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Sapa hotel, $210 million cable car project to Fansipan launched

The ground-breaking ceremony of a 7km long cable car system with a total investment of VND4.4 trillion, or nearly $210 million, to the peak of the Fansipan took place in Sapa on November 2, with the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai.

Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai at the ground-breaking ceremony.

The cable car system is part of a project named " Fansipan - Sapa complex of cultural tourism, cable, entertainment and hotel," invested by the Fansipan-Sapa Cable Tourism Service Co., Ltd., a member of Sun Group (which built the Ba Na cable car project).

The cable car system will connect Sapa to Muong Hoa Valley and the Fansipan peak. With a total investment of $210 million, this is the first three-wire cable car system in Asia and the longest, highest and most complex three-wire cables in the world.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai praised the project as one of the highlights of Sapa tourism.

It is expected that the work will be completed by the end of 2014 and put into use in 2015. Then, the journey to conquer the Fansipan peak will be only 15 minutes, with speed reaching 8m/s and the maximum transport capacity of 2,000 passengers per hour.

Construction of the cable car system was launched on the occasion of the 110th anniversary of Sa Pa tourism. So far this year, Sapa has welcomed 610,000 tourists, including international visitors from 70 countries and territories around the world. It is expected that once the cable car project is completed, Sapa will welcome about 2 million visitors a year in 2007 and 3 million passengers in 2020.

Fansipan is the highest in Indochina , at 3,143 metres. It is located in the Lao Cai Province of the Northwest region of Vietnam, 9 km southwest of Sa Pa Township in the Hoang Lien Son mountain

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Besides introducing new tourism products, Da Nang's authorities have recently made various moves to improve its public image, from cleaning up low-end hotels to plans which raised many eyebrows such as forcing beachgoers to wear bikinis. Strata cleaning service Sydney, "The day after Thanksgiving is the perfect storm for us," said Paul Abrams, a spokesman for Roto Rooter, the biggest U.S. plumbing and drain cleaning service. "We have all hands on deck."

Fansipan is dubbed "the Roof of Indochina"; it is to be approved as one of the very few ecotourist spots of Vietnam, with about 2,024 floral varieties and 327 faunal species.

The topography of Fansipan is varied. Muong Hoa Valley, at the lowest altitude (950 to 1000m), is created by a narrow strip of land at the base on the east side of the mountain. It can be climbed in a steep and fairly strenuous hike.

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  Discount on Vietnam-RoK flights

The national carrier Vietnam Airlines (VNA) is offering 25–30% discounts on flights to the Republic of Korea (RoK) as part of a VNA and Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) campaign launched on November 12.

Under the campaign, flights from Vietnam to the RoK departing between November 15, 2013 and March 31, 2014 will be eligible for the discounts (excluding the Lunar New Year holiday). The KTO’s Hanoi office wants to see a 20% improvement in Vietnamese tourist numbers from 2012’s benchmark.

The VNA and KTO will also cooperate on organising the 2013 Korea Travel Awards.

Vietnam Airlines Northern Regional Office Deputy Director Le Kim Anh said the two countries boast huge potential for lucrative tourism cooperation.

Da Lat to offer free wifi starting in December

Lan Dong Province's Department of Information and Communications is preparing a project that will make Da Lat City a wifi hotspot. The VND6 billion (US$285,000) project is expected to become operational in mid-December, just in time for the city's culture tourism week.

The wifi service will be offered for free at first, but later it will only allow free access to several province's websites.

VietJet Air opens HCMC-Quy Nhon route

Low-cost carrier VietJet Air has launched a new route from Ho Chi Minh City to Quy Nhon, offering more than 2,500 seats on seven round-trips per week since November 9.

Currently, the budget carrier VietJetAir is operating 500 flights per week, with a route network across 14 cities and provinces in the country and international flights to Thailand, Cambodia, and Korea.

Viet JetAir received another A320 Sharklet aircraft from leading aircraft manufacturer in Toulouse in France on October 29.

The first Airbus aircraft landed in Vietnam in September. These planes will take part in a charity activity organized by Pepsico Vietnam to carry disadvantaged students and workers back home to enjoy Tet holiday with their families.

Viet JetAir has now raised the total number of planes to 10.

Central Quang Nam pursues sustainable tourism

The central province of Quang Nam has set a target of developing sustainable tourism associated with the preservation and promotion of cultural values so it can better contribute to local economic growth. Report by the Vietnam Economic News.

In the first three quarters of 2013, Quang Nam received 2.6 million tourists, a rise of 19.32 percent compared with the same period last year; revenue from tourism reached over 1.23 trillion VND (57.81 million USD), up 25.9 percent. Its initial efforts to promote sustainable tourism development have

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in satisfactory results.

In the period under review, the ancient city of Hoi An alone received 1.3 million tourists, an increase of 22.9 percent compared with the same period last year. It had intensified the dissemination of tourism information while at the same time concentrating on tourism promotion activities and diversifying the sources of investment in tourism in order to improve the quality of tourist services, especially those in the Cham islands.

Investment in the construction of tourism infrastructure and tourist sites as well as the restoration of world heritage sites has been promoted. With five tourism projects officially coming into operation in the first nine months of 2013, Quang Nam province currently has 123 accommodation facilities with 5,153 rooms. These include four five-star hotels, 11 four-star hotels and 11 three-star hotels.

Quang Nam has reopened some beaches, put Cua Dai port into stable operation and promoted tourism development in the Cham islands. As a result of these efforts, in the first nine months of 2013, Quang Nam welcomed more than 165,000 visitors to the islands, a rise of over 60,000 visitors compared with 2012 as a whole (the islands received an average of 2,500 visitors each day).

Many community and ecological tourism development projects have been developed here. The number of travel companies offering tours to Cua Dai-Cham islands has by now increased to 40 from seven in late 2012. Beside these, 15 companies provide dining services and 50 provide accommodation services in the form