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02 01 Sep, 2010

10-11 27 44-47
How to Be Safe in a Foreign Country

International sailing festival promises more than tourism benefits Andara Resort & Villas Phuket to host Charity Fashion Show

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www.travelweekly.com.vn

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02 01 Sep, 2010

Dear Travel Weekly readers! Welcome to the 33 Issues of Travel Weekly! First of all, on behalf of all the members at Travel Weekly Magazine I would like to say thank you very much for supporting and sharing with us your ideas since the early days of our magazine. Born to bring our readers useful and up-to-date information about Travel Business in Vietnam and around the world to your desktop every Thursday, today, Travel Weekly becomes a part of your daily works for all travel executive as well as travel lovers those who cares about the tourism industry. We understand that saving a tree is the responsibility for everyone who interested in the environmental disaster as what the Business Travel operators call “Responsible Travel”, therefore, towards the eco-friendly environment, Travel Weekly call our each issue is Eco-Friendly Magazine because we design and “print” and/or publish our magazine in PDF format which allows us to send you immediately via e-mail as well as distribute our magazine to global readers. Moreover, at our website, there is even a better way to read our magazine without download which let you choose the first read and then deciding to keep it on your computer for store or further review. We do hope that everything we do is just to give you everything in travel news for your works and your care. We are looking forward to receive your supports and share with us in the coming time. Thank you for travelling with us! Editor-in-Chief Anh. Nguyen Hoang

10-11 27 44-47
How to Be Safe in a Foreign Country

International sailing festival promises more than tourism benefits Andara Resort & Villas Phuket to host Charity Fashion Show

Relax...

www.travelweekly.com.vn

Contact us
Editor-in-chief Anh. Nguyen Hoang M: +84 904 230 230 E: editor@travelweekly.com.vn News Hang. Bui Duc M: +84 979 051 210 E: news@travelweekly.com.vn Advertising Quyen. Nguyen Tu M: +84 987 622 113 E: advertising@travelweekly.com.vn Sales Duong. Nguyen M: +84 904 884 099 E: duong@travelweekly.com.vn Design Kien. Nguyen Trung Minh. Truong Hoang Phuong. Nguyen E: design@travelweekly.com.vn
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Thursday 02.09.2010
VIETNAM NEWS
02. Netherlands to help promote Vietnam tourism image abroad 03. Vietnam ceramic products to be held in Binh Duong 04. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi won the PATA gold award 2010

02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 14 16 17 19 22 23 24 25 27 29 30 32 34 37 44 50

FEATURES

10 - 11

International sailing festival promises more than tourism benefits
The first international sailing festival titled “the Queen of Green Sea” to be held later this year in the Central Coastal province of Binh Thuan has the potential to boost socio-economic development in general, not just the tourism sector. Come and enjoy the fantastic event.

07. Contest to seek new slogan for National Tourism Campaign Resort

08. Work starts on Ocean Window Spa & 12. Developer inks multiple hotel management deals

15 . Five travel operators win the Friends
of Thailand Award

1,000 YEARS OF THANG LONG - HANOI
16. Received over 554,000 entries studying about Hanoi’s thousand years 18. International Tourism Festival to be held with Hanoi’s millennial years

27

Andara Resort & Villas Phuket to host Charity Fashion Show

INTERNATIONAL NEWS
23. Phuket leads Thailand’s tourism back
to boom levels beyond 2010 rise in July

24. The future of tourism in South Africa 25. Abu Dhabi hotel sector saws a 16%
26. IHG named Australasia’s most sustainable hotelier 28. Private Spa Wellness Centre opens in Bali

The Andara Resort & Villas in Phuket is to host a fashion runway show to benefit the children’s education charity. As according to Tom McNamara, Founder of the Phuket Has Been Good To Us Foundation, said “Education is a gift that stays with you forever. You can’t sell it and nobody can take it away from you. It is the best way for us to give back to this island that has been so good to us.” Let’s join and support this meaning event.

AVIATION NEWS
35. Hainan Airlines offers Dalian-Singapore air route

37. Air New Zealand set to lead aviation
recovery revealed

40. Europe’s most punctual airlines

44 - 47

How to Be Safe in a Foreign Country

DO YOU KNOW
42 - 43. 10 culture and customs of Spanish
to know when travelling & living in Spain (Part 2)

While being in a foreign country may be fun, there is always danger abroad, just as there is danger at home. All visitors from any country should learn what the dangers are in foreign countries and how to protect themselves no matter how sure they are that they are safe. Keep in mind the following pointers to make your next foreign trip as safe and as hassle-free as possible.

BUSINESS ADVICE MEDICAL TOURISM
48 - 49. The Truth about Managing Your
Patients’ Expectations

DESTINATIONS
50 - 53. Vietnam Water Puppetry

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VIETNAM NEWS

Netherlands to help promote Vietnam tourism image abroad

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epresentatives from travel agencies, hotels and restaurants and experts from the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) gathered in Vietnam’s northern province of Lao Cai on to discuss measures to promote Sa Pa tourism services and products abroad. The participants cited cultural identities, natural conditions and agricultural cultivation methods, as well as the State management as major factors in efforts to promote the trademark. They agreed that it is necessary to define unique souvenir products of Sa Pa. Sa Pa is one of Vietnam’s top holiday and relaxation destinations a t the height of 1,600 meters above sea level, the average temperature of the area is 15-18°C. It is cool in summer and cold in winter, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) said. Sa Pa also has many natural sites such as Ham Rong Mountain, Silver Waterfall, Rattan Bridge, Bamboo Forest and Ta Phin Cave, Fansipan Mountain, Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range. It is especially home to various families of flowers of captivating colors, which can be found nowhere else in the country. The participants cited cultural identities, natural conditions and agricultural cultivation methods, as well as the state management as major factors in efforts to promote the trademark. They agreed that it is necessary to define unique souvenir products of Sa Pa. The SNV experts will closely cooperate with the local side to work out the measures so that the promotion program can be carried out soon, an official from SNV said. Lao Cai welcomed 700,000 tourists, including 326,000 foreign ones in 2009. The province aims to receive 820,000 visitors, including 330,000 foreign tourists and earn revenues of VND700 billion this year.

Terraced rice fields in Sa Pa

International puppetry festival to host in Hanoi
Twelve international art troupes and five Vietnamese puppetry troupes will attend the Second International Puppetry festival in Hanoi from 4-9 September. It also is one of many activities to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi and is expected to promote Vietnam’s puppetry arts to international friends. The winning troupe is expected to receive a gold cup worth US$1,000.

New resort planned for Binh Dinh province
A new resort project is being planned for Vietnam’s central Binh Dinh province. The VND2.27 trillion Trung Hoi Resort project will be developed on 106 hectares in the Nhon Hoi Economic Zone, including a four-star hotel, camping area, sports facilities, a maritime ecotourism area, entertainment and F&B outlets and a public baths. Construction will take place in three phases, eventually finishing in 2020.

Japanese art of flower arrangement showcased in Vietnam

Savico start construction on Mercure Son Tra Resort
Saigon general Services Joint Stock Co. (Savico) officially kicked off the construction project of Mercure Son Tra Resort this morning on Son Tra peninsula, Da Nang City. The Mercure Sontra Resort is a highclass hotel-tourism-resort complex to be constructed with total area of 57,651 square metres, including a four-star hotel with 120 rooms and 22 high-end resort villas. The project is likely to cost $20 million.
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Vietnamese Days in China to be held
The Vietnamese Days in China taking place from 29 August – 3 September is to offer more opportunities for Vietnamese firms to set up, promote investment and cooperative ties with major groups from China and Asian countries. The event includes a Vietnam-China economic forum, a trade and investment forum, a business-to-business meeting and a photographic exhibition called “Vietnam – its land and people”.

Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, will be on show at the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Culture House on 12-13 September and at the Vietnam Women’s Museum in Hanoi 16-19 September. The event is organised by the Japanese Cultural Exchange Centre to mark the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi. Flower arrangements by Professor Sasaki Yasihito, Japan’s top Ikebana artists, will be on display. Ikebana artists say that using a plant’s stems, leaves, and flowers to make special designs shows nature’s beauty and vitality as well as human emotions. Japanese Ikebana appeared 550 years ago and has virtually become a “religion” over the centuries.
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VIETNAM NEWS

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Vietnam ceramic products to be held in Binh Duong
A festival highlighting Vietnamese ceramic products will begin in the southern province of Binh Duong on National Day (September 2) to mark the 1,000th anniversary of Hanoi. Nineteen pottery villages and 50 ceramic companies including 19 from the Binh Duong Province’s Ceramics Association will take part in the festival in Thu Dau Mot Town. The festival will introduce Vietnam’s most special ceramic products and winners in the following categories: the biggest, the best gilded, most difficult to shape, the most beautiful pattern, and the most unique sacred object. The most special item will be a three-piece set from Minh Long Ceramic Company 1: Van Lang gem bowl, Vietnamese soul cup, and golden lotus cup. Dozens of craftsmen created these items over five years. Another notable product is the Quoc Binh Thang Long bronze drum, which was made within two years by craftsmen from Cuong Phat Company. This company will also showcase unique ceramic products created through a new burning technique. Some ceramic items that hold historical meaning will be introduced, like the Heaven and Earth jar and Ancient Thang Long,
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respectively produced by Trung Thanh and Minh Cuong ceramic companies. Producers said that these are special products that mark great progress for the ceramics industry, so there will not be fixed prices. By August 26, 19 craft villages and 50 ceramic companies registered to join the festival. The organizing board has registered ten products as establishing Vietnamese records in various categories. Binh Duong Ceramics Association chairman Ly Ngoc Minh said that in preparation for the first Vietnam ceramics festival, firms have tried to make unique products to show the vitality of this traditional trade. Minh said that the ceramic trade is facing a slowdown not only in Vietnam, but in many countries. Recently famous ceramic brands like Royal Doulton and Westwood (UK), Rosenthal (Germany), and Thun (Czech Republic) have gone bankrupt. Many ceramic factories in Japan and China have closed. He said that the number of ceramic firms in Binh Duong has fallen from 500 to 120, but only 70 of them are still operating. “However, it is miraculous that 20-30 companies account for 70-80 percent of the country’s total ceramic export revenue,” he added.
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VIETNAM NEWS

