UNESCO continues help preserve Hue heritage site
The visit was seen as a reconfirmation of the importance of cultural values of Hue Imperial City Relic Complex, a cultural heritage of humanity.
During the meeting, Chairman of Thua Thien-Hue Provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Cao expressed gratitude for the support, assistance, and cooperation given by UNESCO to the province during the past years.
For over 30 years, UNESCO has helped Thua Thien-Hue implement a lot of projects on protecting, maintaining, restoring, and preserving cultural heritage sites of the city in general and the relics of Hue Imperial city specifically.
Ms. Irina Bokova’s visit contributed to promoting the efficient cooperation relation between UNESCO and Thua Thien-Hue province, the provincial official said.
Ms. Irina Bokova highly appreciated the efficiency as well as the efforts and commitments of Thua Thien-Hue in the protection, preservation and promotion of cultural heritage sites.
She affirmed UNESCO’s continued assistance to the province in protecting its heritages, dealing with climate change, sharing experience from sustainable development, and in persuading local people’s larger participation in preserving and promoting cultural values of the locality’s heritages.
During the visit, she did sightseeing the relics of Hue Imperial City, a world tangible heritage site, and enjoyed Nha Nhac Cung Dinh Hue (Royal Court Music), an intangible cultural heritage, recognized by UNESCO.
Grant Thornton suggests way to raise funds for tourism promotion
Chronic lack of funding for promotion programs has been dogging the country’s tourism sector over the years, so Grant Thornton Vietnam has proposed deducting a U.S. dollar from each international traveler arrival to set up a fund for this purpose.
Kenneth Atkinson, managing director of Grant Thornton Vietnam, said other countries in the region have spent heavily on tourist destination promotions. Meanwhile, Vietnam has earmarked just a small budget, at less than US$1 million a year.
Vietnam should map out a fund raising strategy to promote the tourism sector, Atkinson said at a function held in HCMC last week to announce a hotel industry report.
Atkinson suggested that the tourism industry should deduct one dollar from the amount each international visitor spends in the country to set up a tourism promotion budget.
The nation served 6.8 million international tourists last year, up 14% against the previous year and 300,000 higher than expected. With one dollar from one tourist, the tourism industry would have raised around US$7 million for promotion purposes.
On the hotel business front, the average hotel room rate dropped slightly to US$90.5 a room in 2012 while room occupancy declined to 60%. Protracted economic woes and an increase in hotel room supply were among the causes of the declines.
The four-star hotel segment saw the strongest room rate slide, at 4.8%. Meanwhile, three-star hotels fared better with revenue per available room (RevPAR) rising by 5.4%.
The room occupancy and rate drops resulted in a 0.6% slip in room revenue while restaurant and convention center revenue picked up 1.1% to over 29% of total revenue.
Travel agents and tour operators remained the most favorite places for hotel room bookings in 2012, accounting for 45.7%. Bookings via the Internet rose from 14.8% in 2011 to 16% last year.
The country now has around 640 hotels of three to five star standards, mostly in HCMC with 138 hotels, followed by Hanoi with 126, Danang and Hoi An with around 80 and Nha Trang with 34.
Vietnam Airlines opens two new int’l routes
The national flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines will officially open two international air routes from Danang to Seoul (the Republic of Korea) and Siem Riep (Cambodia) as of July 1, 2013.
Vietnam Airlines has offered a discount of 50 percent for passengers from now until the end of the year.
Return tickets for those flying from Danang to Seoul and Siem Riep are just VND5,940,000 million and VND1,738,000 million respectively.
Hoi An launches village biking tour
Hoi An officially launched a 5km bike tour around Cam Thanh Village during a ceremony yesterday attended by 30 travel agencies and media organisations.
Cycling is already popular among foreigners exploring the city and Cua Dai beach.
The tour, which was kicked off as part of the Quang Nam Festival, includes coracle paddling among the palms and exploring traditional bamboo and furniture production.
“Local travel agencies began the tour a few years ago but it is now officially part of the city’s tourism product,” said Nguyen Anh Tu, of the city’s trade and tourism office.
Tourists could feel free to visit any house and join in craft production with local people, he said.
South Korea attractive to Vietnamese conference and medical tourists
Around 45,000 Vietnamese have visited South Korea in the year to date thanks a series of promotion activities to attract local guests to travel to South Korea for medical treatment, plastic surgery and conferences.
Kang Sungghil, chief representative of the Korea Tourism Organization in Vietnam, gave the figure at a briefing held in HCMC last week to present tourist destinations in South Korea to some 150 travel firms.
Around 106,000 Vietnamese tourists visited South Korea last year.
“Vietnam is not a big market but one with high growth potential. We’d like to attract tourists who want to go to Korea for medical treatment, plastic surgery and meetings,” he said.
After some tourism promotion programs in northern Vietnam, South Korea will be carrying out similar events in the south to attract local tourists to the Bu-Ul-Gyeong tourism year, and festivals and exhibitions such as Suncheon Bay Garden Expo and traditional medicine exhibition.
Vietnam Airlines now has daily services between Vietnam and South Korea.
Festival connects love in Vietnamese families
“Connecting love in Vietnamese families” is the theme of the Vietnam Family Festival 2013 that will take place in Hanoi from June 23-28.
The festival will feature a wide range of activities, including exhibitions, exchanges and art performances.
Psychologists, consultants and outstanding families will be invited to share their experience in maintaining and fostering the family happiness, educating children and protecting young families.
The Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will held a ceremony to honour outstanding cultural families among local ethnic minorities.
A ceremony to celebrate the Vietnam Family Day will be held at the Opera House on June 28.
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