Friday, 28 April 2017

Sea-island tourism - Future of tourism sector

Sea and island tourism has contributed greatly to Viet Nam’s tourism sector, accounting for about 70 percent of the country’s total flow of visitors.

Viet Nam holds great sea and island potential

Viet Nam boasts the greatest sea and island potential among Southeast Asian nations. It has a coastline of more than 3,260 kilometres and seawater surface of over 1 million square kilometres, dotted with some 2,700 islands of all shapes and sizes.

According to Dr. Du Van Toan, Head of the Division of Marine Resources and Climate Change Research of the Viet Nam Institute of Seas and Islands under the Viet Nam Administration of Seas and Islands, the sea’s economic value is not only about seafood and oil and gas resources. For generations, the maritime environment has shaped Viet Nam’s culture and beliefs, reflected in traditional festivals, practices, cuisine, folk art and more. The nation’s history has also been shaped by sea-related economic achievements and national liberation victories.

Viet Nam’s coastal areas have nurtured various UNESCO-recognised world natural heritage sites and biosphere reserves, and natural preservation areas. This maritime value helps Viet Nam lead the region in sea-island tourism development, Dr. Du Van Toan told the Viet Nam News Agency (VNA).

Deputy General Director of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Ngo Hoai Chung said the Government’s master plan for tourism development by 2020 aims to develop seven key tourism zones, of which five are sea-island related zones, reflecting the importance of sea and island tourism.

Beyond tourism revenue, sea and island tourism contributes to the country’s socio-economic development while consolidating national defence and security. Developing tourism in sea-related areas boosts services and trading, thus creating jobs for local people. Further, tourism development is also the best way to get people to live and work in remote areas. The civilian presence of Vietnamese people in far-flung areas is the best way to affirm and guard Vietnam’s sea and island sovereignty, Chung said.

Taking full advantage of the coastline

Along the country’s coastline, there are 125 tourism beaches. Among them, Da Nang beach was voted by Forbes magazine as one of the six most charming beaches on the earth. Ha Long Bay, the UNESCO-recognised world natural heritage in Quang Ninh, and Nha Trang Bay in Khanh Hoa are also among the globe’s most beautiful bays.

According to Chung, to fully exploit coastal potential, priority has been given to developing three marine tourism hubs, namely Ha Long Bay, Da Nang, and Nha Trang Bay, serving high-end demand and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE). Investment has also been poured into such promising beaches as Sam Son in Thanh Hoa, Non Nuoc and My Khe in Da Nang, Mui Ne in Binh Thuan, and Vung Tau in Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

Sea and island tourism has also drawn a large number of foreign and domestic investors, accounting for 70 percent of the sector’s total investment. Vingroup owns 6,000 suite rooms in Phu Quoc island and another 4,000 in Nha Trang. The FLC Group poured 5.5 trillion VND (242 million USD) into a five-star resort with a golf course in Sam Son, Thanh Hoa province. The Platinum Dragon Empire Group spent 550 million USD on the Wonderful World Theme Park project in Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

The biggest projects, offering the most luxurious tourism products are in sea and island tourism. The top-notch InterContinental Da Nang Sun Peninsula Resort with 200 rooms overlooking the sea has been named as the world’s Leading Luxury Resort at the World Travel Awards, and several other regional crowns.

Viet Nam’s sea waters and beaches host various national and international recreational activities and sport games, contributing to sea-related tourism development. The reputation of local special seafood and dishes is also buoyed by the development of tourism, such as Nuoc Mam (fish sauce) in Phu Quoc, Cha Muc (chopped squid) in Ha Long, single garlic in Ly Son, swallow’s nest in Nha Trang, and wild honey in Cat Ba.

Developing sea-island tourism sustainably

According to Dr. Du Van Toan from the Viet Nam Institute of Seas and Islands, the climate varies region to region, resulting in high biological diversity. Viet Nam’s coastal areas are home to dozens of ecosystems, including coral reefs, seagrass and mangrove forests.

With appropriate approaches to preservation and exploitation, these ecological values offer resources for ecotourism. However, nature-based tourism development should respect nature, he underlined.

