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Tourism officials from Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar discussed solutions for luring tourists to their region and integrate their tourist industry as they met in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday. The five countries are members of a political, economic, and cultural bloc known as ACMECS and have agreed to turn the region into an attractive destination for global vacationers under a campaign called “Five Countries, One Destination.” The tourism officials suggested during the meeting that more policies be issued to

Vietnam has announced that it is planning a major change to its tourist visa policy, for a Holiday to Vietnam a move meant to woo travelers from the U.S. The Southeast Asian nation has said that it plans to increase the amount of time that tourist visas are valid for American visitors. Currently, travelers from the U.S. can get a visa for either one or three months (with options for single and multiple entries). The new visas would allow these tourists to stay

The Singapore-based real estate firm officially opens the SC VivoCity mall in Ho Chi Minh City.   SINGAPORE: Singapore-based real estate firm Mapletree has expanded into Vietnam’s retail property sector, with the official opening of its first shopping mall in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday (Sep 20). SC VivoCity, jointly developed by Mapletree and Saigon Co Op Investment Development Joint Stock Company (SCID), has a gross floor area of 62,000 square meters. Retailers have taken up 84 percent of the net lettable

Pleiku Airport in Gia Lai Province was reopened on September 10 after being closed for nearly six months for an upgrade project, following the transport ministry’s request. The two-phase VND945 billion (US$41.19 million) upgrade project in the Central Highlands province was launched last September. The first phase was carried out even as the airport remained operational. In its second phase, the airport was closed for nearly six months for construction work on its runway. The runway was widened from 36m to 45m

This week, TripAdvisor revealed the winners of the Travellers’ Choice Landmarks. Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, the best-preserved temple in Angkor, is the monument of choice for travellers. Travellers have shown a preference for historical monuments that have stood the test of time. Proof lies in the temple of Angkor Wat clinching the first spot in the Travellers’ Choice Landmarks listing, followed by the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu in second and the Taj Mahal in third. This ranking shows the popularity of

Laos is pushing ahead with plans to develop its tourism industry, including the river cruise sector, to capitalize on the expected surge of holidaymakers in the ASEAN region. This was disclosed by the Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Vice Minister Chaleune Warinthrasak who said that government and the private sector must work together to develop, natural, cultural and heritage tourism ahead of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) launch later this year. Speaking at the 16th Lanith Symposium held in Vientiane

Vietnamese-Russian venture Pegas Travel Vietnam has scrapped its plan to restore charter flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Moscow, fearing losses, news website Saigon Times Online reported Thursday. One of the major tour operators in the Russian market, the company had planned to resume the service on October 20. It had been suspended along with flights to Phu Quoc Island early this year due to a sharp decline in Russian tourist numbers. In August Pegas had said that with the ruble

Hanoi’s People’s Committee has approved a proposal by the local Department of Transport to move all tourist boats and floating restaurants from the West Lake to Dam Bay area in Nhat Tan Ward within October. The decision has received wide support from the tourism sector and local people, who have long criticized these boats for blocking views and polluting the lake. Six tourist boats were licensed to operate on the West Lake, but fare more was operating illegally. They discharged a huge

In the wonderful world of Vietnamese tourist visas, the rules seem to change everyday. Whether it’s permitting certain passport holders to enter the country visa-free or discussing whether to waive visa fees for other nationalities, something is always up for debate. Yesterday, however, some happy news arrived from Vietnamese officials. After much debate, the Ministry of Finance announced it will slash tourist visa fees in a bid to boost arrivals through the end of this year, reports Tuoi Tre. Starting November 23,

Thanks to numerous advantages in policy and market, the tourism sector was forecast to rebound in the rest of the year after constant declines in Q3, said Director General of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Mr. Nguyen Van Tuan. In January-September, Viet Nam served nearly 5.7 million foreign guests and 48.8 million domestic guests and earned over VND 269 trillion (representing a year-on-year surge of 2.8%). The falling growth rate of foreign visitors was only 5.9% in comparison with 12% in the