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi won the PATA gold award 2010
The Sofitel Legend Metropole will glitter again at the PATA Gold Awards 2010 ceremony, taking place on 17 September in Macau, accepting the gold award in the Heritage category. The award lauds the hotel for its refurbishment of one of Southeast Asia’s most treasured properties. Sofitel relaunched the Metropole in 2009 as the hotel group’s first Legend property. “The challenge for any hotel in the Heritage category is achievement of a very delicate balance between celebration of historical charm, and satisfaction of tomorrow’s expectation,” said Kai Speth, General Manager of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. “Where so many hotels are only thinking about today and tomorrow, we have an obligation to think about today, tomorrow and yesterday. The PATA Award persuades us that we’re on the right track.” The refurbishment maintained the original architecture since 1901, enhanced with the development of new facilities, the creation of themed suites and a range of guest’s experience according to the way of living heritage within the spirit of centennial establishment. The restoration began in 2004 and was revealed as a “fait accompli” last year with the launch of Sofitel Legend. The new facilities include, Angelina, a chic Italian restaurant that raised the bar on sophisticated nightlife in Hanoi. The hotel also opened Le Spa du Metropole last year. Remarkably, this was the first spa to be opened in the hotel’s 108-year history. The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi’s themed suites indulge the property’s connections to legendary people like Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene, each of whom stayed at the hotel. Located in the historic, 1901-built wing, each of these suites is imbued with colonial-era aesthetics. “When you’re in the Graham Greene suite, it’s not that difficult to imagine him sitting here, churning out the 500 words he was reputed to do every day like clockwork,” said Speth. “Being able to imagine that - to fall into that time warp, if you will - is exactly the kind of spell we’re trying to cast.”

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VIETNAM NEWS

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VIETNAM NEWS

The Japanese capital of Tokyo will celebrate Vietnamese culture titled “Hello! Vietnam” festival with performances by popular artists from both countries. Visitors will have an opportunity to get better understanding of Vietnamese musical instruments and traditional culture, taste Vietnamese food and buy traditional Vietnamese handicrafts. Come and enjoy!

‘Hello! Vietnam’ festival to be take place in Japan
A festival, entitled “Hello! Vietnam” will take place at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo on 18-19 September. According to Iwao Matsuda, former Japanese senator and Co-Chairman of the festival’s organising board, the board set up a club of fans of the Vietnam Festival to attract participants in the event. The club now has about 1,000 members, to join the club you can register at www.vietnamfes.jp. Ambassador Nguyen Phu Binh said that the Vietnam Festival has become an annual event since the success of the first festival in 2008. The festival has won great applause and received special attention from the Japanese people. The Hello! Vietnam festival this year will include performances by popular artists from both countries, including
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singers Ho Quynh Huong and Nam Cuong from Vietnam, artists from Japanese Idoling, Gypsy Queen and Rap DG Samurai groups. Visitors to the festival will have an opportunity to get better understanding of Vietnamese musical instruments and traditional culture. They will also have the chance to taste Vietnamese food and buy traditional Vietnamese handicrafts. There will be 40 food stalls and 20 booths displaying Vietnamese special fine arts and handicraft products during the two-day event. Other member countries of the ASEAN have also registered to showcase their products at 15 stalls at the festival. The organising board expected that the Hello! Vietnam 2010 will attract about 100,000 people.
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VIETNAM NEWS

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Contest to seek new slogan for National Tourism Campaign

he Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has launched a national contest to find a new slogan and logo for the 2011-2015 period.

VNAT announced the contest to replace the current campaign “Vietnam - the Hidden Charm” that has been the campaign since 2005. Entries are open to locals, foreigners and organizations and can be in English or Vietnamese. Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, deputy head of the VNAT Marketing Department, told the Daily that along with the logo and slogan, the contestants could provide marketing ideas to promote the new image as well as the brand name of the country’s tourism. The board of examiners will select the 10 best works for the final round. The first prize is VND50 million, VND30 million for second and the third prize VND20 million. There will also be seven consolation prizes. Entries can be sent from now through December 15. The winners will be announced at the end of December. The contestants can send the works to slogcontest@vietnamtourism.gov.vn or 80 Quan Su Street, Hanoi.

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VIETNAM NEWS

Work starts on Ocean Window Spa & Resort
Ocean Window Spa & Resort is located at lots D12A-B-C Long Beach, North of Cam Ranh peninsula resort, Cam Hai Dong Commune, Cam Ranh District, Khanh Hoa Province. Built on an area of 34,2 hectares, Ocean Window Spa & Resort main items includes the 5 star hotel, spa, restaurant and bar, conference center, shopping center, sports club, beach, etc... Ocean Window Spa & Resort is a hotelcomplex includes a high-rise building and 178 villas lie along the coast with over 500 five-star rooms. All hotel-rooms in the high-rise building are designed with sea-view. The villas are arranged in different angles and divided into many 3-metre-high layers of construcThursday 02.09.2010

tions to ensure that all villas overlook the sea. 4159-square-metre spa area is located beside the lake, next to the high-rise building supplies many services, such as: sauna, massage, physical therapy, health care and beauty care. Restaurants and bars are built on an area of 1148m2, including the Asian restaurants, European restaurants and Vietnamese restaurants. In addition, there are also bars serving in swimming pools and beaches. With the total area of 6780m2 and the capacity of 800 people, meeting and event rooms are also sea-view designed, serve

as ideal places to organize conferences, seminars and major events. Shopping zone occupies the area of 3263m2 with various stores, supply different kinds of goods, including: Jewelry, beach clothes, fine art crafts and souvenirs... Ocean Window Spa & Resort also designed with tennis courts, golf court, fitness center and areas for table tennis, aerobic or billiards. The project started construction on 18th August with the total investment of 1,000 billion VND. As expected, Ocean Window Spa & Resort will be completed and put into operation in 2013.
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VIETNAM NEWS

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nection road to Tham Luong Depot Station and one-kilometre overhead road. Hai highlighted the important role the project plays in the city’s socio-economic development as it is the nation’s most populous city and constantly plagued by traffic jams. The project was expected to be finished and put into operation in 2016 with designed speed of 80 kilometres per hour. The total investment capital for this project was posted at US$1,25 billion or VND23,67 trillion, in which $195 million was loans and non-refundable ODA of EUR85,75 million.

HCMC to start work on 11-kilometre metro project
Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai launched the construction of Ho Chi Minh City’s Metro line No.2 on August 24, which will eventually link Ben Thanh market in the city centre and Tham Luong in district 12. As planned, the metro No 2 will be located in an area of 26 hectares on the northern part of Tham Luong Channel, Dist 12, HCM City, with the departure of Tay Ninh Coach Station to the destination station in Thu Thiem new urban area. The metro has total length of 11.3 kilometres, including 9.3 kilometres underground with ten underground stations of Ben Thanh, Tao Dan, Dan Chu Workplace, Hoa Hung, Le Thi Rieng, Pham Van Hai, Bay Hien, Nguyen Hong Dao, Ba Queo and Pham Van Bach. In addition, there will be a one-kilometre con-

The project will have additional investment supplied by the Clean Technology Fund. German Ambassador Rolf Schulze and ADB Country Director Ayumi Konishi both pledged to work closely with domestic agencies to speed up the preparatory steps for signing the credit and consultancy contracts. Previously, HCM City had started construction on metro No 1 – Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien with total length of 19.7 kilometres. The project was supposed to be completed in late 2014.

Vietnam’s bamboo honoured in the world
The Phu An Bamboo Village – a bamboo ecological reserve which is considered the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia – has been announced as one of 25 winners of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Equator Prize 2010. Dr Diep Thi My Hanh, who chairs the project on “Phu An Bamboo Ecological Museum and Botanical Reserve” in the southern province of Binh Duong said on 24 August: “This is the first time a project on Vietnam’s bamboo has been honoured in the world.” The Phu An Bamboo Village is a cooperation project between Binh Duong province and Ho Chi Minh City National University , France ’s Rhone Alpes Region and Pilat Natural Park of France. It has an initial investment of nearly 675 million EUR. Six years after implementation, the ecological reserve in Binh Duong province has a collection of about 130 species of bamboo belonging to 17 varieties. Among them are rare and precious varieties of each region in the country such as ivory bamboo and yellowstriped bamboo. The 10ha reserve also includes a museum made from bamboo displaying equipment, instruments and works made from bamboo materials such as music instruments, and a research area for scientists and students who want to learn about bamboo and growing and developing this tropical tree. The Phu An Bamboo Village is likely to turn
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into Asia’s bamboo reserve, said Dr. Gabriel de Taffin, regional director of the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) in Southeast Asia. According to Hanh, bamboo grows fast, is used for different purposes, and is particularly useful in absorbing carbon dioxide and fighting climate change. Apart from protecting the biodiversity of bamboo, the Phu An Bamboo Village is a centre for research and technological transfer on the applications of bamboo in life and environmental protection, Hanh said. Dr. Hanh now researches the applications of bamboo in absorbing heavy metal present in soil, bamboo fibre in replacing composite material, and cellulose from bamboo as water-resistant material, and production of biological clothes or nylon bags. The Equator Prize is an award for initiatives in natural resource conservation that meets the goal of poverty reduction, community development, gender equality, focusing on women, environmental protection, and serving sustainable development. Equator Prize 2010 winners will be celebrated at a high level event at the American Museum of Natural History on September 20, 2010. Representatives from winning communities will also participate in the Community Summit dialogue space, to be held in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
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VIETNAM NEWS

International sailing festival promises more than tourism benefits
Thursday 02.09.2010 www.travelweekly.com.vn

