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Bình Thuận set to welcome tourists back as VN reopens borders




Mũi Né Beach in Bình Thuận Province’s Phan Thiết City. The beach attracts tourists with its beauty and beach sports. — VNA/ Photo Hồng Hiếu

BÌNH THUẬN — The south-central province of Bình Thuận has identified tourism as one of three key pillars of its socio-economic development, and is focused on developing it in a professional manner.      

This would be done in combination with environmental protection and preservation and promotion of cultural identities, its Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said.

It has mountains, plains and a long coastline with attractive landscapes including unspoiled beaches, diverse culture and ancient architectural sites to attract tourists.

The province is well known for its safe, friendly and quality tourism destinations.

As the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic froze tourism activities for the last two years, the province has again begun to welcome tourists again in recent months and made a good start. 

With the province authorities, localities and tourist companies taking various measures to revive tourism, nearly 600,000 people visited it in the first two months of this year, including more than 10,000 foreigners.  

The province effectively implemented policies to support tourist companies and workers who faced difficulties due to the pandemic, helping them recover.

This year it targets attracting 4.5 million tourists, including 220,000 foreigners, compared to 6.5 million in 2019, and earning revenues of VNĐ13 trillion (US$570 million).

Nguyễn Ngọc Lan, deputy director of the department, said: “The province will renovate and improve the quality of tourism products by focusing on developing sea, sport, entertainment, and cultural products.”

It would improve their quality of human resources to meet market requirements, she promised.

Digitisation and the use of advanced technologies would be strengthened for developing tourism services, she said.

“The province will focus on promotional activities to make Bình Thuận become an international tourism destination.”

With the pandemic affecting promotional activities to attract foreign tourists, the department has switched to focusing on domestic tourists.  

It carried out field trips in Tuy Phong, Bắc Bình and Hàm Thuận Nam districts and Phan Thiết City to survey their tourism destinations and new tourism products and recommended them to tourists.

Welcome tourists

Tourism companies and accommodation facilities in the province have taken measures like upgrading rooms and service quality to prepare for the arrival of foreign tourists when the country fully reopens on March 15.

Hoàng Ngọc Resort in Phan Thiết City’s Hàm Tiến Ward, for instance, has repaired and upgraded all its facilities like reception area, restaurant, swimming pools, and rooms.

It has retrained its staff to ensure service quality improves and taught them COVID safety measures.

Trần Văn Sang, deputy director of the resort, said: “All preparations were done in the past two months and [we] now await the return of international tourists.”

The province’s traditional tourist markets include Russia, China and South Korea.

But Sang added, “Beside traditional international tourist markets, we aim to diversify [to get tourists] from Germany, the UK, Sweden, Denmark and other countries.” 

The province, renowned as a ‘resort capital’ since 1995, is known for its seaside resorts and beach sports, which are popular among foreign tourists.

It has more than 200 hotels and other properties to accommodate tourists.

Most are rated three- to five-star and are in Phan Thiết City and La Gi Town, the province’s most popular tourism destinations.

Bình Thuận plans to achieve tourism growth of 18 – 20 per cent a year from now through 2025, reaching 8.9 million tourists in that year, and for the sector to contribute 10 – 11 per cent of its regional gross domestic product. —

Tourists boil eggs in a natural hot spring in Bình Thuận Province’s Hàm Thuận Nam District. — VNA/ Photo Nguyễn Thanh




Police probe suspected child abuse case in Vietnam’s Ha Tinh Province



Police in Ha Tinh Province, north-central Vietnam are investigating a case of suspected child abuse after a video clip spread on social media showed a half-naked man beating a teen girl with nothing on.

In the four-minute clip, the unclothed girl was hung against the ceiling of a house with a string that tied her hands while the man was beating her with a rod.

The video has triggered deep indignation among the online community after it was posted on Friday morning.

The incident took place at a house in Cuong Gian Commune, located in the province’s Nghi Xuan District, as far as Tien Phong (Youth) newspaper had learned.

Hoang Van Ha, chairman of the commune’s administration, confirmed to Tien Phong that the incident occurred in the locality, adding local police have launched an investigation into it.

The girl in the clip is N., 11, and the man beating her is her father, N.V.T., 36, Ha said.

N. is the second child in her family of three siblings and N.’s mother is now a guest worker in Taiwan, according to local authorities.

