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Adventure travel in Northeast: potential that has not been awakened

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Ha Giang, Cao Bang and Bac Kan have great potential to develop adventure tourism, from skydiving, cave exploitation and forest trekking to mountain climbing, cycling and off-road racing. But tourism remains underdeveloped there.

Adventure travel in Northeast: potential that has not been awakened

Before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, Dung and members of his group in Hoang Mai district in Hanoi often organized phuot (a slang word used by youth which means backpacking tourism, or trekking) trips once every three or so months.

All the members of the group share the passion to conquer tough destinations which require crossing forests and streams, or climbing over steep uphill mountains.

“We departed from Hanoi on Friday and returned on late Sunday and to work Monday,” Dung said.

Since they have taken a lot of trips, they have experience in ensuring safety. They also hire local guides.

Adventure tourism is the choice of many travelers but people mostly organize trips themselves, hire locals to guide, and carry belongings and cook, rather than book tours at travel agents.

While adventure tourism and the tours to explore caves in the central region, especially in Quang inh, are designed in a professional way and attract many travelers, this type of tourism still cannot find a foothold in the Northeast. Travel firms mostly provide adventure tours in combination with traditional tours.

One of the reasons is the lack of high-quality workers. The tour guides are not well trained for adventure tourism.

The other reason is the competition among destination sites. To compete with other rivals, localities need to make higher investments to develop adventure tourism products.

Ha Giang is an example. While the potential of the locality is great, adventure tourism is still in the very early stage of development.

According to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the province only has two adventure tourism projects, including the paragliding project in Hoang Su Phi district and zipline project in Pa Piu resort in Bac Me district.

In Cao Bang, some individuals and groups have developed adventure tourism, but on a small scale. Since local authorities still haven’t set clear regulations, some establishments providing adventure tourism have had to stop operation.

The lack of tour guides is also a challenge. Very few local tour guides can satisfy demand. Most of them serve travelers as porters.

Cao Quoc Chung, Deputy Director of Vidotour Hanoi branch, said that adventure tourism in the Northeast is still fledgling. The region is still considered in a ‘depression’ in tourism. However, this can be an advantage of the region as the potential has been preserved.

A study by Research DIVE showed that the world adventure tourism market in 2019 had the value of $609 billion, while the figure is predicted to rise to $1.796 trillion by 2027, which means the annual growth rate of 15 percent.

Europe is the key market that Asian countries target, accounting for 30 percent of travelers to Asia. About 100 million European travelers book adventure tours each year, most of them from Germany and the UK.

However, there are still many things that need to be done. Cao Quoc Chung said transport infrastructure remains very poor.

Since travelers can only reach the localities by land, they have to spend 1-2 days on the way. Meanwhile, major investors have not turned up, so the products are unprofessional and unattractive.

There is also no active connection between the localities and prestigious organizations, media or enterprises to organize periodic adventure tourism products.

Local authorities still don’t pay appropriate attention to choosing and licensing adventure tourism projects. It seems that potential destination sites are still ‘hidden’.

Meanwhile, in some cases, local authorities made the wrong decision when choosing investors. Opportunities to develop adventure projects were given to undeserving investors, which harmed the ecological environment and the sustainability of the destination.

Chung cited an example, including the splitting of mountain to build Lung Cu Pagoda, the installing of a lift to serve visitors’ sightseeing and excursion at Don Cao Relic in Dong Van, and the Ma Pi Leng Panorama guest house in Meo Vac.

In order to develop adventure tourism in northeastern provinces, the Institute of Tourism Research has suggested strengthening cooperation between the Vietnam National administration of Tourism (VNAT), Vietnam Tourism Association (VTA) and local management agencies. 

Ngoc Ha

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/feature/adventure-travel-in-northeast-potential-that-has-not-been-awakened-785149.html

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Firms urge announcement of time for int’l tourism restoration in February

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Some Vietnamese airlines, travel companies and hotel businesses have proposed the Prime Minister announce the point of time for resuming international tourism in the country right in February.

Firms urge announcement of time for int’l tourism restoration in February hinh anh 1Foreign tourists visit Hoi An Acient Town, Quang Nam province, under a programme that welcomes international travellers back on a trial basis (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi – Some Vietnamese airlines, travel
companies and hotel businesses have proposed the Prime Minister announce the point
of time for resuming international tourism in the country right in February.

The urgent petition was jointly signed by Vietnam Airlines,
Vietjet, Bamboo Airways, Pacific Airlines, Vietravel Airlines, Hai Au Aviation,
along with major travel and hotel firms – Vietravel, Saigontourist, TMG, Sun
Group, and BIM.

They said the impressive results in the largest-ever
vaccination campaign have provided a particularly important basis for Vietnam
to accelerate economic recovery and reopen the aviation and tourism sectors to
international friends.

The country has been piloting the hosting of international tourists in seven localities, but this pilot programme has
served only 8,500 visitors over the last two months, they said, pointing to
strict procedures and calling for regulations and policies to be swiftly
aligned to the new context.

The firms cited opinions at the January 24 workshop between
the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism and representatives of other
ministries, localities, and businesses as saying that if Vietnam issues the message
of “reopening” at this point of time, it will be a huge opportunity for the
tourism sector to not only revive but also make a breakthrough compared to
regional countries and considerably help smooth investment and trade flows
between Vietnam and other nations.

They proposed
the PM announce the point of time for international tourism resumption in the
country right in February, when all restrictions of movement into or out of Vietnam
are lifted, so as to give a strong boost and help localities as well as
transport, accommodation and travel companies proactively make preparations
though the complete reopening could be no sooner than March 31 or April 30.