VIETNAM NEWS

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he first international sailing festival to be held later this year in the central coastal province of Binh Thuan has the potential to boost socio-economic development in general, not just the tourism sector. The event, held by the Binh Thuan provincial People’s Committee in collaboration with several agencies including the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and the Ministry of Trade, will take place in the popular beach resort town of Mui Ne on December 8-11. It is expected that 20 countries will participate in the festival, herald the development of a yachting industry in the country. Lam Quang Hien, director of the province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the event would attract visitors to Binh Thuan and introduce a new entertainment product to tourists. The organizer expects representatives of around 150 yachting companies to come. Director of the Dan Han International Entertainment Company, one of the organisers, Mai Quoc Viet said the festival, intended to be an annual event, would comprise three main activities: sailing exhibition, concerts and international conferences on marine economy and tourism. In a letter sent to the organisers, Hoang Tuan Anh, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the festival was one of many activities celebrating the 1,000th anniversary of Hanoi as well as the National Year
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of Tourism in the central coastal provinces. The festival was also an opportunity to diversify tourism products, introduce the beauty of the Vietnamese coast to international visitors, and boost the image of Vietnam in general, he said. Roi Shuhami of www.4yachting.com, a web platform of Yachting websites in 30 countries including Vietnam , said the festival would bring more business opportunities, more jobs, more revenue and more foreign investment into the country. “When the country has a yachting industry, there will be boat yards that will create more jobs,” the Israeli national said, adding that the global yachting industry generates revenues of over 15 billion USD a year. “The festival will also bring to Vietnam many tourists and many of them are rich businessmen who can be potential investors.” With a long, beautiful coast like Vietnam, Turkey now has a yachting industry that has created 50,000 jobs in the industry itself and 70,000 jobs in supporting industries, Shuhami said. Turkey earns annual revenues of 3 billion USD from the yachting industry and about 5 billion USD in foreign investment has come in through investors who came to know Turkey through its international sailing festival, he added. Further information about the festival in Mui Ne can be obtained at www.internationalsailing-festival.com./.

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VIETNAM NEWS

Developer inks multiple hotel management deals
Vietnamese American Hotel and Resort Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of the U.S. investment firm ITC Spectrum LLC., signed hotel management agreements with three world leading hotel operating companies in Quy Nhon City, Vietnam. The three partners of VAHR are Marriott International, Ritz-Carlton, and Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Asia, a subsidiary of Honolulu-based Outrigger Enterprises Group. Marriott International, Ritz-Carlton, and Outrigger will manage three resort projects inside what is called the US$250 million Vinh Hoi Bay Golf Resort, a 325-hectare oceanfront, fully-integrated, mixed-use development which will initially include the three projects. They include the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott properties, a championship 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones II, residential villas, a retail village, an arboretum and other recreational amenities. The Outrigger Vinh Hoi Bay Resort and Spa with 210 rooms and 46 private villas will start construction in mid-2011, and is expected to open for business at the end of 2013. The 100-villa Vinh Hoi Bay – A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and the 320-room JW Marriott Vinh Hoi Bay Resort & Spa are expected to begin construction in early 2012 and be completed in 2014. Later phase of the development will feature three additional resorts, more residential properties, an equestrian center, a marina and other amenities. Vinh Hoi Bay Golf Resort is 25 kilometers north of Quy Nhon City in Binh Dinh Province of, and 20 minutes away from Phu Cat Airport in the central province. Tran Duc Canh, Chairman and CEO of VietnameseAmerican Hotel and Resort, said in Quy Nhon, “We are very pleased to have these prestigious American brands be a part of the Vinh Hoi Bay development. Speaking for Marriott International, Mr. Edwin Fuller, President and Managing Director, Lodging International, said, “We are delighted with this visionary opportunity to further expand our lodging portfolio in Vietnam. These resorts will rank among the best, most luxurious properties in Asia and we are honored to participate in the emergence of Vietnam as world-class resort destination.” Quy Nhon City is located in the middle of Danang and Nha Trang on the central coast. Its origins date back to the 11th century and the Champa kingdom for which its legacy – Cham culture’s temple complexes – can be seen throughout Quy Nhon.
Thursday 02.09.2010 www.travelweekly.com.vn

VIETNAM NEWS

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to celebrate 1000th anniversary of Hanoi
The Ha Thanh Food Festival 2010, which will open on October 6 at West Lake Water Park, is a major event being held over the course of 10 days to celebrate the one thousandth anniversary of Hanoi. It Deputy Director of the Hanoi Tourism Corporation, Tran Thi Bach Yen, said “The festival aims to honour 1,000 years of Hanoi and to popularise the cultural and spiritual values of Hanoi’s and other regions’ foods,” said a representative of the festival’s organisation board. “The festival will show images of the traditional trades and lives of people in the past. Images from Dong Xuan, Dong Ba and Ben Thanh markets were selected to represent the northern, central and southern regions,” said Yen. During the event, visitors will have a chance to discover Vietnam’s culture through essential foods and drinks, representing cuisines from all corners of the country. The event will also showcase images of the flower village, old scholars and traditional games, along with three paintings and photo exhibitions with the themes: Hanoi Moments, Hanoi in my Heart and Hanoi Streets.
Thursday 02.09.2010 www.travelweekly.com.vn

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VIETNAM NEWS
Phu Quoc district is formed by Phu Quoc Island - the biggest island in Vietnam – and 21 surrounding islands with the approximate total area of 600 square kilometers, the same as Singapore. Forty-five domestic and foreign-invested projects have been granted licensed with a total investment capital of nearly US$ 3 billion dollars. Another eighteen projects have also given approval in principle. Famous destinations such as Bai Ong Lem, Bai Dat Do, Bai Sau, Bai Trem are center of majority tourism development projects. These are foreign investments in high-end villas, resorts, hotels, golf courses and apartment for lease such as Berjaya Long Beach resort, Veranda and Miramar. The biggest project was licensed in Phu Quoc is the British Virgin Island Starbay with the initial investment capital of US$ 1.65 billion which was raised to US$ 1.8 billion last year. The project will develop Dai Beach resort in an area of 540 hectares of Dai beach located in the island’s Ganh Dau commune. When finishing, which is expected within 12 years of development, the resort will include luxury villas, two golf courses, deluxe beach-front hotels, condos, water lagoons as well as other entertainment and commercial facilities.

Phu Quoc Island unveils new master plan to 2030

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he adjusted master plan to develop Phu Quoc to 2030 was revealed by Vietnamese government. Under this new master plan, all projects in the island district must be reviewed. Any on-going projects and future developments are considered inappropriate with the new plan will be temporarily stopped until investors alter their investments to cope with the new plan.

By 2030, Phu Quoc will become a special economic and administrative center of Vietnam as well as a major tourism destination with many domestic and international resorts and entertainments. It is estimated that Phu Quoc will welcome five to seven million domestic and international tourists per year. The plan turns the Island district into a forest and marine preservation center and urban developments.

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VIETNAM NEWS

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Five travel operators win the Friends of Thailand Award
The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s HCMC Office has announced five Vietnam travel agencies that have won The Friends of Thailand awards. The five are Saigontourist Travel Service, Vietravel Marketing and Tourist Company, Tan Dinh Trade and Travel Service Company (known as Fiditourist), Ben Thanh Tourist, and TST Tourist. Vietravel, one of the five award winners, says that over the past ten years, the number of tourists traveling to Thailand under its arrangement has leapt over 20 times. Its average tourism growth for the Thailand sector is 25-35%. In the first six months of the year, the number of people booking Thailand tours at Vietravel was nearly 15,000, and the tour operator expects to arrange tours to Thailand for a total of 25,000 tourists, up 20% from last year. Every year, Thailand welcomes around 14 million international tourists, including 30,000 from Vietnam, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The Friends of Thailand awards are designed to honor individuals, organizations and tourism companies in recognition of their contributions to the tourism development of the “Land of Smile”. The international press award is for articles that introduce and promote images, country, people and new tourist destinations in Thailand. The Friends of Thailand was launched by Tourism Authority of Thailand in 1996 and every two years, the awards are presented to contributors to Thai tourism. The 2010 award ceremony will be held in Bangkok in late September.

Foreign visitors to Vietnam rise sharply
The number of foreign visitors to Vietnam in August rose by 38 percent from a year earlier, reaching more than 430,000 despite the off-season. According to the General Statistic Office, most of Vietnam’s major tourist markets still maintain high growth, with Cambodia topping the list (247 percent), followed by China (101 percent), Australia (over 77 percent) and Thailand (over 74 percent). Since the beginning of the year, the country has welcomed 3,3 million international visitors, a year-on-year increase of 35 percent. South Korea, China and Cambodia remain the largest markets of Vietnam. Annually, the country receives 400,000 Korean tourists. In July, the Southeast Asia country received 36,827 tourists from the East Asian nation, up 3,9% on month and 54% on year. The experts forecast that the number of foreign tourists to Vietnam would continue to increase from now to the end of the year due to various important celebrations in the country including the 1000 th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi and the 2010 International Yacht Festival in Mui Ne, the southern province of Binh Thuan. As part of the tourism stimulus programme which a sales campaign will be launched in Ho Chi Minh City with estimated discounts of 10-50 percent.
Thursday 02.09.2010 www.travelweekly.com.vn

days to come

1,000 years of Thang Long - Hanoi

Received over 554,000 entries studying about Hanoi’s thousand years

An essay contest about Hanoi has received over 554,000 entries and the most outstanding ones will be awarded during the celebration of the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi in October. Launched in November 2009, the contest has drawn a large number of participants from across the country and overseas. Historical Prof. Le Van Lan said that the entries presented carefully research and study through documents. They are works in history, geography, people and customs and habits of the land of 1,000 years of culture. Essays of contestants showed their feelings and love with the Hanoi capital city. Henrri Guillon is the first foreigner from France to have submitted his essay, one hundred-year-old Vu Duy Binh from Hanoi is the oldest entrant and Vu Ngoc Ha from Chu Van An primary school is the youngest. After gathering all entries in localities, the contest’s organizing board will select excellent works with good presentation to be awarded on the anniversary of 1,000 years of Thang Long – Hanoi. The organizing board will award a special prize worth VND 20 million for an excellent group, a special prize worth VND 10 million for an individual, and numerous prize worth from VND1 million to VND 10 million.
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Thursday 26.08.2010

