of summer, travel agents have had to increase the number of tours they are running by an additional 2–3 tours every day.  

Many tours to beaches like Nha Trang and Phu Quoc, or those to cooler areas like Da Lat and Sapa, have been fully booked. 

During the first week of June, Saigon Tourist introduced more than 10 new tours for the summer. Other travel agents have also designed new tours to compete.


Most of these tours are more or less the same as old ones. Destinations are well-known places like Nha Trang and Da Lat Phan Thiet.  However, travel agents are offering some new activities along with their tours to make them more attractive.


For example a Saigon Tourist tour to Phan Thiet offers a new kind of transportation. Tourists can now choose to go to Mui Ne beach by bus or train.


The Deputy Head of the Domestic Travel Department of Saigon Tourist said many tourists prefer to go to Mui Ne by train, as the service is good and people can save time when they have short holidays or weekend breaks.


Acitivities for the Saigon Mui Ne tours include going to Taku mountain by cable car, visiting Linh Son Truong Tho pagoda and seeing the 49-meter long Buddha statute, and visiting the last area where  Cham ethnic minority people live.


According to Ms Minh Thuan from Lua Viet travel agency, from now to mid June is the peak time for the summer. Most companies run 2–3 tours every day. The number of tourists is estimated to double from the low season.


Tours in World Cup time


As the weather gets hotter, the most popular tours are to beaches or cool areas like Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, Mui Ne, and Da Lat.


Ms Minh Thuan said before her company only ran 2–3 tours to Phu Quoc weekly, but they now run tours to the island daily. Sometimes there are 2–3 tours per day.


Travel agents have not forgotten the impact of the World Cup either. Saigon Tourist has introduced two tours to Da Lat and Nha Trang and, during the tours, tourists will have the chance to watch live soccer matches on widescreen TV. Tour participants will also be given the World Cup bulletin, an information update on the biggest sporting event of the year.


Tours for students 

As travel agents have decided to attract more clients, tour prices are only a little higher than last summer, with prices up by 3–5 %. This means that students can afford them. 

Some travel agents have even designed tours especially for students, such as a Lua Viet travel agency tour which takes people backpacking and camping for 7 days and 6 nights from HCM City to Madagui, to Da Lat, and finishing up in Phan Thiet. Tour participants will be able to exercise their mountain climbing and camping skills. 

Many outbound tours are deisigned to incorporate tourism with finding information on overseas study. Saigon Tourist Company has just launched a new tour called “Summer 2006 Fun”. 

The tour is for students who wish to study abroad. It therefore will not take them to shopping malls or other touristy places but will help them to understand about cultures in foreign countries, and visit foreign universities and high schools. 

BUENOS AIRES — A seminar to discuss potential travel tours throughout southeast Asia, and Viet Nam in particular, was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with participation from nearly 50 travel agencies.

At the seminar, hosted by The Omega Travel Company of Argentina onTuesday, director Sergio Melman spoke highly of Viet Nam’s history and culture, as well as the tourism potential in Ha Long Bay, Ha Noi’s Old Quarter, the former imperial city of Hue, Hoi An, HCM City and the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces.
They were also introduced Viet Nam’s traditional dress, the "ao dai" and a number of pictures of Viet Nam landscapes. The company will organise the second seminar on Viet Nam on May 31.

Third Made–in–Viet Nam fair to be held in Da Nang

DA NANG — The third Made–in–Viet Nam fair will open in the central city of Da Nang on Saturday, with the participation of 200 enterprises nationwide.

Co-organised by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Bac Ha Exhibition and Trade Co, the six-day fair will display industrial products, handicrafts, and food products in 280 pavilions.

Programmes to support Vietnamese enterprises in building and advertising their trademarks will also be held on the sidelines of the fair.

Trade through Lao Cai border gate nears $42.6m

LAO CAI — Import-export value across the Lao Cai border gate in the first four months of this year reached US$42.6 million, marking a modest increase of 3 per cent over the same time last year.

Imports contributed US$24 million to the total, accounting for 56 per cent of the total trade value and representing a 20 per cent decline year-on-year.

Key export products via the bordergate included cashews, fruit, iron ore, footwear and plastic goods. — VNS



Nguoi Viet, May 15, 2006

HANOI – Vietnam's state-run media announced on May 13 that the government has completed negotiations with the United States for its World Trade Organization (WTO) entry, paving the way for Vietnam to become a full member, reports Nguoi Viet. Vietnam will submit its final request for WTO membership before the end of the year, after the U.S. Congress votes on whether to give the country permanent normal trade relations status. Vietnam hopes that it will join the WTO before November, when Bush plans to visit Hanoi for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit. With abundant natural resources, especially in petroleum, and a gross domestic product (GDP) of 7.6 to 8 percent (compared to Thailand’s 4 to 4.5 percent), Vietnam will post the highest growth rate in Southeast Asia this year. The Kosikorn Center predicts that Vietnam will surpass Thailand in exports in the next 14 years, exporting a total of about $500 billion by 2020, compared to Thailand’s predicted $463 billion. Foreign investors, discouraged by political disorder in Thailand, are increasingly looking to Vietnam, reports Nguoi Viet. Free from the impact of the tsunami, Vietnam’s tourism has also steadily grown in the past two years. In 2005, the number of tourists to the country rose to 3.5 million, an increase of 18.4 percent from 2004.

Apr 24, 06 | 12:41 pm

The Vietnamese tourism industry is getting a major boost with the announcement the government has granted a license to US based Wininvest Group to develop a US$300 million tourism complex in central Vietnam. To be sited at Cua Lap, in the central coastal Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, the Sai Gon-Atlantis Tourism Complex will be built on a 450ha site.
"The site is the biggest foreign tourism project in Vietnam," agency director Phan Huu Thang told reporters.
"Construction will be completed within five years," said Tran Van Son, company representative, who confirmed discussions with the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment for the project began in 2004.
The project is divided into three phases and will consist of a five-star hotel, villas, golf course, trade centers and entertainment areas.
The first phase, estimated to cost 50 percent of the total investment will be spent on the construction of Saigon Atlantis Hotel, a 1,200 room five star hotel complex and casino.
The second phase will see the construction of a luxury restaurant, golf course, villas, bank and a helicopter pad.
By the completion of its third phase, locals are expected to patronize its water park, swimming pools, theatre, luxury shopping malls, duty-free shops and exhibition area.
The international standard project is expected to lure foreign tourists and boost the country's tourism industry.
The project is expected to provide up to 20,000 local jobs.

By Y. Sulaiman l eTN Asia