Dr. Duong Van Sau, Dean of the Faculty of Cultural Tourism of the Ha Noi University of Culture (HUC) said sea and island ecotourism is new but will be popular in Viet Nam. He also attached significance to the role of enterprises in developing the sector, saying that with the nation’s limited financial and sci-technological resources, strategic investors will help Viet Nam enhance its sea and island tourism reputation.

Financially and technologically capable and experienced firms will help fully exploit sea and island tourism potential, said Sau, suggesting the Government take caution in selecting investors, licensing projects and products, even in allowing tourists to explore sea and island areas.

In order to realise Politburo Resolution No. 08 on making tourism a spearhead sector, the sector needs to ensure strong, steady and sharp criteria. Viet Nam’s tourism potential is strong, and the sector’s pace of development has so far been steady. The rest is being sharp, Dr. Sau commented, expressing his belief that sea and island tourism is what makes the sector sharp.

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The Kamezaki Shiohi Festival

The Kamezaki Shiohi Festival is held every May 3 and 4 in the Kamezaki district of the city of Handa, located in the northeast part of Chita Peninsula.

When spring arrives, dashi parade-float festivals take place in ten regions around the city of Handa. Of these, the Kamezaki Shiohi Festival is a dynamic event featuring a group of five dashi floats adorned with sumptuous embroidered curtains and carvings that teams of men pull down to the beach at low tide. Each of these five dashi floats also bears different animated karakuri marionettes whose dancing and performances can be enjoyed.

The traditions of this festival have been handed down for some 300 years, and last November UNESCO registered the event as an element of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Be sure to visit Handa to check out this magnificent and majestic festival!

Tip: The dashi floats are pulled down to the beach once a day, and this is the highlight of the festival on each of the two days.

Getting there:
- From Central Japan International Airport Station, take the Meitetsu Tokoname/Airport Line to Otagawa, then change to the Meitetsu Kowa Line and get off at Chita Handa Station. From there, take Chita Bus to Kenja-mae (approx. 25 minutes).
- If going by JR train, take the JR Taketoyo Line to Kamezaki, then walk to Kamisaki Shrine (approx. 15 minutes).

Official website of the Kamezaki Shiohi-Matsuri Preservation Society and Proxy Visitation Association

Victoria Bolts Ahead Thanks To Melbourne Cup Carnival

Melbourne Cup Carnival
Last year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival delivered a record boost to our visitor economy and drew record numbers of visitors to Victoria.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren joined Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Chair Amanda Elliott today to release the 2016 Melbourne Cup Carnival economic impact study.

The report shows the four-race day event injected $427.1 million into our economy – up 10.1 per cent from the previous year.

More than 330,000 people flocked to Flemington to enjoy the flagship carnival, including 119,367 from out of state.

Visitors spent $38.3 million on accommodation – that’s 234,104 bed nights booked – with more people choosing to stay in Melbourne longer to see the very best our state has to offer.

Racegoers spent big on shopping and clothes, splashing more than $44.3 million on retail and fashion (up 6% on 2015).

Along with activations on Weibo and WeChat, VRC mounted the biggest tourism push ever staged in China. As a result, 1.5 million viewers in China tuned in to watch the race.

Over the past three years, more than 21,000 cruise ship passengers have come to Victoria to attend the Carnival, generating more than $32 million for our economy.

The report proves how important events like these are for supporting local businesses, strengthening our books, and for the 20,000 staff and contractors who were employed to make it all happen.

It’s why the Andrews Labor Government is working to boost visitor spending through our Victorian Visitor Economy Strategy to $36.5 billion by 2025, creating even more jobs in the sector.

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival generates big numbers for Victoria, attracting thousands of visitors from far and wide who see first-hand that we really do have the best of everything” said Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren. “Its benefits are felt right across our state – creating jobs, filling our hotels, and keeping our local shops, cafes, bars and restaurants buzzing.”

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival is one of the most iconic racing events in the world. It’s a major tourist drawcard which provides a huge economic boost for Victoria and creates thousands of local jobs” Minister for Racing Martin Pakula.

“The four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival are the four most attended anywhere in Australia, with the event providing an economic benefit to Victoria of more than $425 million” said Victoria Racing Club Chair Amanda Elliott.