days to come

1,000 years of Thang Long - Hanoi

Various art and cultural activities to mark Hanoi’s 1,000th anniversary

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umerous art and cultural activities have been held in Hanoi to celebrate the capital city’s millennium birthday on 10 October. The Thang Long Art Ornamental Plant Association opened two exhibitions of ornamental trees and stones at Ly Thai To and Indira Gandhi parks on 25 August in Hanoi. At Ly Thai To Park, near Hoan Kiem lake, in central Hanoi, over 550 ornamental trees of various species and nearly 100 works of art made of stone are on display. Many of them have been kept and cared for by their families over many generations. The exhibition at Ly Thai To Park will run until September 20 and the one in Indira Gandhi Park will close on 30 October. According to Luu Minh Tri, President of the Thang Long Art Ornamental Plant Association, a larger exhibition will be held at the Hanoi Museum from 25 September – 30 October. Twelve groups of puppeteers from overseas will join five VietnamThursday 02.09.2010

ese groups to take part in the second International Puppetry Festival in Hanoi from 4-9 September. Of the 12 foreign groups, the puppeteers from Egypt, Israel and Cuba are visiting Vietnam for the first time. The festival’s opening ceremony will be held at the Hanoi Opera House and the winner of the gold cup will also receive an award of 1,000 USD. Later, from October 6-11, the Ha Thanh Culinary Festival will be held at Ho Tay (West Lake ) Park as one of the major activities to mark the city’s birthday. The festival will attract tourist and travel agencies from all 63 cities and provinces across the country as well as foreign embassies and enterprises in Vietnam. The festival will take place on a 8ha site with separate areas for cuisine, Hanoian culture and folk games. There will be 130 stalls selling special dishes from every part of Vietnam, with a special focus on traditional Hanoian dishes.
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days to come

VIETNAM NEWS

1,000 years of Thang Long - Hanoi

International Tourism Festival to be held with Hanoi’s millennial years

Bonsai art exhibition to welcome Hanoi’s millennial years

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550 bonsai trees are on display at a bonsai art exhibition which opened in Hanoi on August 25th to mark the 65th August revolutionary (Aug.19) and the National Independence Day (Sep.2). The bonsai tree by painter Xuan Cuong at the foot of a century-old tree with big roots clinging to a stone is a base for branches to rise up and spread out in a certain position. The other bonsais create people the feeling of warmth, happiness and abundance. At the exhibition, there are also 100 works made with different kinds of rare stones. The exhibition will be open through September 20th 2010.

he Thang Long-Hanoi International Tourism Festival, part of a program during the National Tourism Year 2010, will take place at Bao Son Paradise Theme Park in Hanoi from October 2-5 to mark the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi. “Themed ‘Thang Long- Hanoi-convergence of 1000 years’, this will be the biggest event held to welcome the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long – Hanoi and the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam Tourism Industry,” said Deputy Director of the Hanoi city Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Mai Tien Dung, at a press conference on August 24. The upcoming event, with various artistic and cultural activities, will see the participation of local people, domestic and foreign travel agencies, businesses and organisations. The opening ceremony will be broadcast live on VTV channels on October 2nd. Hanoi and Vietnam’s tourism potentials and products will be promoted during the event. The festival is a good chance for domestic travel agencies to seek business opportunities with foreign partners. According to the organising board, the festival, the most important event of the 2010 National Tourism Year hosted by Hanoi municipal People’s Committee, is expected to draw around 30,000 visitors per day. There will be about 376 pavillions displaying Vietnam and other countries’ tourist products and a wide range of cultural and culinary activities during the festival. The festival will recreate the daily life of Hanoians at the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century. They will also exhibit the life and work of many famous craft villages like Quat Dong Embroidery, Bat Trang Pottery or Ha Thai Lacquer.
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Thursday 02.09.2010

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anoi, 1000 years old capital with a long-standing history, diverse and national character-rich cultural traditions, is a worthy tourism center of Vietnam. Hanoi has always been the place which attracts the most both domestic and international tourists. The coming event – Thang Long Hanoi thousand years of civilization - holds in next October will be one important event of Hanoi and Vietnam travel. Getting out the noisy beat of a new industry city, Hanoi will seem to back in magnanimous history. A lot of Vietnam traditional festival will be held: “Ao Dai” festival, “Den Do” festival… Tourists will have chances to see the pure beauty of Vietnamese woman in traditional costume, the Vietnam national spirit through special kungfu, drum performances and hundreds of other surprises. Have you ever been in Hanoi, Vietnam? Whether you did or not, the enthusiastic atmosphere in national festival will hit you hard. All history places: Sword Lake, museums… have been decorated to welcome the event and you, absolutely. This time of the year is the time Hanoi becomes the most seductive in “hoa sua” fragrancy. Hanoi – Vietnam thousand years of civilization is the important event of the Vietnamese race. Tourists will see there a new wonderful face of Hanoi. The event is the big chance for Vietnam to introduce all the international friends the beauty, history and culture of Vietnam.
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VIETNAM NEWS

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VIETNAM NEWS

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

China, Japan and Korea aim to welcome 26 million tourists by 2015
The tourism heads of China, Japan and South Korea aim to welcome 26 million people to their three countries by 2015. A total of 13.5 million people traveled among the three East Asian countries in 2009, and their earlier goal of 17 million “inter-visitations” in 2010 is expected to be achieved. “It is significant that the three countries set a target and confirmed what must be done to that end,” Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism Minister Seiji Maehara said after signing the statement. According to Kyodo News, the target was announced in a joint statement from the trilateral meeting in Hangzhou, which brought together Chinese National Tourism Administration (CNTA) Chairman Shao Qiwei, Japan’s Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism Seiji Maehara, and South Korean Culture, Sports & Tourism Minister Yu In Chon. “Although allowing foreign travel agencies the business may bring some challenges especially at the initial state, in the long term it will benefit China’s tourism industry,” the China Daily quoted the CNTA Chairman as saying, adding that China was “preparing to revise laws” in relation to this. The number of Japanese tourists to China increased 23% to 2,17 million tourists in the first seven months of this year, while South Korean visitors to China climbed 27% to 2,35 million, according to official data. The Hangzhou event marked the fifth trilateral ministerial tourism meeting between China, Japan and South Korea.

Orion to waive single supplements
Orion Expedition Cruises has announced that it will waive the single supplement surcharge applied on all sailings from 16 September to 21 December 2010. Five cabins will be reserved for single occupancy on voyages including the Kimberley, Forgotten Islands, Papua New Guinea, Great Barrier Reef, Australian East Coast, Tasmania, New Zealand Sub-Antarctic and New Zealand Fjordland itineraries.

Taiwan to welcome cross-Strait medical tourists
The first large group of cross-Strait medical tourists from mainland China will arrive in Taiwan on 19 September for a six-day visit. The group, from Jiangsu province, will undergo health checks and sightseeing tours during the visit, which has been arranged by Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital in Taipei and the Jiangsu China Travel Service (JSCTS).

Accor reports strong first-half figures
The European hotel giant posted a net profit of EUR12 million for the six months of 2010, from the EUR150 million net loss it registered in the same period last year. The group’s consolidated revenue climbed 4,7% yearly to EUR2,85 billion. The group has also reduced its net debt by EUR600 million to EUR650 million in 2010, as part of its 2010-13 asset disposal plan. Hotels revenue for the first half of 2010 totaled EUR2,72 million, an increase of 5.1% like-for-like.
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Cambodia plans longest Mekong bridge
A delegation from Cambodia will travel to Japan in November to select a company to build the Neak Loeung Bridge, which will span the Mekong River, providing quicker connections on the route between Phnom Penh and Vietnam. The bridge, to be located in Cambodia’s southeastern Kandal province, will be the country’s longest and most expensive bridge on completion in 2015. Construction is expected to start next year.
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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

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Phuket leads Thailand’s tourism back to boom levels
Phuket is leading Thailand’s dramatic tourism recovery in 2010, though the true impact of a shift in its tourist profile is yet to be seen. Passenger traffic through Phuket International Airport increased 28 percent in the first half of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009, according to a report from C9 Hotelworks. Driving the tourism surge to the pre-economic crisis levels of 2007 was a shift in tourist profile. “Market dynamics are evolving with a game-changing shift in tourist profile from a historical Eurocentric dependence on long haul European visitors to short haul Asian travellers,” C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett said. “Driving this trend is the weakening of the euro and pound sterling which have jolted market sentiment and transformed travel patterns to the resort island destination.” The favourable forex for proximal tourists has translated to a jump in airline passenger traffic of 1.74 million in the first half of 2010 compared to last year. Year-on-year data over the past five years revealed that passenger volumes had hit the boom levels of 2007. The tourism boom has the hospitality industry bullish after recent local and international incidents had stymied growth. Hotel occupancies rose from 61 percent in the first half of 2009 to 70 percent in the same period of this year, Mr Barnett said. However, this came at a cost of average room rates, which were down nine percent. “The latter part of this year’s third quarter is seeing positive pick up in the market, which is a good sign given that it is traditionally low season on the island,” Chairman and CEO of Minor Group International Bill Heinecke said. “Following recent events and low season demand...we are delighted to see that we have better results than last year. With regards to the fourth quarter, we have already seen positive signs for strong bookings coming in for October, November and December, so we remain positive that there will be 15 percent yearon-year growth.” The political crises in Bangkok during April and May caused a 38 percent drop in the second quarter of 2010, but their effect on the hotel industry was offset by the tourist high season and increasing direct international flights, Mr Barnett said.

