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Da Nang seeks to cut low-cost tours in favour of sustainable tourism

Da Nang – The central coastal city of Da Nang will increase the level of scrutiny applied to budget tours in a bid to further develop sustainable tourism services.

Although low-cost tours or the so-called “zero dong” tours have catered to an increasing number of tourists visiting the city in recent years, there is a growing concern about their impact on the local economy. Customers on such budget tours are forced to follow the agencies’ itinerary, often visiting tourist attractions, restaurants and shopping malls where payments are electronically transferred back to foreign countries, leaving little to no profit for Da Nang city.

The Golden Bridge in Da Nang city (Photo: VNA)

The Golden Bridge in Da Nang city (Photo: VNA)

Beyond this, the demand for budget tours has sparked competition between travel companies and service industry businesses, eager to capitalise on the city’s popularity while avoiding paying taxes to local authorities.

According to Ngo Quang Vinh, Director of the municipal Department of Tourism, the rise of budget tours is not unique to Da Nang and studies have shown their impact on markets in neighbouring countries, such as Thailand and Cambodia. Statistics showed that low-cost tours make up 30 percent of the total tourism market in the region.

In a bid to reduce the number of cheap tour operators, Da Nang city is working with relevant agencies to ensure that visitors make proper payments in line with regulations. Enhancing inspections at local shops and restaurants has been prioritised to detect fraudulent trade and tax evasion.

The city is now channeling its focus on improving standards for travel agents while simultaneously working to ensure that shopping malls operate in accordance with regulations. Plans are in motion to set up representative offices in China and the Republic of Korea where greater scrutiny can be applied to package tours sold there.

Meanwhile, sustainable tourism products will be monitored to ensure that they continue to attract high-end tourists, generating higher revenues and benefits for the local population.

Da Nang’s tourism sector has grown exponentially, with an average annual growth of 20.06 percent between 2013 and 2017.

Last year alone, it hosted 6.6 million tourists, including 1.67 million foreigners. From the outset of 2018, the city welcomed around 6.5 million visitors, up 27.7 percent from the same period last year, of whom 2.4 million were foreign travellers. Total revenue gained from the tourism sector was estimated at 14 trillion VND (597 million USD), a year-on-year increase of 12.3 percent.

The city has bolstered its promotion of tourism in Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong (China), Japan and the Republic of Korea, and expanded efforts in Australia, Western Europe and Russia.

Da Nang city remains a popular tourist destination in central Vietnam and continues to develop. The online marketplace and hospitality service Airbnb announced listings of the world’s top 10 destinations for 2018, in which the city ranked fifth with a 255 percent growth in bookings.

Source: Vietnamplus

Da Nang

Trans-Vietnam cycle journey touted among world’s top charity challenges

British newspaper The Telegraph has listed 20 of world’s most popular charity challenges, including a bicycle ride from Vietnam’s north to south.

The bike ride from north to south takes cyclists through glamorous beaches in central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Le Minh

The bike ride from north to south takes cyclists through glamorous beaches in central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Le Minh

The 2,000-km (1,242 miles) ride between the capital Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City through “beaches, temples and rice paddies” would be an unforgettable experience, it said.

The journey from Hanoi heads first for Hue, which has gained fame for “ancient temples and tombs” before stopping at Hoi An, an ancient town lined with “riverside cafés, colonial architecture and a patchwork of rice paddies and sandy beach.”

The cyclists continue by pedaling down to Da Nang and My Son, which is a UNESCO heritage site in the central province of Quang Nam and home to Cham remains, before dropping by Nha Trang’s beaches.

Da Nang, a top destination in central Vietnam, is famous for the icon of Dragon Bridge.

Da Nang, a top destination in central Vietnam, is famous for the icon of Dragon Bridge.

“The last stop is Ho Chi Minh City where there’s time to reflect on your achievement,” the newspaper said.

The Telegraph list of 20 must-try charity challenges also include a trek up the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, a nine-day trek along the Great Wall of China and a bike ride from London to Paris.

Readers of leading global travel website TripAdvisor last month ranked Vietnam third in the 10 top adventure destinations around the world.

A global report published last month by the United Nations World Tourism Organization ranked Vietnam’s tourism growth as fourth in the world, with the country’s visitor numbers growing at one of the fastest rates in the world.

Vietnam was also chosen “Asia’s Leading Destination” at the 2018 World Travel Awards in Hong Kong.

Source: Nguyen Quy (VNEXPRESS)

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