2016 Fun Facts:

  • Broadcast into 163 territories worldwide
  • Simulcast in Hong Kong and for the first time Japan
  • Live streamed to a global audience on Twitter, in the first Twitter live streaming deal anywhere in the world outside the United States
  • #MelbourneCup Twitter hashtag reached number one in 25 locations
  • 13 million total Snap views on Snapchat
  • A total of 511 horses competed in 37 races, including 25 international horses that travelled to Melbourne
  • The number of New Zealand visitors rose for the third consecutive year, up 42% on 2013
  • For the second consecutive year, four cruise ships docked in Melbourne for the event, delivering almost 8,000 cruise ship visitors (growth of 111 per cent since 2012)
  • The purchase of 295,397 individual fashion items including 49,067 pairs of shoes, 46,448 dresses, 11,659 suits and 59,665 hats and fascinators
  • $23.55 million in spending on meals, food and beverages, $32.86 million on fashion, and $11.56 million on grooming.
  • A 7.8 per cent increase in the number of out-of-state individuals (80,472) attending the Melbourne Cup Carnival; including 65,038 event motivated attendees (up 21.8% on 2012) and 5,494 extended stay visitors (up 45.3% on 2015)

Come Enjoy Yeon Deung Hoe, Lighting up the Seoul Night!

Grand Lotus Lantern Parade (Credit: Yeon Deung Hoe)
Come celebrate the birth of Buddha through the bright lanterns of the Yeon Deung Hoe (Lotus Lantern Festival). Designated National Intangible Heritage No. 122, the festival will be lighting up the night in areas throughout Seoul for three days, April 28-30. Major events will take place along the streets of Jongno, and especially at Jogyesa Temple. The slogan for 2017’s festival is “We Can Make a World without Discrimination,” created with the aim of promoting respect and kindness among all, giving co-ownership of the festival to the citizens.

Starting from the eve celebrations on April 28, the festival is set to present a full course of activities and events for tourists to participate in. The largest and perhaps most eye-catching of the events planned are the exhibitions of traditional lanterns taking place around Jogyesa and Bongeunsa Temples, and Cheongyecheon Stream from April 28 until May 7. The displays will include lanterns of all shapes and sizes made from various materials. The highlight of the festival, the Lotus Lantern Parade will take place from 7 p.m. on April 29. Starting from Dongdaemun area, the parade will walk along the main avenue of Jongno before arriving at Jogyesa Temple. Visitors who miss the grand parade can enjoy a similar experience on April 30, when Yeondeungnori takes place. This final ceremony includes lanterns, music, and performers, for a fun and exciting evening.

More information on the festival events, including a schedule and venue locations can be found on the official Yeon Deung Hoe website.

2017 Yeon Deung Hoe

☞ Period: April 28-30, 2017
☞ Venue: Area of Jongno Avenue (Heunginjimun GateJogyesa Temple), Cheongyecheon Stream, Jogyesa Temple, Bongeunsa Temple
☞ Directions
- Jongno Avenue (parade starting point): Dongdaemun Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 4), Exit 6 or 9. Walk approx. 1-2 min.
- Cheonggyecheon Stream (Cheonggye Plaza): Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 5. Walk approx. 3 min.
- Jogyesa Temple: Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 2. Walk approx. 6 min. / Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6. Walk approx. 6 min.
- Bongeunsa Temple: Bongeunsa Station (Seoul Subway Line 9), Exit 1. Walk approx. 2 min. / Samseong Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 6. Walk approx. 12 min.
☞ Yeon Deung Hoe website: (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, German, French, Spanish)
☞ Inquiries: +82-2-2011-1744 (Korean), +82-2-2011-1746 (English)
☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

*Information courtesy of Yeon Deung Hoe


Photo source :
On Sunday, 26th March 2017, 96 international tourists from Australia, Italy, Japan, Germany, and USA who boarded the MS Coral Discoverer Cruise Ship went on shore excursion on the beautiful island of Biak off the coast of theCendrawasih Bay, in Papua Province.

This was the first time that a fly-cruise arrangement has been made on this remote island in Papua. Passengers who sailed to Biak on the cruise ship continued their journey from here by air, while those arriving by plane at Biak boarded the Coral Discoverer to continue the cruise.

Indeed, the new cruise regulations issued by the government have made fly-cruise options through many ports in Indonesia now a most welcome option.