Thursday 02.09.2010

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS
A critical legacy for the nation is establishing and embedding Destination South Africa as one of the most inspiring, inviting,g and enjoyable tourist destination in the world. South Africa must ensure that the 2010 FIFA World Cup’s spotlight on Destination South Africa continues to shine long after the games conclude. This can only be achieved through effective, enduring, industry engaging promotion of the destination.” Critical to maintaining momentum of interest in the destination after the games, is achieving unprecedented levels of exposure by the leaders of the travel trade from across the world. As a result, the tourism sector of South Africa is excited to announce that, for the first time in the history of South Africa as a premier tourism destination, over 350 of the world’s travel trade decision makers will be visiting South Africa this coming October as delegates of the nation’s most important Mega-FAM Trip - The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) 2010 International Sales Conference. At the start of each decade, with great anticipation and excitement, TTC brings together its globally leading key personnel and sales managers, encompassing its different brands and businesses from around the world. Held with great insight and impact in Beijing in 2000, the 2010 conference destination will be held in Cape Town. The 2010 conference will take the form of an incentive trip for over 350 of the company’s top performing personnel (30 percent executives, 70 percent sales), all A-List business leaders and vital decision makers for destinations seeking to compete and win on the global tourism stage. At present, 50 percent of attendees currently sell Destination South Africa, which translates to potential for 100 percent destination growth from this conference through direct exposure to this new sales destination for the remaining 50 percent not yet selling Destination South Africa. Delegates represent the following priority travel trade source markets - all of which are important to Destination SOUTH AFRICA: the USA (over 100 delegates); Australia (over 80 delegates); Europe - including UK, Italy, France, Greece, and Switzerland (over 50 delegates); Canada (over 40 delegates); Asia - including China, Japan, and Singapore (over 20 delegates); and NZ (over 10 delegates). The 2010 TTC Conference will act as an extended, extensive exposure of South Africa through the keyhole of Cape Town and the Western Cape. In addition to business discussion and debate with some of the world’s most powerful business thinkers and sellers in the travel and tourism sector, delegates will have several opportunities to see, taste, touch, hear, and feel Destination SOUTH AFRICA. Together, the events of the TTC 2010 Conference provides an unprecedented opportunity for the global travel trade leaders to see, first-hand, the value of promoting and selling Destination South Africa.
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The future of tourism in South Africa beyond 2010

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he year 2010 represents a golden opportunity for South Africa as a nation to win not just on the football field as host nation of the 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP but on the global tourism stage. The reality, however, is that the end , of the 2010 Games do not mark the end of the work, they mark the beginning. And for Destination South Africa, the tourism industry is firmly in extra time. As stated by Mr. Jabu Mabuza, chairman of South African Tourism: “2010 is a year of immense importance for South Africa. Following six years of commitment and significant investment by all South Africans towards delivery of a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup - the best World Cup ever in the opinion of FIFA and the millions of people who took part across the nation and the world - South Africa has proven how truly alive with possibility this nation is. But for South Africa, success in 2010 is about more than the games. It is about the legacy, which the games leave behind.
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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

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Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi hotel sector saws a 16% rise in July
Abu Dhabi saw a 16% rise in the number guests staying in the emirate’s 116 licensed hotels and hotel apartments last month compared to July 2009. Guest numbers rose to 137,714 with the numbers of nights stayed totaling 376,439 – a 24% increase on July 2009. The average length of stay also increased by 6% to stand at 2.73 nights. The figures, just released by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), make July the ninth consecutive month of double-digit guests growth for the emirate with, for the first time, international market growth of 29% outstripping domestic growth, which turned in a 4% increase. The UAE still accounted for the largest number of guests in July with some 63,027 staying in the emirate’s hotels while the UK came in as the largest international market with some 7,101 guests – a 27% rise on July 2009. Saudi Arabia also turned in substantial growth of 47% with some 4,682 guests from the Kingdom staying in Abu Dhabi’s accommodation during the month while guests from France increased 36% to 2,070. Additional room capacity continued to drive down overall occupancy levels which are 13% lower than July 2009 with average room rates down by 23%. Hotel
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apartments achieved a healthier 72% occupancy rate against their hotel counterparts which managed 54%. “Growth in what is traditionally a slow summer month for Abu Dhabi is immensely encouraging,” said His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, ADTA. “Our guest performance this year has now gone over the million mark leaving us well placed to meet, if not exceed, our 2010 target of 1.65 million. “We are confident because of what lies ahead in the coming months for Abu Dhabi with the October launch of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi which we believe will have strong regional and international appeal and November’s staging of the

Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which is shaping up to be an thrilling finale for the F1 season. “In addition we have a strong business tourism line-up with a highlight being this November’s staging of the inaugural World Green Tourism Summit Abu Dhabi which has a powerful international speaker and exhibitor line-up.” Some 1,074,293 guests have stayed in Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments from January to July end this year – a 16% increase on the same period last year. Food and beverage revenues have grown 14% over the same comparative period and now account for 35% of all hotel revenues.

Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi

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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has been recognised as the most environmentally and socially responsible hotelier in Australasia, after being awarded the inaugural Responsible Travel Management Award (RTM) by the National Business Travel Association (NBTA). Announcing the award at last night’s Excellence Award Dinner during its annual Regional Business Travel Conference in Melbourne, the NBTA recognised IHG’s corporate responsibility practices as the clear benchmark for sustainability in hotels in Australia and New Zealand. Citing the sheer depth and diversity of IHG’s comprehensive corporate responsibility program in awarding the accolade, NBTA offered praise for the years of effort and resources that have been committed to making IHG’s hotels and business practices as environmentally sustainable and socially responsible as possible. Of particular note were IHG’s extensive efforts in providing training, employment and community development opportunities for Indigenous Australians, as part of the company’s broad corporate responsibility commitments. “We’ve spent years changing the way we do business across every one of our InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels, to cut the volume of natural resources being consumed – such as water and energy – and reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill, and find new ways to foster the social and economic development of the local communities we do business in,” said IHG Australasia’s director of corporate responsibility, Frank Hubbard. “This process has required personal commitments at every level of the business, to get IHG to the point where it is starting to make a difference. It’s required nothing less than fundamental shifts in how we run our hotels and engage with our communities, but the positive results of these efforts are more than worth the effort.” “Time and again, we’ve been able to prove that responsible business is good business – and receiving recognition for our commitment from major industry organisations like the NBTA certainly spurs us on,” Frank said. IHG’s environmental policies cover every area of the global business – from sustainable design, development and operation of hotels through to engagement of customers, colleagues and business partners. Underpinning all this are proprietary systems and partnerships to monitor, benchmark and audit the environmental performance of every one of IHG’s hotels. The NBTA’s inaugural Responsible Travel Management Award for Australasia was judged by a selection of NBTA Board members and independent experts in sustainability and climate change.
Thursday 02.09.2010

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

IHG named Australasia’s most sustainable hotelier
Cortile Lounge at Intercontinental Hotel Sydney

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

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Andara Resort & Villas Phuket to host Charity Fashion Show
The Andara Resort & Villas in Phuket is to host a fashion runway show to benefit the children’s education charity - Phuket Has Been Good To Us Foundation. On the afternoon of Sunday, 12 September, local and international fashionistas will join media to support the cause and be the first to see this season’s hottest collection. The event will debut ‘Nude is Rude,’ the new label from Hong Kong-based designer Marisa Zeman. Guests will enjoy the relaxed afternoon ambiance of a St.Tropez-style runway show at Silk Restaurant & Bar, dine on delicious tapas lunch and sip refreshing cocktails. The event will cap off with a raffle for special prizes such as 2-night stay at Andara, trip to Chiang Mai, Spa treatments, tickets to Silk’s Italian Wine Dinner in October, and Private Pilates training. Full ticket, auction and raffle proceeds will benefit Phuket Has Been Good To Us Foundation which works to improve the economic opportunities and life chances of young people, by funding and implementing high quality, practical English language education in government schools on Phuket Island. If you are unable to attend the event but would like to make a donation to the organization please visit www.phukethasbeengoodtous.org. Ticket price is 1,000 THB, including tapas lunch, 2 drinks and entrance to the runway show. To stay with us at Andara during this event, we offer special rates through our Andara Summer Escape package starting at 580USD per person for 2-nights stay in a luxurious 1-bedroom terrace suite. PROGRAM: 11:00am Meet the Press 12pm Guests Arrive and Check-in @ Andara Main Lobby 1pm Runway Show @ Silk Restaurant & Bar 2pm Guests enjoy delicious Tapas and cocktails 3pm Raffle for fabulous prizes like 2-nights stay at Andara, trip to Chiang Mai, Spa treatments, tickets to Silk’s Italian Wine Dinner in October, and Private Pilates training
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INTERNATIONAL NEWS Private Spa Wellness Centre opens in Bali

