Vietnam Railway Corporation to lower ticket prices for September

Train fares will temporarily go down by at least 10 per cent, said the Viet Nam Railway Corporation.

Starting September 5, customers can expect to pay about VND1.7 million (US$81) for a soft sleeper ticket with air conditioning in train SE 3/4 from Ha Noi to HCM City. This is a reduction of 13 per cent from the current price of VND2 million ($96).

For a soft sleeper with air conditioning in train TN1/2 from Ha Noi to HCM City, passengers will pay about VND1.3 million ($61), down 10 per cent from the current price of VND1.4 million ($66).

Regular prices will go back into effect after the end of the month.

The Viet Nam Railway Corporation will also reduce other fees and costs including additional seat fares, passenger insurance and service costs, train fares for beneficiary targets and groups.

Vinh – Da Nang route to be reopened

Vietnam Airlines will reopen flights between the central provinces of Vinh and Da Nang with four flights per week from October 28 this year.

The move is aimed at satisfying customers’ demands. Flights will take off on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

VietJetAir serves new routes with low-cost fares

Viet Nam’s low-cost carrier, VietJet Air, has announced a special promotion for domestic flights on its newly-launched HCM City-Hai Phong route, with a one-way ticket costing just VND19,000 (less than US$1).

Thousands of the discounted tickets will be sold from 9pm to midnight on August 22 for flights between October 1 and December 31, 2012. Passengers can book tickets on the VietJetAir website,, or at VietJetAir offices nationwide.

Flights from HCM City will depart at 9:50am and arrive in Hai Phong at 11:45am, while those leaving Hai Phong will take off at 12:20. VietJetAir plans to develop its Airbus A320 fleet to serve both domestic and international flights. It will also increase the frequency of its flights and connect to more airports in Viet Nam and abroad.

Danang wants air route to Bangkok resumed

Danang City authorities are working with related sides in an endeavor to reopen the air connection between Danang City and Thailand’s Bangkok which has been suspended since last year.

According to the city’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the local government now is working with Thai Airways, the foreign carrier of the route earlier, as one of the partners. Besides, the city also pins high hopes on the participation of AirAsia as another air service supplier for the same route.

The central coast city’s authorities expect to bring the route back to life late this year or early next year.

“The department and travel agencies and hotels will join hands with the Thai carrier to re-open the route. International hotels also expect the number of customers to their hotels to rise thanks to the service resumption,” said Tran Chi Cuong, director of the Travel Management Division under the department.

Cuong told the Daily that local tour operators and hotels will cover part of the total number of tickets to help the carrier offset losses while the carrier will attract foreign visitors for them in return.

“We expect to resume the connection late this year or early next year. In preparation, we will launch a road show in Bangkok to introduce the local tourism in October,” Cuong revealed.

Two foreign carriers which are operating regular flights from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and from Singapore to Danang are AirAsia and SilkAir.

The central coastal city is also cooperating with Hong Thai Travel Services Ltd., one of the biggest travel agencies in Hong Kong, in a bid to promote the local tourism there. At the end of this month, a group of tour operators from Hong Kong will come to Danang to study tourism products and services of the central region.

Under the agreement between the two sides, Hong Kong tourists in October will be taken to Danang via chartered flights and then the flights will be developed into regular ones.

The city in the year’s first half welcomed nearly 1.33 million travelers, up 9% year-on-year, fetching an estimated turnover of more than VND2.9 trillion, a pickup of 39%.

In related development, SilkAir late last week arranged a familiarization trip lasting four days for a group of 18 Vietnamese media and travel agencies on the air route linking Danang, Singapore and Malaysia.

The group explored destinations in Singapore and Malaysia, especially Penang Island that is home to a well-known Malaysian ancient town and several resorts.

SilkAir is expected to arrange more trips to neighboring countries for travel agencies in the central region.

The Guide Awards honors 120 tourism firms

The 13th Guide Awards Ceremony organized by The Guide (Thoi bao) will take place at the Imperial Hotel in Vung Tau City on Saturday.

On this occasion, The Guide magazine (Vietnam Economic Times) will honor 120 businesses in the hospitality industry including hotels, resorts, apartment complexes, restaurants/bars/cafes, beauty salons/healthcare services, tour operators/transportation companies and sport/entertainment service companies voted for by readers and the editorial board of the magazine.

Especially, the organizers will give special credit to the Caravelle Hotel, the Melia Hanoi Hotel, Buffalo Tour and Luxury Travel for being honored over a number of consecutive years.

Apart from the awards based on the general criteria, Sen xanh (Green Lotus) awards will also be presented to large enterprises with excellent environmental protection activities.

The Guide Awards which has been held since 1999 is presented annually to enterprises, companies, organizations, individuals and localities throughout Vietnam that contribute to the development of tourism nationwide.

The Awards is sponsored by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations and the Vietnam Economics Association.

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