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Trang An tourism in the spotlight

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will consider promoting the Trang An eco-tourism complex in the northern province of Ninh Binh on CNN. Minister Hoang Tuan Anh announced this plan at a reception for Shamila Gopalan, Southeast Asia account director of the US TV channel, earlier this month. He invited CNN reporters to cover ceremonies to receive the new title of Ha Long Bay as one of the seven new natural wonders of the world on April 27 in Ha Noi and May 1 in Ha Long City.

Sofitel Plaza Ha Noi re-opens

Sofitel Plaza Ha Noi recently held its grand re-launch after an extensive series of renovations. The upgrades throughout the 317-room property include a full renewal of the hotel’s accommodation, ballroom and business facilities as well as inside-out makeovers of its Chinese restaurant and rooftop bar.

The new design of the Luxury Club Rooms available for guests were featured in a special display at the hotel’s relaunch. Featuring a live jazz performance, fashion show and lucky draw, the event celebrated the conclusion of the property’s most significant overhaul since its grand opening in 2001.

HCM City travel firms roll out discounts

HCM City travel agencies are offering discounts to attract customers during the long holiday weekend at the end of this month. Students and government employees have four days off with Liberation Day on April 30 and International Labour Day on May 1 following a weekend.

Vung Tau, Phan Thiet, Nha Trang, and Phu Quoc are the most popular destinations for people seeking to escape the city’s scorching weather. However, many travel agencies said bookings were still slightly down from last year.

Viet Nam Airlines will offer a discount of 40 per cent on domestic air fares for travel agencies to promote local travel until December 31, according to its southern office.

Ha Long to curb number of boats

Quang Ninh provincial authorities will not encourage building more boats offering overnight accommodation for tourists in Ha Long Bay, and check the operation of existing tourist vessels, especially those offering overnight stay.

The provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said the decision was one of the measures taken to ensure tourists’ safety. After the sinking of Truong Hai No 06 boat in the bay last year, Quang Ninh has introduced new stringent regulations for operating tourist boats. The department has also completed draft regulations for operating tourist boats, including the withdrawal of wooden vessels.

Charity caravan tour of Laos

The 2030 Businessmen Club has announced this year’s charity caravan trip to Laos would depart from Da Nang on April 28. The cavalcade of cars will go through Quang Tri Province, Savanakhet (in Laos) and Hue before returning to Da Nang on May 2.

The 120 members, their families, and other donors will offer gifts worth VND150 million (US$7,200) to 300 students at the Tram Primary School in Quang Tri’s Trieu Phong District. Each participant will have to pay VND15 million ($720), which will cover the round air ticket between HCM City and Da Nang and car rental.

Vespa club members hit the road

Ten motorcyclists from the Ha Noi Vespa Club last Saturday began a tour of Viet Nam, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. It follows a 4,000km tour in 2008 and a Viet Nam-Laos-Cambodia trip last year.

The club has received strong support from the 2,600-member Vespa fan community nationwide as well as thousands of others around the world. The club plans to make a documentary and diary to record exchanges they have with Vespa lovers during the trip, which is set to last until April 28.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

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