Thursday 02.09.2010

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

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he ultimate spa sanctuary, The Private Spa Wellness Centre, will soon open its doors in the stylish strip of Seminyak, Bali. Using state-of-the-art equipments, the spa brings forth ancient Asian rituals to the next level. This Wellness Centre boasts a range of facilities designed not only to rejuvenate but also maintain your wellbeing in a relaxed yet energizing setting. The Private Spa Wellness Centre has been engineered as an opulent wellness facility where personal indulgence takes on a whole new meaning. A choice of seven exclusive treatment rooms and high-end spa facilities such as vitality pool, steam room and Far Sauna are available. The Private Spa Wellness Centre is also one of the first spas in the world to feature hydrothermal biotherapy treatment, which promotes fitness and health restoration. The bio-charge supplied by this Water Energy System will help reinforce the body’s immune system and increase overall energy. The spa menu is tailored by experts, with 50 years of combined experience in the industry to create a spa ritual beyond pampering. The core menu consists of Stress Prevention Delights, including body work, body care, traditional therapies, and signature rituals, as well as Beauty Fashion that include facial care, nail care, and pulse light hair removal services as well as unique Wellness section with Bio thermal Hydrotherapy, Chakra balancing, LED light Chromotherapy and energy levels diagnosis. Facial treatments will be performed using result-based products, such as the award-winning Pevonia Botanica skin care line and Banyu Spa natural products specially engineered in the on site laboratory. The Private Spa Wellness Centre strives to become the icon of the spa industry in Bali and beyond. This spa is the turn-key project of The Private Spa CorThursday 02.09.2010

poration, a hub of expertise covering all aspects of a Spa development, from the initial conceptualizing until the final delivery of specially crafted spa treatments and equipments. The Wellness Centre will display the Corporation’s vision to invent a definitive spa journey to ensure every treatment has a positive impact on the guest’s wellbeing. In The Private Spa Wellness Center, luxury comes in environmentally friendly. Minimizing its carbon footprint, The Private Spa Corporation keeps 90% of the productions created in Bali. The furniture and accessories are manufactured using recycled woods, stones, glass and terrazzo, while the water used for the vichy shower is also recycled. The people behind this phenomenal health and beauty Sanctuary are Ian Lyons, Fabrice Garrigues and Erika Dewi. Ian Lyons is the Chairman of The Private Spa Corporation, an expert in energy physics and crystal hydro technology, carrying more than 27 years of experience in hydrotherapies and alternative medicines in energy fields. Fabrice Garrigues is the Managing Director of The Private Spa Corporation and the strategic backbone of the company, while Erika Dewi as Manager of Operations is a qualified master in traditional therapies, specializing in aromatherapy product manufacturing and training. “With a dedicated team of healers, craftsmen and designers ready and eager to bring the best result based spa services, I believe the opening of The Private Spa Wellness Center heralds a new and exciting era for Bali as the Spa capital of the world,” claims Fabrice Garrigues. “Together, we are determined that the Wellness Centre will be a success and bring benefits to the community of Bali, as it will redefine the meaning of Healing paradise.”
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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa

Hilton Hotels in Thailand join Golf Consortium
Hilton Hotels has joined the Thai marketing cooperative Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience. As new hotel partners, Hilton properties across Thailand - in Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Phuket - are now preferred lodging options, along side some of the country’s top golf courses, in a variety of stay-and-play itineraries offered and executed by tour operator Golfasian. The four Hilton properties that have joined Golf in a Kingdom include: Hilton Pattaya: Located in the heart of this coastal city, overlooking Pattaya Beach, and situated atop the new Central Festival Pattaya Beach complex, with its 200 international-caliber shops, restaurants, cinemas and recreational facilities. Millennium Hilton Bangkok: Standing on the banks of the Chao Praya River and boasting sweeping city views of the Thai capital. Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa: The resort is set on Karon Beach and comprises 75 acres of lush tropical gardens. Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa: A 17-story tower in the center of this coastal beachside town overrlooks the Gulf of Thailand and serves as home to distinctive mix
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modern transportation infrastructure,” said Mark Siegel, CEO of Bangkok-based Golfasian. “Of course, there is a difference - Thailand is tropically temperate 365 days a year and golfers can spend a week here for a fraction of what they’d pay in European or North American destinations.” Play and Stay options through Golfasian are available at some of the best courses in Thailand including: - Banyan Golf Club in Hua Hin, voted top new course in Asia by readers of Asian Golf Monthly in 2009 - Chiang Mai Highlands Golf & Spa Resort, recently voted the top course in Southeast Asia by SEA Globe magazine. - Muang Kaew Golf Club, a lush urban retreat in the heart of Bangkok. - The Old Course at Siam Country Club in Pattaya, host of the 2010 Honda PTT LPGA - Siam Country Club’s Plantation Course, host of the same LPGA event in 2009 - Thai Country Club in Bangkok, voted ‘Best Championship Course in Asia’, as voted by Asian Golf Monthly readers in 2008. - Black Mountain Golf Club, just three years old but already a bona fide “championship” layout, having played host to the Asian Tour’s Black Mountain Masters in 2009.
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of dining options, including the Hua Hin Brewery Company, a former fisherman’s shack dating from 1923. “I think it’s instructive for traveling golfers in Europe and North America to recognize that Thailand is equipped with 5-star hotel brands like Hilton, and Marriott, along with world-class golf, superb food, unmatched nightlife and a first-world,

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

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AVIATION NEWS
Myanmar will suspend visa-on-arrival services at Yangon International Airport from September 1, 2010, the Department of Immigration and National Registration has announced. The visa on arrival policy was implemented on May 1 of this year, and will resume in late November 2010. A department spokesperson said they halted the procedure in order to review the system. Visitors will now have to apply for visas through the Myanmar embassy nearest them. Myanmar observers, however, speculate that the move may have something to do with the country’s first general elections in 20 years on November 7, and be a way of restricting the entry of foreign press during this sensitive period. In the first seven months of this year, tourism to the country jumped by 37.4 percent, a positive development that has been credited to the easy visa application procedures.

Myanmar suspends visa-on-arrival policy

Jet Airways to close check-in counters earlier
t ay tha Mond aid on 45 minutes s ways f rs Jet Air -in counte r metros o irline k majo ian a chec six Ind all in the close it will departure nnai. e to nutes prior i, Delhi, Ch 15 mi mba ch is te and Jet i Mu e, wh Li re tim irways, Jet eing imclosu A Jet new d is b ly with The es an lies to p r, app ect servic ay to com eral of earlie d nn s Ko m Wednes irector Gen y D Airwa ted fro n m the pleme irective fro ). d CA ncour a new iation (DG are e k-in, ivil Av mers c C custo nline che ing o ems, rd probl Airways’ r boa ice oid thei To av e Jet print -serv self to us m to or its f these aged s the allow oose seats sing any o hich h .U w c s. ts s and airpor nus JPMIle passe t selected o 250 B sa kiosk earns them s option

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AVIATION NEWS

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Qatar Airways has announced plans to further expansion to its Indian network with a 20% increase in frequency covering the cities of Delhi, Cochin and Amritsar from next month. Beginning September 1, the number of flights to the northern Indian city of Amritsar will rise from four- a-week to daily. The expansion comes less than a year since Qatar Airways launched flights to Amritsar. The southern Indian city of Cochin, currently served daily, will get an additional four flights a week – two from September 1 and the other two from November 5. The beginning of the Northern Winter flying programme on October 31 will see the highly popular Doha – Delhi route securing an additional daily flight taking capacity to the Indian capital up to 14 services a week. With a total of 14 additional flights being phased in over a period of two months, Qatar Airways’ capacity to India will increase from 74 to 88 services each week. The award-winning Doha-based airline currently flies to 11 cities across India that cover Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Trivandrum, Kozhikode, Ahmedabad, Goa, Delhi, Amritsar, and Cochin. With the new additional flights, each of the 11 Indian destinations will be served daily non-stop, except Delhi and Cochin, which will have a double daily service and 11 flights-a-week, respectively. India is by far Qatar Airways’ single biggest market by the number of destinations served – and the country alone makes up over 10% of the airline’s international network. Each of the Indian flights offers convenient connections via Qatar Airways’ Doha hub to and from the airline’s network of flights across the Middle East, Europe, Africa and North America. Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “We are pleased to announce additional frequencies to Delhi, Cochin, and Amritsar from September, which further cements our commitment to the Indian market. “India is a very important market for us, as we are able to offer a large selection of destinations and very convenient connection times to numerous global cities that Qatar Airways serves from Doha,” added Al Baker. “These are exciting times for Qatar Airways. With these frequency increases in India, and six new recently announced upcoming routes, we look forward to further global expansion to even more exciting destinations between October and January.” During a four-month period from October 2010, the airline’s passenger route network will rise to almost 100 destinations. The additions of Phuket (October 12), Hanoi (November 1), Nice (November 24), Bucharest (January 17), Budapest (January 17) and Brussels (January 31) provide even more travel options for passengers to and from India, with a convenient stop in Doha. Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 87 aircraft to 92 diverse business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, South Asia, North America and South America.
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AVIATION NEWS

787

Boeing’s first

Boeing has announced further delays to the delivery of its eco-friendly Dreamliner aircraft, which is still going through tests and will not be ready until early 2011, almost three years behind schedule, due to the availability of Rolls Royce engines needed for the final stages of flight tests. The much-delayed aircraft had been due to be delivered to launch customer ANA in the fourth quarter of this year, but Boeing said in July that this date might be pushed back to the start of 2011 due to “the

cumulative impact of a series of issues, including supplier workmanship issues related to the horizontal stabilizer and instrumentation delays”. This latest delay follows “an assessment of the availability of an engine needed for the final phases of flight test this fall”. The manufacturer added that “While Boeing works closely with Rolls-Royce to expedite engine availability, flight testing across the test fleet continues as planned”.

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AVIATION NEWS

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Hainan offers Dalian-Singapore air route Airlines
Hainan Airlines has today started up twice weekly services between the Chinese seaport of Dalian to Singapore via Hefei. Hefei, capital of Anhui province, will be a new city link for Changi Airport. This brings to four the number of new city links to China established this year, following Jinan, Shantou and Qingdao. Henan Airlines departs from Dalian, using a Boeing B737-800, every Wednesday and Sunday at 1530. It lands in Hefei at 1720, departing there at 1820 before arriving in Singapore at 2340. Total flying time is eight hours and 10 minutes. The return flight departs from Singapore every Monday and Thursday at 0040. It arrives in Hefei at 0550, departing there at 0650 before landing in Dalian at 0830.