In 1976, Biak was an important transit stop for Indonesia's Merpati Airlines' Trans Pacific flights from Bali to Los Angeles, USA v.v., but was then discontinued.

MS Coral Discoverer, the Australian flagged cruise ship, arrived and made port at Biak Harbor at 06.00 East Indonesia Time. Some 42 tourists from various nationalities disembarked and were warmly greeted by the local population led by the Head of the Office of Tourism of Biak Numfor Regency, Turbey Onesimus Dangeubun.

During their time in Biak, the tourists were taken to the Binsar Japanese Cave, once used by Japanese soldiers during World War II. The visitors explored the remnants of World War II on the island, and were then brought to sites that held fascinating artifacts of that grim period that included military jeeps, bombs and warheads, various artilleries, and more. Guided by Biak's own interpreter, the excursion continued to Biak's Bird Park. Here, over 50 different bird species endemic to Papua, among which world's most beautiful Bird of Paradise, as well as different variants of beautiful orchids that all fascinated the visitors, where each species had its distinct coloring and characteristics.

After the excursion, the first batch of 42 tourists did not return to the ship but instead took offfrom the Frans Kaisiepo Biak Airport with the Air North charter flight direct to Darwin, Australia. Prior to departure, the tourists were treated with a special lunch at the beautiful garden of the Astana Hotel overlooking the open ocean. Next to a scrumptious meal, they were entertained with traditional music and dances of Biak. Although the excursion, which ended at 12.00 East Indonesia Time, was short, it most definitely left a lasting impression on the guests.

At around lunch time, the Air North charter flight had landed at Biak's Airport from Darwin, Australia, carrying 54 passengers who were also taken on a tour of the island. Upon clearing Customs and Immigration, the2nd group joined the first at the Astana Hotel, to enjoy the delicious buffet along with wonderful traditional dances and music welcoming the second batch to the attractions of Biak.

After lunch, the group explored the Binsar Cave, the historical Japanese WWII shelter. The excursion of this group was, however, shorter and at 15.30 East Indonesia Time they were ready to head to Biak Harbor to board the MS Coral Discoverer. At precisely 17.00 hrs, the ship sailed off to explore other formidable marine attractions in the eastern part of Indonesia. The next stop was Kwatisore in Nabire, where they made an up close and personal encounter with dozens of huge whale sharks, who have made the area their habitat. From there, the cruise continued to sail to Tobeloin North Maluku.

Photo Source :
“From our observation as well as confirmation from our guests, they were all very impressed and truly enjoyed the trip in Biak. This was confirmed both by those who enjoyed the couple of hours shore excursion in Biak before taking the flight to Australia, as well as those who continued their cruise on MS Coral Discoverer to Kawatisore in Nabire and Tobelo in North Maluku” said Benny Lesomar, Director of PT Ekowisata Papua Tours & Travel who organized all land arrangements.

Traditional festivals of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand featured in Ho Chi Minh City

A Lao traditional dance at the programme
Traditional festivals of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand were featured at a programme that opened in Ho Chi Minh City, on April 12, by the city’s Union of Friendship Organisations (HUFO).

The programme introduced typical customs prevalent at the traditional festivals of the four ASEAN nations, including the Buddha bath, water festival, and tying threads around guests’ wrists.

Visitors to the event also had a chance to taste signature dishes of the four countries, and enjoy folk songs and dances performed by Thai, Cambodian and Lao students who are studying in Ho Chi Minh City.

A seven-day photo exhibition also kicked off the same day with pictures of cultural practices, rituals, and activities held to observe the traditional festivals in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.

While extending his best wishes to Cambodian, Lao, Myanmar and Thai people on their traditional festivals, HUFO Chairman, Huynh Minh Thien, stressed that over the past years, Vietnamese people have worked together with people from the four countries in the struggle for national independence as well as in the national cause of construction and defence in each country.

They have also strived together to build the ASEAN Community of peace, stability, cooperation and prosperity, he added.

The programme aims to help Ho Chi Minh City residents learn more about the traditional festivals and culture of four ASEAN nations, thus contributing to boosting friendship and cooperation among people from the five countries, he said.

Speaking at the event, Laos' Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, Somxay Sanam-Oune, highly appreciated the organisation of the programme, saying that the event contributed to tightening solidarity among ASEAN nations.