“The incident happened a few days ago. After the video clip appeared, local authorities and police came to T.’s house for verification but he had left,” Ha said.

T. works as a seaman and often drinks alcohol and beats his children, Ha added.

Local police are continuing to investigate this suspected child abuse case.

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Torrential rain sinks streets, houses in northern Vietnamese province



Multiple streets and houses in Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam were severely inundated following a heavy downpour on Thursday evening.

The provincial steering committee for natural disaster prevention and rescue told Tien Phong (Youth) newspaper on Friday that local authorities were dealing with the aftermath of the rain and calculating the total damage it had done.

The downpour that lasted for over an hour started battering Lao Cai City, which is the provincial capital, and several districts in Lao Cai Province at around 8:00 pm on Thursday.

A tree is uprooted during the downpour in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, August 4, 2022. Photo: L.Cai / Tien Phong

A tree is uprooted during the downpour in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, August 4, 2022. Photo: L.Cai / Tien Phong

Many streets including Tran Phu, Tran Hung Dao, Le Thanh, Nhac Son, An Duong Vuong, and Pho Moi were submerged by rainwater, while numerous cars and motorbikes broke down as well.

Uprooted trees were recorded on Ham Nghi Street and at Goc Mit Market and Thang Binh Park.

Flooding in local neighborhoods occurred quickly, leaving residents little to no time to react.

A resident pushes his motorbike on a flooded street in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, August 4, 2022. Photo: L.Cai / Tien Phong

A resident pushes his motorbike on a flooded street in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, August 4, 2022. Photo: L.Cai / Tien Phong

Many people reported having their homes, electrical appliances, and motorbikes damaged by the inundation.

Bac Cuong Ward in Lao Cai City suffered the heaviest damage with three neighborhoods sunk by the downpour.

The heavy rain also caused landslides in several areas across the province.

The National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting previously reported that torrential rains would lash northern Vietnam from Thursday until the end of this week.

Houses are submerged by a heavy downpour in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, August 4, 2022. Photo: L.Cai / Tien Phong

Houses are submerged by a heavy downpour in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, August 4, 2022. Photo: L.Cai / Tien Phong

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Vietnamese province revamps public bus service after limbless man ignored by drivers



The Department of Transport of the north-central Vietnamese province of Nghe An has ordered a revamp of local public bus routes after a limbless man spent two hours repeatedly failing to flag down a bus, apparently because drivers were simply ignoring him.

A viral video posted online on Thursday showed Huynh Thanh Duc, 51, a resident of Ha Tinh Province, telling a local in Hoa Thanh Commune, Yen Thanh District, Nghe An Province that he stood at a bus stop waiting for a bus from 7:00 am to 9:00 am on Wednesday.

Duc, who is quadruple amputee, was dropped off at the bus stop by his child at around 7:00 am that day to catch bus No. 5 from Yen Thanh to Vinh City, the capital of Nghe An.

Three No. 5 buses passed while Duc and his child waited, but none stopped.

Duc’s child wound up having to leave to attend to an urgent matter, and shortly after a fourth No. 5 bus drove by without stopping for Duc.

A local named D., who filmed the viral video, helped Duc wave a bus down and help him aboard.

The video of the incident draw huge public attention and stirred mixed opinions, mostly criticism.

A video of Huynh Thanh Duc attempting to catch bus No. 5 in Hoa Thanh Commune, Yen Thanh District, Nghe An Province, Vietnam, August 3, 2022. Video: Tien Phong

In their initial response to the incident, the operator of the No. 5 bus route explained that Duc stood a bit too far from the bus stop to be noticed and showed no signs of needing a ride.

However, according to D., it is common for passengers at the stop to wait in the shade of the nearby tree, rather than right at the stop. 

They only run to the bus stop once the bus arrives. 

Unfortunately, Duc was not able to leave the shade for the bus stop due to his disability.

On Thursday afternoon, Nguyen Van Hai, deputy director of the Nghe An Department of Transport, requested that his subordinates revamp service on all public bus routes in the province following the incident.

Nghe An currently has more than 300 buses which run a combined 1,300 trips per day at a frequency of about 15-35 minutes per departure.

Vietnamese law stipulates that priority has to be given to public transport passengers with disabilities, including prioritized seating, free or discounted fares, and assistance with boarding and deboarding.

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