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AVIATION NEWS

government seeks Hue airport partners
Vietnam is looking for partnerships with foreign investors to develop Phu Bai Airport in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue into an international one that can serve five million passengers in 2020. Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked the Ministry of Transport to work with concerned agencies and create plans for such a partnership. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung had in July last year approved a plan to upgrade the airport so that it can meet international standards and receive large aircraft. It can only serve 500,000 passengers a year at present. Last month the provincial administration requested the government’s consent for attracting foreign investment to upgrade the airport. State-run Middle Airports Corporation, which manages Phu Bai and six other airports in the central coastal and highlands region, said it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore’s Changi Airport International in 2008 to form a joint venture for the upgrade project. Both sides, however, have failed to agree on many key issues, including partnership benefits and management.

Vietnam

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AVIATION NEWS

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Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand has reported a four-fold increase in profits for 2009, prompting speculation the global aviation industry may be emerging from the recession. After taxation, the airline made a profit of NZ$82 million for the year ending June 30th, up from NZ$21 a year earlier. Fuel hedging losses at the airline also dropped to NZ$8 million from $130 million. The news follows earlier positive reports from Australian low-cost carrier Virgin Blue, and buoyed confidence in the sector. However, Air New Zealand chairman, John Palmer, remained cautious: “The uncertainty surrounding the global economic recovery has continued to suppress demand for air travel over the past 12 months.” Following the release of the results, Air New Zealand confirmed a dividend of four cents per share, taking total dividends for the year to seven cents per share. This is an increase of eight per cent on 2009, and reflects the airline’s “improved outlook”. Operating revenue - which includes passenger, cargo and contract services - fell NZ$563 million to NZ$4 billion. However, operating costs were also down NZ$583 million to NZ$3.3 billion.

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AVIATION NEWS

lines up exclusive online deals

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways has unveiled exclusive round-trip fares from Hongkong to some popular destinations worldwide.

Round-trip Economy fares start from HK$7,661 (US$984) for London, HK$7,749 (US$996) for Paris and HK$7,492 (US$963) for Copenhagen, HK$7,375 (US$948) for Barcelona, HK$17,248 (US$2,217) for Buenos Aires, and HK$12,973 (US$1,668), HK$5,541 (US$712) for Abu Dhabi to name a few. Bookings made from now until September 30 will be automatically entered to a special lucky draw for a chance to win a meal at the Four Seasons Hong Kong worth HK$1,000 (US$128.50) among other prizes.

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AVIATION NEWS

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Europe’s
most punctual airlines revealed

AVIATION NEWS

S

A S Scandinavian Airlines was Europe’s most on-time airline this summer for the second year in a row, while Ryanair has been revealed as more punctual than British Airways, according to new figures from airline punctuality specialist Flightstats. More than 90 percent of SAS’s flights arrived on time in the quarter from 1 May to 31 July, according to Flightstats, which monitors the arrival and departure times of aircraft around the world. Over the same period, Ryanair’s punctuality was 69,18 per cent, marginally ahead of British Airways at 68,22 per cent. However easyJet came in fourth from bottom, with only 52,45 percent of flights arriving on time. The statistics follow a warning from the airline’s founder and major shareholder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioanno last month that he will consider revoking the “easy” brand licence if the carrier does improve its punctuality. He set a target of reduce its average delay to less than 15 minutes by 26 October. This compares to an average of 26 minutes in May. Spanish flag carrier Iberia received the wooden spoon, with only 45.92 percent punctuality. Hawaiian Airlines topped the North America league with 92.35 percent, just ahead of Alaska Airlines 88.12 percent. Other aviation heavyweights that performed well were United Airlines in 7th place with 82.30 percent, just ahead of US Airways with 82.05 percent. Cape Air came in bottom at 54.33 percent. In Asia, Air Nippon was the region’s most punctual airline with 90.95 percent, or an average delay of just 6 minutes. Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways and Korean Air Lines also performed well.
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AVIATION NEWS

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DO YOU KNOW

10 culture and customs of Spanish to know when travelling & living in Spain (part 2)

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DO YOU KNOW

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7

Clothing

Spanish people have a modern sense of dress for the most part. Some smaller villages may frown upon excessively short or tight clothing. Older Spanish people stick with more conservative clothing. When dressing in traditional Spanish clothing for holidays, weddings or religious festivals, many women wear an ornamental comb known as La Peineta. These combs often hold a long veil in place.

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Sport

Soccer is not just a sport for many Spaniards, but a passion. Top club teams such as Real Madrid and FC Barcelona can draw crowds in excess of 100,000. The national team is among the world’s elite, including winning the 2008 European Championship. The controversial tradition of bullfighting, a sporting spectacle in Spain for centuries, takes place in plaza de toros (bullrings) throughout the country, though its popularity varies from region to region.

dalucia region. Flamenco dancers, mostly women, dress in brightly colored dresses with ruffles that move as they spin and dance to traditional flamenco music. Many times, flamenco dancing and music is passed down through the family. Bullfighting, while controversial, remains a Spanish tradition, dating back to ancient times. Spanish people refer to this tradition as Fiesta Nacional, or the national sport. Each bullfight is known as a corrida. Many areas of Spain hold bullfights for spectators weekly.

10

Siesta

9

Flamenco and Bullfighting

Flamenco dancing dates back to the 16th century in Spanish culture, beginning with gypsies from the An-

A famous tradition throughout Spain, siesta is the daily rest period, typically between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., when Spaniards go home to eat, sleep and be with family. Many shops and public buildings close during this time to allow workers to enjoy a respite from the working day. In some locales, the break is a necessity, allowing workers to get out of the oppressive heat of the summer’s sun and cool off before returning to work in the late afternoon.

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While being in a foreign country may be fun, there is always danger abroad, just as there is danger at home. All visitors from any country should learn what the dangers are in foreign countries and how to protect themselves no matter how sure they are that they are safe. There is always the possibility that something can go wrong, so, as they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Whether by yourself or with family or friends, safety is important. Keep in mind the following pointers to make your next foreign trip as safe and as hassle-free as possible.

By: Dan Knows All, Maluniu, Jack Herrick, Zack

1, Research the country you are going to before you go

The best and fastest way of researching is to search on the Internet for legal information and things you should know well in advance of traveling to that country. View travel advisories from reputable sources such as the US, UK, and Australian Governments, and take note of any potential issues you may encounter. A streetwise traveler should also know emergency numbers, and at least a bit of the language (like the word for “help”). Also find out places to avoid, like alleys, bad neighborhoods, and red light districts. Your government may have resources available to travelers that will outline what you need to be prepared for. • Know the local customs. There are many gestures that you may be accustomed to, but are frowned upon in other countries where they may be seen as the opposite of their intention. For instance, the thumbs up “OK” sign that is used in much of the West is a nasty
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hand gesture in other countries such as parts of Italy and Greece. Your travel agent should be able to help you with determining the customs you’re used to that might have the opposite effect in a different country. • Learn how the locals dress. If the locals are dressed in a moderate way, you should dress the same. You don’t want to draw unwanted attention to yourself, especially at sites of religious importance.

You may be able to store your important documents in an online “safe” for more security.

3, Get the addresses and phone numbers of your country’s embassy and any military bases (if applicable) before your arrival to the foreign country

2, Make three copies of everything before you leave

Make copies of your passport, travel itinerary and tickets, credit cards, driver’s license, and any other important documents. Copy the back of everything, as well. This can make it easier for you to recover if any of your documents are stolen, but keep the copies in separate locations, and keep them safe. You can also consider making scans of your documents and e-mailing them as attachments to yourself to be printed when and if needed.

For some countries, such as the USA and Australia, it is possible to register with a consulate online, ahead of travel. Once you have done this, if there arises any kind of natural disaster or military conflict, the consulate will know that you are in the country, which is the first step in being able to offer assistance. • Contact your country’s embassy (or closest embassy) upon arriving. Advise them of your location and your name, especially if you are in a politically turbulent foreign country. If possible, travel to the embassy, or at least spot it on a map and know how you can get there if you need to.

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BUSINESS ADVICE
4, Avoid looking like a tourist: Generally, don’t wear any of the following
put the chair up against the door knob. Put a “do not disturb” sign on your door when you leave so that people think you’re in there. Leave the TV on at a moderate volume so that people cannot tell if your room is occupied or not. Keep your valuables out of sight in a safe or in a not-so-obvious container (like a bread box).

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10, Carry your documents strategically

• Excessive or expensive-looking jewelry • A nice pair of sneakers (especially white ones) - You might be tempted to because you might be doing a lot of walking, but a nice pair of sneakers will show people that you are indeed a tourist (which makes you look like a target to thieves). If you must wear sneakers, make sure that they are not the type that would attract attention. • Fanny pack - A pickpocket could easily unzip (or take a knife to) and empty the contents of the the fanny pack without you being aware. • Tote bags imprinted with a tour group operator name or symbol • Obviously new apparel • Electronics - If you must bring them, put them in the oldest, most beaten-up backpack you can find.

9, Be polite and non demanding

If you are quiet and respectful, you are less likely to draw attention to yourself through your behavior. Depending on the local customs, however, do not assume that being extra friendly is beneficial -- it may be interpreted as an invitation that you never meant to offer, especially if you are female. Avoid doing anything (having drinks, doing drugs) that makes you loud or belligerent in any way. Not only will you draw attention to yourself in a negative way, but you’ll also be more vulnerable because you’re not completely alert.

5, Check to see if tap water is safe

Remember that the tap water may be treated with different chemicals from those in your home country and could still make you ill if you drink it, especially for children and the elderly. Also, when buying water from a vendor in the streets, make sure that the cap is still attached to its ring.

Do not place your credit cards, cash, ID cards, and passport all in the same place. • Keep cash and credit cards separate from ID cards. By keeping things separated you eliminate the risk of having them all stolen. • Always have some cash stashed away in a shoe, a hidden pocket, or in yet another shoe, in case you need immediate cash for taxi ride or something fast to eat. Do not carry too much cash, and never flash it all when you pay. • If you have a wallet, wear it in your front pants pocket instead of in the back and your pocketbook close to the body. To be extra safe, prepare a mugger’s wallet -- an inexpensive wallet with a small amount of real cash plus fake sample credit cards and IDs. Use this fake wallet in case you are mugged and have to give it up. Throw it towards them but aim for further than them. As they run to get the wallet, you have the chance to run the opposite way to get away from them. The muggers are more interested in the cash and won’t take the time to examine the fake cards and IDs until later.

