BINH THUAN, 20 May 2013: Car and motor cycle rental firms come under the hammer after Binh Thuan province authorities warned they will clamp down on foreigners renting and driving vehicles without driving licenses.
The provincial People Committee deputy chairman, Nguyen Thanh Tam, said the crackdown was needed due to a rise in accidents involving tourists.
“We consider security at tourist spots and tourists’ safety a top prioriy…If people are offering motorbikes for rent and are breaking the law we will slap them with a heavy fine or revoke their license.”
HANOI, 9 May 2013: Vietnam tourism authorities are presenting a tax reduction proposal to the government to boost tourism to the country.
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has sent a request to the Prime Minister asking for a reduction of 50% on the Value Added Tax and 50% on income tax for the remainder of the year.
“The scheme should help businesses in the tourism sector to build growth during difficult times,” the ministry spokesperson told local media.
HANOI, 3 May 2013: Vietnam National Administration of Tourism reports a slight decline of 2.4% on April’s international tourist arrivals that totaled 613,919 trips.
Thailand’s outbound trips to Vietnam ranked sixth with 28,269 trips improving 70.30% over the same month last year.
China continued as the top source in the fourth month of the year supplying 153,051 trips and growing 25.88% from 121,580 followed by South Korea, Japan, the United States and Malaysia.
HANOI, 2 May 2013: Vietnam is considering installing microchips in licensed taxis to ensure they only operate from designated points such as major airports.
The scheme will attempt to clear illegal taxis from airports as complaints of malpractice and cheating are damaging the country’s tourism image. Technology will be used to monitor taxi movements to ensure they are not trespassing on airports.
Once taxis can be tracked through GPS and microchip technology, authorities will be able to crackdown on those that are picking up passengers from airports. Only authorised taxis are allowed to pick up passengers at airports.
HANOI, 30 April 2013: Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affair has threatened to pull the plug on its visa-free policy for visitors from seven Asian and European countries claiming the tourism industry has not taken advantage of the concession.
It accused the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism of failing to take advantage of the policy to promote tourism.
The comments were aired in the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, which claimed the ministry’s deputy minister, Nguyen Thanh Son, had accused tourism related agencies of not promoting “Vietnam’s strong tourism potential.”
HANOI, 24 April 2013: In an effort to increase airline competitiveness, Vietnam authorities are urging local carriers to improve inflight services and staff attitude to their customers.
According to a Tuoi Tre media report, Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has sent messages to Vietnam Airlines, and private low-cost carriers, Jetstar and VietJetAir, asking them to improve the attitudes of stewards and stewardesses as well as offering better inflight services after receiving substantial complaints.
The carriers have been asked to prepare plans on how they intend to meet the ministry’s demands. The ministry also filed a request to the Airports Corporation of Vietnam to provide training to stewards and stewardesses working for all local airlines.
HO CHI MINH CITY, 24 April 2013: Tourism experts say poor infrastructure and declining safety are deterring tourists from visiting Ho Chi Minh City.
According to local news media, critics claim Ho Chi Minh City is losing its status as a tourism hub with many foreign visitors choosing to bypass it to fly directly to more attractive and safer spots in the country.
The tourism department reported there were 3.8 million visits to the southern city accounting for a 56% market share of all arrivals down from more than 60% in the past.
KHANH HOA, 22 April 2013: Iimproved services, stable prices, beautiful landscapes and variety of attractions are the drivers that are drawing tourists back to this south central province in Vietnam, according to the Provincial Culture, Sport and Tourism Department
The department quoted a recent survey that claimed 60% of foreign tourists returned to Khanh Hoa for a second visit, and 20.1% returned for a third time or more.
“It showed the reasons why travellers returned. They included improved services, stable prices, beautiful landscapes and a wide range of attractions,” the department said.
HANOI, 18 April 2013: Vietnam’s tourism experts say a lack of skilled workers will hinder tourism development in the Mekong River delta and cause the region to lag behind other areas of the country.
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s southern office acting director, Le Van Hung, told local media that the delta was one of the country’s most popular tourism destination, but a shortage of workers and skilled personnel would deter further expansion.
“Today, the region has only one training facility that supplies personnel for the tourism sector. Some divisions in Can Tho and An Giang Universities also contribute in a small measure.”
QUANG BINH, 17 April 2013: Tagged the world’s biggest cave, Vietnam’s Son Doong Cave will officially open to tourists next year, but until then a trial route through the cave is being tested.
According to the district’s committee, the preliminary cave tour was suggested by Howard Limbert, an expert and member of the British Cave Research Association.
Mr Limbert recommended a trial tour could be offered twice a month and limited to a small group of seven or eight visitors.