Apart from the restoration of all unilateral and
bilateral visa exemption and e-visa programmes, the businesses recommended the
Government consider expanding the visa exemption to tourists from the key and
strategic markets such as the entire Europe, Australia, and North America. They
also appealed for extending the visa exemption duration from 14 days to 30 days
to match the trend towards longer holidays./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/firms-urge-announcement-of-time-for-intl-tourism-restoration-in-february/221397.vnp

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Pu Luong – a paradise for trekkers, budget travellers

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Located in the north central province of Thanh Hoa, Pu Luong is renowned as an ideal destination for trekkers and budget travellers because of its seclusion and fantastic scenery of terraced rice fields and primary forests.

Pu Luong – a paradise for trekkers, budget travellers hinh anh 1Pu Luong during the ripening rice season. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi – Located in the north central province of Thanh Hoa, Pu Luong is renowned as an ideal destination for trekkers and budget travellers because of its seclusion and fantastic scenery of terraced rice fields and primary forests.

About 130km northwest of the provincial capital city of Thanh Hoa and 190km south of Hanoi, Pu Luong is close to several favoured tourist attractions in Hoa Binh province’s Mai Chau, Tan Lac and Lac Son districts, providing explorers with a full circle of exciting adventure.

It is the best to travel to Pu Luong at the end of May and early June since it is the occasion to start a new rice crop when terraced fields here wear a layer of green, looking all fresh and peaceful.

Mid-summer is also a good time to go to Pu Luong as it is situated in a low land limestone area, with many tropical forests and few inhabitants, making its climate quite pleasant even during hot days.

Visitors can also travel to Pu Luong between September and October when it enters harvest season, with multi-layer terraced fields on the hillsides turning yellowish, making it even more spectacular. During this time, Pu Luong is dubbed as “a paradise amidst the jungle,” attracting a lot of tourists to enjoy the scenery of ripening rice fields.

Residents in the hamlets surrounding Pu Luong, such as Son, Ba and Muoi in Lung Cao commune; Kho Muong in Thanh Son; Don in Thanh Lam; and Hieu in Co Lung, are Thai and Muong ethnic minority people who lead lives steeped in tradition and customs. They remain largely uninfluenced by modern means.

Discovering the local cuisine and culture is a highlight of any trip to Pu Luong. There is nothing more delightful than dishes made from ingredients grown right in the area. Pu Luong is home to an array of vegetables, such as baby pumpkin leaf, green beans and bamboo shoots. For a real Pu Luong lunch or dinner, visitors should try the locally raised pork and grilled mountain snails dipped in fish sauce.

In lunar February, local people flock to the top of Pu Luong to harvest wild bitter-tasting bamboo shoots which are served in various local unique dishes, from simple to difficult. The simplest one, boiled bamboo shoots served with chili fish sauce, is also the most popular dish that locals use as a treat to welcome their guests.

Far different from the hustle and bustle of city life, a day in Pu Luong starts with the sound of singing birds and babbling brooks meandering down through low hills, and the picturesque view of mountains blanketed in a fluffy layer of fog. It truly provides a great getaway for those who want to have some quality time without distractions of modern life.

There are many stilt houses in the villages where visitors can explore daily life of the locals and spend the night. They can also stay in a wide range of hotels and resorts inside Pu Luong Nature Reserve, for example, Puluong Natura Bangalow, Puluong Retreat, Puluong Eco-Garden, and Puluong OhayO, which offer a combination of local architecture and modern elements.

Pu Luong is a nature reserve established in 1999 with its area covering Ba Thuoc and Quan Hoa districts. It is considered a valuable natural reserve for scientific research, socio-economic and ecotourism development./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/pu-luong-a-paradise-for-trekkers-budget-travellers/221301.vnp

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Hanoi’s tourism expected to post growth this year

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Hanoi’s tourism has seen positive signs after COVID-19 outbreaks have taken its toll on the sector for more than two years, as new products built in the recent past have given a boost to the domestic tourism market since late 2021.

Hanoi's tourism expected to post growth this year hinh anh 1Tourists board a hop-on hop-off that passes by Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi – Hanoi’s tourism has seen positive signs after COVID-19 outbreaks have taken its toll on the sector for more than two years, as new products built in the recent past have given a boost to the domestic tourism market since late 2021.

Companies have bolstered travel tours during Tet (Lunar New Year), the largest and longest traditional festival of Vietnamese people. They are devising programmes that make tourists be at ease in the new normal, said Director of Hanoitourist Company and President of the Hanoi Travel Association Phung Quang Thang.

In addition to the launch of numerous promotions and discounts, travel agents have taken the initiative in seeking new markets and stood ready to resume outbound tours.

A panoply of tourist destinations in the capital city also work to enhance visitors’ experiences while ensuring safety amid the ongoing pandemic. 

Duong Lam ancient village in particular is holding an event to re-enact Tet festival in the past with activities of making chung (square glutinous rice) cake and traditional candies.

With rosy prospects for socio-economic development this year, the municipal Department of Tourism has built a plan for tourism recovery and development for 2022-2023, with a focus on the domestic market. It will pay heed to serving foreign holidaymakers in line with a roadmap to restart international tourism activities. 

Hanoi aims to welcome 9-10 million visitors, including 1.2-2 million foreigners in the period, raking in about 27-35 trillion VND.

To realise the targets, tour operators are advised to strengthen linkages to promote unique tourism products of Hanoi, and foster sport and health care tourism, as Vietnam is scheduled to host the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) later this year.

The city’s tourism sector need to grasp current trends as well as bolster ‘no-touch’ tourism and pay attention to human resources training in the field, said Director General of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Nguyen Trung Khanh./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/hanois-tourism-expected-to-post-growth-this-year/221281.vnp

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