Annually, April 14 to 16 is the period when Cambodians celebrate their Chol Chnam Thmay festival, Lao people observe their Bun Pi May festival, the Burmese welcome their Thingyan festival, and Thai people organise their Trut Sonkran festival.

These festivals are an occasion for people in each country to visit pagodas to pray for luck, express their love and respect for their family, and hold activities to welcome a New Year full of happiness and prosperity.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Mentorship and Emerging Talent at CINZ MEETINGS 2017

In recent years CINZ has established several initiatives including its Mentorship and Emerging Talent programmes and a Diploma qualification for experienced professionals.

All will be demonstrated at the Education Hub at CINZ MEETINGS 2017.

Now in its fourth year, the CINZ Mentorship Programme is designed to forge strong connections in New Zealand’s business events industry.

‘The aim is to provide business event professionals with additional personal and career guidance and advice,’ says Sue Sullivan, CINZ chief executive.

‘What we want to do is grow the skills of our people and strengthen the networks within our industry so that everyone is at the top of their game. This programme is designed to create valuable relationships and lead to significant personal growth,’ she explains.

The CINZ Mentorship programme is facilitated by Wendy Baker, director of the New Zealand Coaching and Mentoring Centre. She says more and more organisations are recognising the significant contribution coaching and mentoring can make to achieving key objectives.

’Training managers, team leaders and staff in coaching and mentoring skills helps develop a culture within the organisation that makes use of what is probably the best learning resource an organisation has – its own people,’ says Baker.

The CINZ Emerging Talent programme has been running in Auckland and Wellington for two years, and is designed to meet the needs of up-and-coming professionals and give them valuable network building opportunities.

This programme is giving young professionals the stepping stones they need to build their professional networks and assist them as they progress in their careers into management positions,’ Sullivan explains.

For more experienced professionals looking to advance their qualifications, CINZ and ServiceIQ worked together to launch the New Zealand Diploma in Tourism Conventions and Incentives (Level 5) with strands in Conference Organisation, Convention Bureau, Incentives Planning, and Venue Sales and Operations.


The Sydney Opera House has launched a new tour, Taste of the Opera House, which takes visitors on a culinary journey around the building’s bars and restaurants.

Bringing together the best of Australian food and culture, the new gastronomic experience includes cocktail-making with Opera Bar’s top mixologists; a Japanese sushi-making masterclass at Opera Kitchen; a special lunch menu from Portside Sydney’s ‘hatted’ head chef; and a signature dessert at Peter Gilmore’s Bennelong.

The tours are a fantastic way to experience the world heritage-listed building while taking in the culinary delights of some of Sydney’s best chefs.

Tours will take place on 23 April, 7 May and 21 May.

Click here for more information.

Image: Opera Bar and Kitchen. Credit, Daniel Boud.

Bamboo and rattan weaving honoured at Ha Noi ‘s Old Quarter

A wide variety of bamboo and rattan weaving products from Phu Vinh village, Chuong My district, Hanoi, are being displayed at a programme which began on April 14 at Kim Ngan Temple in Hang Bac Street, Hoan Kiem District.

Kim Ngan Temple was transformed into an installation arts space, with various products made from bamboo and rattan, including lanterns, paintings, vases, baskets, tables, chairs and decorative boats. They were weaved by talented bamboo and rattan weavers in Phu Vinh trade village.

In addition, visitors to the exhibition can find information introducing the handicraft of bamboo and rattan weaving in Phu Vinh village, from its origin, tools, techniques and outstanding artisans.

Notably, artisan Nguyen Van Trung, who has spent his whole life working as a bamboo and rattan weaver, will perform different stages of bamboo and rattan weaving.

In addition, he will talk about the history of the craft as well as his passion for preserving this traditional handicraft.

Phu Vinh bamboo and rattan weaving village is one of many well-known traditional trade villages in Hanoi with a history of nearly 400 years. It was officially recognised as a traditional trade village in 2002.

With their creativity and skillful hands, Phu Vinh artisans have created hundreds of different weaving techniques to make highly attractive products that have been sold widely on both domestic and foreign markets.

The programme honouring Phu Vinh bamboo and rattan weaving products and artisans is expected to help promote the capital’s traditional cultural values to Vietnamese people as well as international friends.

The programme will run until May 7.