ADB funds tourism development in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia

ADB funds tourism development in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a 100 million USD aid package to support the development of tourism infrastructure in the three Mekong River countries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

The decision was made at the annual meeting on tourism development of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) nations in Cambodia on December 6.

ADB’s aid will be funneled into those projects to boost regional tourism, build sea ports, implement water treatment in tourism spots and kickstart green tourism programmes with the involvement of local residents.

Additionally, the bank will also assist the three countries to strengthen efficiency in communication and cooperation with other regional neighbours.

GMS comprises of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and China’s Yunnan province and Guangxi Autonomous region. The grouping receives some 40 million foreign tourists ever year.

ADB is the top donor for the GMS Economic Cooperation Programme, which participates in numerous projects including transport connection, trade and tourism, social services access, energy security and the environment.-

Lam Dong Province to set up tourism hotline

Lam Dong Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said the province would set up six hotlines to handle complaints of tourists about fraud and overcharging. The hotline will open as part of Tourism and Culture Week 2013 to be held in Da Lat on December 27-31.

The province will also ask agencies to improve management of services and restaurants and to strictly deal with violators.

The six hotline numbers will be posted at many tourism and public spots.

Travel firms racing for longer Tet holiday

While many local tourism companies see better business opportunities with the Prime Minister’s approval for a nine-day Tet holiday, others complain about difficulties in arranging air tickets and related services.

One day after the announcement of the Prime Minister’s approval for the longer-than-expected Tet holiday, multiple tourism companies in HCMC had a meeting on Tuesday on booking more services and launching more tours for customers.

Numerous big firms may find it pretty easy with the information as they have no major difficulty arranging services, but smaller enterprises are concerned about their limited capability, saying air tickets might fall short, meaning their prices would be hiked.

Tran Van Long, general director of Viet Media Travel, said his firm was planning to offer more tours for Tet but it was still unable to book more air tickets. For other services, additional bookings will cost higher, especially tours to neighboring countries during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, Long said.

Doan Thi Thanh Tra, marketing and public relations manager of Saigontourist Travel Service Company, meanwhile said her company had deployed a plan to increase tours for Tet and had started booking air tickets accordingly.

“We will try to increase the number of Tet tours as many as we can,” she said.

Speaking with the Daily on Tuesday, the directors of several tourism companies expressed the same worry as Long’s although they all believe the longer Tet holiday will be a good chance to have stronger tourism demand.

“We are asking for more services but whether the services are available remains unknown. The Tet schedule should have been announced six months earlier so that we could have made better preparations,” said Phan Dinh Hue, director of Viet Circle Tourism and Service Co.

Flights take off from Russia to island haven of Phu Quoc

Tran Quang Hung, deputy chairman of Phu Quoc District's People's Committee in Kien Giang Province, said the district had developed a plan to welcome Russian tourists to Phu Quoc Island.

Russia's Pegas Touristik Co. and its Vietnamese partner Anh Duong Tourist will organise one flight per week carrying 300 tourists to Phu Quoc Island, which is located off Kien Giang Province. The first flight is scheduled to begin on Tet (Lunar New Year).

Dong Nai to diversify tourism products

The Dong Nai provincial People's Committee has approved a Provincial Action Programme on Tourism for the 2013-2020 period, which aims for the local tourism industry to attract 3.2 million visitors, including 70,000 million foreigners, and earning VND1,000 billion in total revenue.

The programme is intended to enhance the region's tourism potential with projects to utilise the area’s tourism resources and to diversify tourism products.

The plan also aims to improve the service quality at local tourist destinations, especially eco-tourism destinations, such as the Dong Nai Culture-Nature Reserve, Cat Tien National Park and Dong Nai Museum.

The scheme seeks to build a strong national tourism brand. A wide range of both domestic and foreign marketing campaigns will also be undertaken to promote tourism.

ADB, indochina, dong nai, tet holiday