HCM CITY – Tourism connections between HCM City and the Mekong Delta have been rebooted as soon as Việt Nam opened up fully to foreign tourists, experts say.
They also said at a recent conference in Bạc Liêu Province that it was necessary to further boost tourism cooperation between HCM City and the 13 provinces and cities comprising the Mekong Delta.
Participants noted that even though the tourism scene in Bạc Liêu had “frozen” due to the drastic impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic, it had revived soon after the situation improved and Việt Nam shifted its strategy to living safely with the novel coronavirus.
Of the province’s 15 tourism spots, Bạc Liêu hosts eight of nine that are recognised by the Mekong Delta Tourism Association as prominent destinations. With such potential, tourism revival in the province will continue strongly, conference speaker said.
Nguyễn Minh Tuấn, deputy director of the Cần Thơ City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that the local administration would continue implementing plans to make tourism a spearhead economic sector.
Lý Văn Bon, a resident of Cần Thơ City’s Bình Thuỷ District, said that the tourism-dependent communities have started redecorating their facilities and preparing to welcome visitors.
“In addition to raising many species of fish for visitors to take photos of, I have planted more flowers and expanded the accommodation space. Since foreign guests prefer spending time in the kitchen and sleeping on the raft, I have also rearranged existing furniture and cleaned up these areas,” Bon added.
Trần Hiếu Hùng, director of the Cà Mau Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said a programme called “Cà Mau, a destination in 2022” has been launched to introduce and promote the potentials and strengths of the southern most province in the country.
He said this provides an opportunity for relevant authorities to build strong tourism connections between Cà Mau and neighboring provinces as well as the Mekong Delta and HCM City.
Visitors to Cà Mau in this year will be able to experience shell races on the Đất Mũi mudflat, sail on the Cái Tàu River and even participate in the record-setting ceremony for the largest beehive in Việt Nam, apart from enjoying delicious seafood including the the best sea crab in the South, he said.
Meanwhile, Đồng Tháp Province is actively preparing several tourism promotion activities, renewing existing services and upgrading tourism human resources.
Võ Tiến Thành, director of the province’s Centre for Trade, Tourism and Investment Promotion, said that Đồng Tháp would continue to promote digital transformation of businesses, households and communities alongside developing a new tourism model and making a digital tourism map.
“We have also restarted the tourism stimulus linkage programme with the Central region, the Central Highlands and northern provinces while participating in the VITM Hà Nội International Tourism Fair and promoting the lotus festival, among other activities,” Thành said.
A report by the HCM City Department of Tourism on the results of a 2019-2022 tourism development cooperation programme between HCM City and the Mekong Delta said it has been implemented effectively and inspired businesses including start-ups.
Nguyễn Thị Ánh Hoa, director of the HCM City Department of Tourism, said that the city and the Mekong Delta need to further promote two-way tourism flows, tackle tourism enterprises’ current challenges and gradually remove locals’ fear of travelling.
Since HCM City is identified as a tourism gateway, it is necessary to create attractive products that will draw in more tourists, she said.
Trần Đoàn Thế Duy, general director of the Vietravel Tourism Company, said that linkages between localities, including the one between HCM City and the Mekong Delta, have contributed to unifying regulations on epidemic prevention and facilitating tourism.
However, though tourism products in each locality in the delta have improved in quality, they are relatively repetitive, Duy said, adding that was necessary to boost the tourism uniqueness of each place.
Survey conducted within the conference’s framework have helped businesses improve the quality of tourism services in certain destinations; therefore, more feedback was necessary to make them more meaningful to domestic and international tourists, he added. –
Ho Chi Minh City youth celebrate 25 years of Harry Potter in Vietnam
A series of activities were held at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday to mark the 25th year since the first Harry Potter book, a best-selling series by British author J.K. Rowling, was released in Vietnam.
The Tre (Youth) Publishing House, which owns the copyrights for the novel series in Vietnam, hosted numerous events including interactive games, trivia and drawing contests.
Making its debut 25 years ago, the novel quickly became a firm favorite among young Vietnamese readers.
|Young people pose for a photo with accessories from Harry Potter books, a best-selling series by British author J.K. Rowling, at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in Ho Chi Minh City, September 25, 2022. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre|
|Young fans attend a quiz during a series of activities held at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in Ho Chi Minh City to mark the 25th year since the first Harry Potter book, a best-selling series by British author J.K. Rowling, was released in Vietnam, September 25, 2022. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre|
Many Harry Potter lovers expressed their joy during the celebration on Sunday.