6, Be careful with sexual encounters

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are common to all cities across the world, even your own. The occurrence of STDs like AIDS and syphilis is higher in some cities, especially among prostitutes. Remember, the only guaranteed protection is not having sex in the first place, but if you do, wear or require your partner to wear protection that reduces the transmission of disease, and if necessary take precautions against date rape.

7, Keep your personal information secret

No one but you needs to know where you are staying, where you are going, and when you are doing it. No matter how trustworthy a person seems, it’s not important they know your personal information. If somebody asks where you are staying, then lie. When checking in a hotel, don’t say your room number out loud at any time. Ideally, the hotel clerk should be discreet about it also (writing the room number on your key envelope) but if you think others heard your room number, simply ask to have it changed.

8, Safeguard your room

Ask for a room that is not on the ground floor or near the elevator or fire stairs, as they tend to get thieved more often. Bring a rubber door wedge and put it under your door every night, just in case. If someone has a key or picks the lock, the rubber wedge will give you enough time to make a commotion and call for help. If you don’t have a wedge,
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11, Walk facing the traffic
This way, no cars can sneak up behind you and commit a crime. It has also been known for thieves on scooters to snatch handbags as they drive past. Keep your handbag/suitcase on the side of your body that is away from the traffic. By doing this, you can also minimize the risk of any accidents, which could arise from not seeing the speeding cars behind you.

BUSINESS ADVICE
dence at the same time every day. Do not use the same route to go to or from a specific destination (e.g. an office) every time. • Stock up on food and water in your hotel room as soon as you arrive, especially if there’s the possibility of kidnappings, riots, and anything else that might call for you staying in your hotel. You may think you are wasting money on items you do not need, but they could save your life in a worst case scenario. If you do not use them, offer them to the hotel as a thank you for a nice stay. • If you are on your own, try to befriend some other travelers. There is safety in numbers.

12, Be alert when using public transportation

Steer clear of unlicensed taxis. Better still, hire a car, or get a bus or train. Try to get a seat at the front of the bus, as you will be near the driver. You should never go on the top floor of a bus late at night. If you are getting a train, try to find a seat in a busy carriage somewhere in the middle of the train. This means you will only have to walk down half a potentially lonely and poorly lit platform. If necessary, sit close to the emergency button/ intercom.

Warning

13, Never get into a car with a stranger

If it is a certified taxi driver, then make sure by asking for identification. If you find out too late that you are in an illegal taxi driver’s car, break away through windows or the door.

14, If driving, be alert to changes in the rules of the road

Some countries will drive on the left side of the road, others on the right. In the U.S., you drive on the right side; in Japan the UK, Australia or New Zealand you drive on the left side. Driving on the opposite side of the road to what you are accustomed is a significant adjustment; in particular, be very careful when turning to be sure you end up on the correct side of the road. Also, don’t back up more than absolutely necessary. For example, back out of parking spaces, but don’t back up if you missed a turn. Backing up on the wrong side of the road is even more difficult than driving on the wrong side of the road.

• Be especially careful at night. This is the most dangerous time in any country. Do not go anywhere you don’t know, and again, make sure you stick to well lit areas. It has been known for people (especially women) to be raped, murdered or kidnapped (a lot of these crimes taking place late at night). There’s also the greater risk of drug and gang activity. Try to avoid late-night pubs. • If you are in a country where political tensions are high, be extremely careful. It has been known for tensions to erupt, resulting in terrible consequences. Bombs have exploded and killed hundreds. If you find yourself in this situation when you are in the country, do not go outside of where you are staying. The army may be called in as well. This can bring about devastating gunfights in the street. You may have to stay there for quite some time, to let things calm down. • Unfortunately, not everyone is caring during a dangerous situation. Some people adopt the “every person for him/herself approach”. Be careful whom you trust. • Do not take favours or help from strangers, especially while you go to exchange money. Try not to exchange your currency with illegal operators/agents.

Tips

• Never give your passport to a hotel clerk. Some countries have laws that require that hotels hold the passports of their guests (such as Italy, where handing over your passport overnight is usually perfectly safe). If you feel uncomfortable about parting with your documents, you can often get a certified copy of your passport information that you can substitute. You might also make a good quality photocopy of the main passport page and demand the hotel hold that instead. • If the country speaks another language, at least learn to say “Please, Is there anyone who speaks English?” Your accent will be bad, but the locals will respect you for trying. • If you are traveling a country with a history of foreign citizen kidnappings and suspect you might be a potential victim of a kidnapping, do not leave your hotel/place of resiThursday 02.09.2010 www.travelweekly.com.vn

BUSINESS ADVICE

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The Truth about Managing
Your Patients’ Expectations
By Bill Cook

A

s someone interested in attracting international patients, I know how difficult it can be to successfully manage people’s expectations on a consistent basis. From quality assurance to convenience and low price, your international patient clientele can be a tough bunch to please. But sometimes we can get so caught up in the cold hard data that we forget that decisions are not always based on the lowest price, how many accreditations we have, or the number of procedures we have done. The fact is an international patient’s decision to choose your hospital is often emotional rather than rational. Sure, great pricing, attractive quality of care indicators, and the latest technology are a good way to stand out. But those hospitals that want to succeed with international patients on a consistent basis need to go beyond the value-benefits that everyone is promoting and focus on the obvious but neglected attributes that, if overlooked, can be the undoing of many an international hospital. I’m talking about some down to earth common courtesies here that will ultimately make the difference between prospective patients perceiving you as wanting them versus actually caring about them. And there is a big difference between the two! So what are these elusive attributes that make our prospective patients feel all fuzzy and warm? What is the x factor that allows a relatively unknown hospital to win out over an international powerhouse? Drum roll please… • • • • • • • Being accessible Keeping people informed Listening to your prospects and patients Anticipating your patients’ needs Having knowledgeable staff Being honest and transparent Empathizing with your patients

“What!” You say, “These are all painfully obvious!” Before I’m accused of mismanaging my readers’ expectations, let me just say in my defense that I did write that they were obvious (third paragraph, fifth line). You know what though? A lot of international hospitals fail at these simple tasks. Not only do they fail, but many probably do not have a clue that they are doing a lousy job meeting their patients’ basic expectations.
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MEDICAL TOURISM
Being Accessible
Doubt my words? Randomly pick any ten international hospitals and send them an email. Wait two days and see how many responses you get. Wait a week. I have done this exercise several times and my response rate averages just south of forty percent. I’m not talking late responses I’m saying NO RESPONSE…NADA! In other words, even if my numbers aren’t strictly scientific, we can probably assume that on any given day patients have a 50-50 chance of getting a response from international hospitals. What can you do to be more accessible to your prospective patients? 1. Make it easy for people to contact you In terms of your website, this means having one or two toll free numbers, a clearly visible email, physical address and web form. Most people don’t have the time to look for a tiny phone number or email hidden in a corner of your website. Make your contact information one of the first elements people see when they land on your website or read through your promotional brochure. Also be sure to specify your office hours so interested prospects and patients know when to contact you. 2. Have the right software for managing your customers and automating repetitive tasks As the number of people contacting your international patient center increases you will quickly discover that Microsoft Outlook is woefully inadequate to manage all your requests (just ask me!). At Hospital Clinica Biblica, we use relatively inexpensive software that allows us to automatically send prospects a personalized message once they press a web form submit button. Prospects or patients can then receive personalized packets of information on a regular basis without us having to lift a finger. Having access to this capability allows us to manage hundreds of prospect and patient requests without having to hire an army of sales reps or additional case managers. 3. Have enough people available to get back to prospects in a timely manner Although technology is great, you are still going to need sufficient human resources to answer calls and get back to prospects quickly with more detailed and customized information. When assessing the number of staff you may require, don’t forget that, depending on how you have things set up, some of your “available” staff may be occupied with other important matters such as assisting international patients during their stay at your hospital.
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Keeping People Informed
Being accessible is just a start. Taking the initiative to keep your prospects and patients informed is even more important. When you are dealing with dozens or even hundreds of international patient requests on a weekly basis it is very easy to drop the ball on at least a few of them. For example, a prospect or former patient may be asking so many questions that he or she becomes a “nuisance” to you and you just stop responding to her requests. Perhaps someone has just confirmed a procedure but you simply forget to follow-through with the appropriate information to prepare them for their trip. Maybe an international patient has been delayed in surgery and his companion is sick with worry because you have not informed her what is going on. Although we all fail on occasion to keep our patients adequately informed, we need to ensure that this behavior does not become a habit. None of us really wants to keep our international patients in the dark, do we? I think the core of the problem lies in the fact that sometimes we are a little lazy and do not take the time to think through all the consequences of continuing on the same road. I find that one good way to keep me on the straight and narrow is to look at the implications of not keeping people informed. Let me see…. it is a sure way to generate misunderstandings, anxiety, anger, and even distrust among our international patients (which ultimately translates into a bad experience with our hospital and fewer international patients). If you really take this to heart then you will do what it takes to keep all of your patients informed.

To keep your prospects and patients informed on a consistent basis requires two things: 1. A change in mindset or philosophy about the way you view your customers 2. The implementation of a system that ensures patients are in the loop at all stages of the Medical Tourism process…
To read the rest of this excerpt, please look out for the MTA’s new guide “How to Build a Successful International Patient Program,” authored by Bill Cook, which will be available at the upcoming 3rd Annual World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress in September in Los Angeles, California.

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n addition to cultural values, Vegetarian Food Festival City also contributed to Vietnam on a list of the few countries in the world is concrete action and practical call for environmental protection consciousness of the people population by reducing consumption of animal flesh. The organizers expected the festival to become an annual activity on the occasion of full moon lunar July.