Daily Archives: May 10, 2020

Vietnam joins hands with Italy in combating COVID-19

Many organisations, businesses and individuals in Vietnam have donated medical supplies to help Italy in the fight against COVID-19, showing the Southeast Asian nation’s solidarity, sharing and responsible international cooperation, said Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Nguyen ThiBich Hue.

According to the diplomat, the embassy has actively participated in mobilising medical supplies to support the host country in its efforts to contain the disease.

On April 17, more than 100,000 face masks gifted by the Vietnamese Government, along with 23,000 face masks, 500 protective suits and other medical supplies donated by businesses and individuals in Vietnam, were handed over to Italy, one of the European countries hardest hit by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

Previously, the Uni-Italia Association in Vietnam and the Vietnam – Italy Friendship Association also presented 8,500 face masks to the Italian side.

Hue said these valuable medical supplies have been delivered directly to overseas Vietnamese people and students living, studying and working across the European nation; local civil protection agencies in the epidemic-hit centres; and hospitals, nursing homes, police departments in Rome, and other regions.

According to the diplomat, Government and State leaders of Italy, local governments, the Vietnamese community and international friends in the host country all expressed their appreciation of Vietnam’s valuable assistance to Italy in the most difficult days in the country’s history since the World War II.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio expressed their thanks to Prime Minister Nguyen XuanPhuc, the Government and people of Vietnam for joining hands with Italy in the fight against Covid-19.

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasised that this support affirmed the practical significance of the Vietnam – Italy strategic partnership, adding that Vietnam’s assistance will help Italy come to recovery soon.

Italy currently records the third highest number ofCOVID-19 cases in the world, after the US and Spain, with 218,268 infections and 30,395 deaths as of May 9.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Natural disasters cause 3.6-million-USD losses in northern region

Recent heavy rain, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and lighting have caused estimated economic losses of 83.5 billion VND (over 3.6 million USD) in 10 northern provinces.

The affected provinces are Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Cao Bang, Son La, Yen Bai, Thai Nguyen, BacKan, HoaBinh, PhuTho and Nghe An, according to the Standing Office of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.

The natural disasters claimed one life in PhuTho, and injured 16 others.

They caused the collapse of 44 homes; blew away the roofs of 6,728 houses and 83 schools; destroyed 1,703 hectares of rice and other crops, 48 ha of fruit trees, and 932ha of industrial plants; and killed 3,650 heads of poultry.

The office has been requested to keep close watch on developments of natural disasters, promptly handle and take measures to help localities overcome the consequences, thus helping people stablise their production.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Reburial service for martyrs in Ha Giang

A memorial and reburial service for martyrs who laid down their lives in the struggle for safeguarding the northern border, was held at Vi Xuyen National Martyrs’ Cemetery in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang on May 9.

Attending the event were former President Truong Tan Sang, Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen Le Chiem, and Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Dang QuocKhanh, among others.

Earlier from April 20 to May 7, the search team for martyrs’ remains from the provincial Military Command found seven sets of martyrs’ remains in ThanhThuy commune, ViXuyen district. All of them remain unaccounted for.

Since the beginning of this year, the provincial Military Command has found 24 sets of martyrs’ remains and a mass grave of soldiers fallen in the fight safeguarding the northern border.

The cemetery is now home to over 1,800 martyrs.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Peace for the soul in Tam Coc

Tam Coc Scenery Complex in Hoa Lu district, the northern province of NinhBinh, is one of the most beautiful cave complexes in Vietnam.

In this time of transition between spring and summer, Tam Coc is bathed in an immense green colour of rice fields along the banks of the Ngo Dong River, creating a romantic and magnificent scene.

Visiting the site, tourists will lose themselves in the beauty of mountains, caves and rural villages, and perhaps even find some peace for their souls in the splendour of nature.

From a high view on a mountain, the scenery looks more like a stunning painting than reality.

The only way to get deep inside Tam Coc Complex is by boat while as the road ends after reaching the first cave.

Tam Coc, inside the famed TrangAn Landscape Complex, a UNESCO-recognised heritage site, with karst mountains and water rice fields, has been nicknamed an inland Ha Long Bay.

“Tam Coc”, which means “three caves” in Vietnamese, includes the caves Ca, Hai and Ba, which were created by the river current running through karst mountains.

Ca Cave measures 127m in length with an entrance up to 20m in width. It is cool and humid inside the cave, which has a lot of stalagmites.

Hai Cave, located nearly 1km from Ca Cave, runs 60m long. Ba Cave near Hai Cave and runs 50m long. Its roof is lower than the first two caves.

The river cruise will take about two hours. Rice fields run from the end of the first cave to the second. At the end of May and early June, when the rice matures, the scenery is more brilliant with the yellow rice emerging from the green background of mountain, river and plants.

NinhBình province is more than 90km south of capital Hanoi. This year, the province is hosting the National Tourism Year. Various tourism promotion activities have been planned to lure both domestic and foreign tourists.

Last year, the province received 7.6 million tourists, a 4.79 percent year-on-year increase over the previous year. Income from tourism in 2019 reached 3.6 trillion VND (155 million USD).

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam seeks to boost tourism following COVID-19

The Prime Minister has recently assigned the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to devise measures to develop tourism following COVID-19 pandemic.

As countries around the world are preparing to enter a race for tourism market share, Vietnam needs to make good use of images of COVID-19 prevention and control to promote itself as a “safe, friendly and health-assured” destination, while improving service quality and implementing reasonable promotional policies.

