TRAVEL IN BRIEF 2/12

Inexpensive tours put on supply to hike trip

Despite the future costs, HCM City-based jaunt agencies are gift crummy tours.
Fiditour has launched a Christmastide and New Twelvemonth message, substance discounts to tours from the southern to the region. Customers employment tours to Ha Noi, Bac Ninh, and Ha Lank Bay can now enjoy discounts of VND3-3.5 cardinal for 4-5 day tours honorable before Tet (Lunar New Year Fete) which water on 23 Jan succeeding year.

Vietravel has also announced VND2.5-3 million discounts for tours to the north. Three-day tours to Da Lat at the end of last month cost a mere VND1.3 million.

Nguyen Thi Hoa Le, the director of Hoa Binh travel company, said her company did not increase tour prices but was content with lower profits to attract more business.

Exclusive wharves needed for tourist vessels

Though the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism has chosen sea tourism as a priority in the national tourism development strategy for 2010-20, the country lacks tourist jetties to receive large cruise liners which currently have to dock at trading ports.

To address this, HCM City has plans to develop part of Sai Gon Port into a modern, international luxury tourist pier that can handle 3,000 cruise ship passengers at a time.

According to the GSO's figures, the country, which had received more than 224,000 cruise ship passengers in 2007, welcomes a mere 25,000 in the first nine months of this year.

Thailand returns to tourist map as floods recede

HCM City travel agencies are offering discounts for tours of Thailand as life returns to normal in Bangkok after the floodwaters have receded.

Saigontourist Travel Service Co executives made a trip to Thailand last week to explore the possibility of resuming Thailand tours.

Ben Thanh Tourist has announced tours of Thailand during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Vietravel, however, became the first to resume Thai tours, saying travellers can book from November 29 onwards.

Six-day tours of Bangkok and Pattaya until December 20 is priced at VND4.99 million (US$237) and VND5.29 million, respectively, a discount of around VND700,000.

Cambodian tourists flock to VN for healthcare

Cambodia is ranked the fifth largest tourism market for Viet Nam, with Cambodian arrivals in November rising 116 per cent over the same period last year. According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), 376,400 Cambodian visitors have come in the year to date, an increase of 61 per cent. However, since most of them came for health services leisure or business, Cambodia is not yet considered a key market by Vietnamese tour operators.

Province to develop lake as tourist destination

A plan to develop Dau Tieng Lake in Tay Ninh Province is expected to get approval from the authorities in a few months.

In 2009 the province began to seek permission to tap the tourism and transport potential of the 27,000ha lake which is situated just 100km from HCM City.

In September last year provincial authorities again proposed development of a tourist attraction in the lake after An Vien Group showed keen interest in setting up a film studio and an eco-tourism project on Nhim Island in the lake.

China carrier sets sights on daily, direct flights

After launching the HCM City-Nanning-Chengdu service six months ago, China's Sichuan Airlines is considering increasing the frequency from the current twice a week to daily.

Hu Pingshu, the carrier's deputy director-general, said there were also plans to make the service direct, eliminating the Nanning transit and thus making it more convenient for Vietnamese travellers.

The carrier is providing discounts to tour operators bringing visitors to Chengdu, a famous Chinese tourism destination.

Le Spa du Metropole hailed best urban retreat

Le Spa du Metropole in the Sofitel Legend Metropole Ha Noi took home top honours as Best Urban Spa of the Year at the AsiaSpa Awards.

More than 300 people gathered in Hong Kong for AsiaSpa magazine's annual rankings of the region's most outstanding leaders in quality and innovation.

With 400sq.m of private treatment areas furnished in Indochine-era decor, the spa at the 110-year-old hotel was the only nominee from Viet Nam to pick up a trophy at the 7th AsiaSpa awards ceremony.

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