“To me, Harry Potter is not just a novel, it’s another world that anyone can be immersed in,” said Le Hoang Phuong Vy, a girl from District 7 who claimed to have read the series since she was still in elementary school.
During the celebration, the Tre Publishing House also introduced the illustrated Vietnamese edition of the ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ – the fifth novel in the world-famous series.
|The illustrated Vietnamese edition of the ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,’ the fifth novel in the world-famous series, is introduced at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in Ho Chi Minh City, September 25, 2022. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre|
|Young fans cosplaying as characters in Harry Potter books, a best-selling series by British author J.K. Rowling, pose for a photo at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in Ho Chi Minh City, September 25, 2022. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre|
Domestic destinations remain popular following peak summer season in Vietnam
The domestic tourism market in Vietnam remains bustling following the peak summer season with autumn-winter tours to popular mountainous destinations in the northwest and northeast regions.
As many autumn-winter tours to foreign countries are not yet favorable following the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers in Vietnam have decided to visit the country’s northwest and northeast provinces to admire the beauty of nature.
Some of the popular choices include Mu Cang Chai District in Yen Bai Province, home to magnificent terraced rice fields, and Moc Chau District in Son La Province, famous for the beautiful buckwheat blossom.
The number of bookings for tours to mountainous localities in northern Vietnam has been increasing, according to local travel agents.
A representative of Vietravel said that more than 6,500 visitors have booked the company’s tours to such destinations.
At Saigontourist has also sold their tours to about 6,000 customers, meeting 60 percent of its target for this travel season.
To meet this demand, travel companies have focused on tailoring new products for the autumn-winter season, which include high-quality services and new experiences for visitors.
According to a representative of TST tourist, the firm’s clients often seek tours to South Korea, Japan, or the United States during this time of the year.
As overseas travel is not yet convenient in the current context, domestic tourism continues to be the choice of local travelers.
To seize this opportunity, travel agencies across the country should form close cooperation to introduce their services to a wider range of tourists, said Lai Minh Duy, general director of TST tourist.
Pham Ngoc Thuy, director of the Department of Tourism in northern Quang Ninh Province, stated that the province is focusing on preparing for the autumn-winter tourism after the peak summer season.
In addition to popular destinations such as Yen Tu and Ha Long Bay, the locality is promoting new places like Dong Trieu, known as the original homeland of the Tran Dynasty, Binh Lieu, Mong Cai, and Uong Bi, Thuy elaborated.
The autumn-winter travel season often runs from September to October.
150-year-old French consulate edifice in Ho Chi Minh City opens to public on European Heritage Days
The Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday again opened its door to visitors for one day as part of the European Heritage Days.
The 150-year-old building welcomed visitors who were required to register in advance and divided into small groups for 30-minute tours from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm within the day.
The tours took visitors to the special architectural spaces inside the Consulate General, the artworks and furniture of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802–1945) displayed at the venue, and a 1.5-hectare park home to ages-old trees.
The visitors also had the chance to try specialties from France.
|A visitor takes a picture of an eight-piece folding screen displayed on the wall of the large living room at the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on September 17, 2022. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
According to French Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Emmanuelle Pavillon-Grosser, the European Heritage Days was initiated by the French Ministry of Culture in 1984 and has been celebrated around the world thanks to its success.
The annual event offers opportunities to visit buildings, monuments, and sites, many of which are not normally accessible to the public.
|French Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Emmanuelle Pavillon-Grosser (L, 2nd) introduces the statue of Marianne, the symbol of France, displayed at the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on September 17, 2022. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
|French Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Emmanuelle Pavillon-Grosser sits at the French-style banquet table in the large dining room at the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on September 17, 2022. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
Visiting the French consulate for the first time on Saturday, art researcher Ngo Kim Khoi said having the building open to visitors is a good way to educate about heritage and culture, as it is not easy for the public to have the opportunity to set foot in the 150-year-old edifice.
|Art researcher Ngo Kim Khoi admires an artwork by renowned Vietnamese artist Nguyen Gia Tri during his visit to the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on September 17, 2022. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
In 2008, the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City welcomed more than 1,300 visitors on the occasion and a bigger number the next year.
|Visitors take pictures at the corridor while visiting the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on September 17, 2022. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
|The small living room with original cement floor tiles from 1872 at the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
|A green space inside the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
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