The ministry also issued Plan No.1749/KH-BVHTTDL to launch the programme “Vietnamese people travel Vietnam” in a bid to stimulate domestic tourism.

Run from June 1 to December 31, the programme aims to popularise attractive destinations and tourist products at reasonable prices, as well as introduce demand stimulus packages.

It will be launched in several tourism localities to attract the involvement of tourism associations, businesses, airlines and partners.

Localities were asked to offer ticket exemption or reduction at relic sites, museums and tourist areas, thus ensuring a safe, friendly and quality tourism environment.

Travel companies were recommended to develop new tourism products and improve professionalism in catering guests while transport firms should offer ticket reduction and work with travel agencies to build full-package tours.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Short-haul flights to lead recovery

Vietnam’s reopening of its domestic travel sector is expected to be replicated by focusing on short-haul Asian markets that will enhance its international tourism profile, according to a survey conducted by the hospitality consulting group, the C9 Hotelworks, and Delivering Asia Communications.

The country has effectively demonstrated a COVID-19 fighting model in Southeast Asia with a focus on the all-important driver of airlift demand.

The newly released survey of qualified travellers from first-tier cities in China by hospitality consulting group C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications was created to understand relevant overseas travel sentiment for the remainder of 2020, and to analyse demand for Chinese inbound tourism to Vietnam.

Key points highlighted in the survey are that nearly half of the respondents want to travel abroad this year, with 45 percent interested in travelling specifically to Vietnam.

Moreover, post COVID-19 Chinese travellers are looking at more mainstream, well-known destinations with top Vietnam picks being HCM City, Hanoi, NhaTrang/Cam Ranh Bay and Ha Long Bay.

Speaking about the reopening of Vietnamese tourism, C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett said: “A post-crisis short-term ‘fear factor’ is expected for extended air travel which will be manifested in a preference for short-haul, door-to-door flights, which is a key opportunity for China outbound tourism to Vietnam.”

“Of equal importance is to understand that, at the moment, and in the coming months, domestic travel and tourism will define the gradual recovery process. What is significant about the China Vietnam Survey is who the immediate post-crisis travellers are, and how hotels and tourism stakeholders can proactively meet their needs. We see a parallel trend in early travellers both domestically and from the China data, which pair up in a new tourism visitor profile,” said Barnett.

Putting the market insights to use is an important sentiment voiced by David Johnson, CEO of Delivering Asia Communications, who added that “a 360 degree view of the results from over 1,000 qualified respondents concludes that tourism for the remainder of the year will be heavily leveraged by younger travellers 20-29 years old who are increasingly placing an emphasis on booking hotels on digital platforms”.

“Two other significant trends from our China research showed that aside from sightseeing and eating being key activities, nature moved up in preference, which could be a reaction to a post-crisis change in tourism values. Diving into accommodation preferences, the two ends of the price spectrum of budget/economy and five-star hotels drew the most positive responses from the Chinese surveyed,” he said.

One final takeaway from the survey is how younger travellers are reflected, with 81 percent saying they would choose independent travel over group tours. This fact, coupled by younger Chinese booking travel digitally via WeChat and Fliggy, is a new twist in Vietnam’s marketing to China inbound tourists.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Seafood exports to drop 5 percent in Q2

Vietnam’s seafood exports will continue to see reductions in next few months due to the pandemic, with a slight year-on-year decrease of 5 percent to 2 billion USD in the second quarter, according to the Vietnam Association Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

The seafood processing and exporting enterprises would continue facing difficulties relating to export orders, transport and payment.

The seafood export in the second quarter would not be able to recover because some major export markets for local seafood products are still strongly affected by the pandemic, especially the EU and US markets. The seafood exports to China also would not be able to recover.

The shipments are expected to see positive growth in the third and fourth quarters, according to the association.

Vietnam’s seafood export value in the first four months of this year fell 10 percent year-on-year to 2.18 billion USD, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The ministry’s Department of Farm Produce Processing and Market Development reported that both tra fish and shrimp, Vietnam’s two major export seafood products, had strong declines of about 32 percent to 420 million USD and 12 percent to 748 million USD, respectively.

Japan, the US, EU and mainland China were the major export markets for Vietnamese export seafood products, making up almost 58 percent of total export value.

Of which, the seafood export value had slight growth of 2.2 percent to 313.3 million USD for Japan market and 1.2 percent to 286.8 million USD for the US market in the first quarter. But those export values to the EU and China fell sharply by over 28.3 percent to 185.7 million USD and 27.5 percent to 145.6 million USD, respectively.

Meanwhile, the nation saw the highest seafood export value growth at about 22 percent to Russia in the first quarter.

The department also said Vietnam spent 545 million USD to import seafood material in the first four months, about 3 percent lower than the same period of last year, mainly from India, Norway, Taiwan, Japan and Indonesia.

Since the beginning of April, transactions on the domestic raw pangasius market in the Mekong Delta have decreased due to reduction of export orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, China, the largest export market for Vietnamese pangasius products, has not yet recovered.

In January-April period, the nation’s total seafood production reached nearly 2.2 million tonnes, up 0.4 per cent compared to the same period last year, including one million tonnes from aquaculture.

The nation is estimated to gain a total seafood export value of about 8.3 billion USD this year, down 3.8 percent compared to 2019.

Source: Vietnam News Agency