Vung Tau wins ASEAN Clean Tourism City award

Saturday, 27/01/2024 23:32
Ba Ria Vung Tau was honoured as an "ASEAN Clean Tourism City" at the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) which took place on January 26 in the Lao capital of Vientiane, reported VOV.
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Mr. Hoang Vu Thanh, Chairman of the Vung Tau City People’s Committee received the award in Vientiane Capital, Laos

According to the People's Committee of Vung Tau city, this marks the third consecutive time that the locality has been certified by the Asia-Pacific Cities Tourism Promotion Organization.

The event aims to honour and develop high-quality tourism brands throughout the ASEAN region.

In order to compete for the award, regional destinations must meet 108 criteria in terms of environmental management, cleanliness, waste management, environmental protection awareness, green space, urban safety and security, medical facilities, along with tourism infrastructure and amenities.

According to Vung Tau city's leaders, the recognition comes following great efforts made by both the local administration and people of the city in recent years to ensure environmental hygiene at the beaches, as well as both security and safety for tourists.

In addition, the locality has also strived to develop many typical tourism products such as MICE, festival tourism, beach tourism, and eco-tourism. Through these efforts, Vung Tau welcomes nearly 6.5 million visitors each year.

Since 2019, Vung Tau has been an official member of the Tourism Promotion Organization for Global Cities (TPO).

RoK firms seek to promote travel market in Vietnam

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A group of RoK tourists visit the My Son World Cultural Heritage on September 2, 2023 (Photo: VNA)

Lotte Duty Free and Modetour - tourism service businesses from the Republic of Korea (RoK), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Seoul on January 26 to strengthen joint marketing efforts toward promoting the tourism market in Vietnam, reported Vietnam News Agency.

Under the agreement, the two will work together to develop new product packages combining duty-free shopping and tourism in the Southeast Asian nation.

Amid many tourist destinations in Vietnam favoured by RoK visitors such as Da Nang, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, and Da Lat, the two firms have co-operated to create synergy such as expanding customer interaction points and developing products aimed at serving tourists and combining duty-free shopping and tourism.

Lotte Duty Free and Modetour have outlined a cooperation plan to promote tourism in Vietnam by coming together to sell package travel products nationwide.

They are set to deploy joint marketing activities, including advertising and using social network services, while simultaneously setting up close linkages in a bid to ensure development strategies and long-term benefits for both sides.

Statistics show that by 2023, the highest proportion of passengers from Southeast Asia in the total number of passengers on package tours provided by Modetour stood at 53%. The rate of visitors to Vietnam was the highest among the Southeast Asian nations, with 44%.

Lotte Duty Free currently operates four branches in the Vietnamese market, including two in Da Nang, one in Nha Trang, and the other in Hanoi. In 2023, Lotte Duty Free's annual sales in Vietnam increased by 351% year-on-year, with Korean tourists making up about 60%.

Lee Seung-jun, head of Lotte Duty Free’s overseas business department, said in response to Korean tourists’ growing demand for duty-free shopping in Vietnam, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic, the firm has partnered with Modetour to enhance customer benefits.

Lee Woo-Yeon, director of Modetour's Southeast Asia business division, said as Vietnam is one of the most popular destinations for RoK travelers, Modetour expects to provide better services through this MoU with Lotte Duty Free.

Fruit, vegetable exports expected to flourish in 2024

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Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Fruit and vegetable exports are predicted to set a new record in 2024, possibly exceeding the 6-billion-USD tunover goal and even approaching the 7-billion-USD milestone, reported Vietnam News Agency.

Insiders said many opportunities are opening up for the sector as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) is implementing numerous activities to promote its development.

Despite numerous challenges, the sector still surpassed the targets set for 2023.

According to statistics from the General Department of Customs, Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable export turnover hit an estimated 5.6 billion USD last year, surging by 66% year-on-year. Surpassing dragon fruit, durian recorded the highest export value.

The largest importers of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables include China, the US, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Netherlands, Taiwan (China), Australia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Russia.

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Surpassing dragon fruit, durian records the highest export value. (Photo: VNA)

China remained the biggest import market for Vietnam, with the import turnover reaching 3.7 billion USD in the year, up nearly 250% in value and 65% in market share compared to 2022.

Ngo Tuong Vy, General Director of Chanh Thu Fruit Export Group JSC said that the company’s revenue in 2023 doubled compared to the previous year thanks to the rise in durian exports, which accounted for 80% of the total revenue.

This year, the MARD will accelerate negotiations for the official export of Vietnamese fresh chilies and coconuts to the Chinese market. With the possibility of Vietnam's frozen durians also being allowed to be exported to China, the export turnover of fruits and vegetables in 2024 is forecast to increase significantly.

It is anticipated that four more products will be officially exported to China, namely medicinal herbs, coconuts, frozen fruits, and watermelons, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien.

According to Nguyen Khac Tien, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ameii Vietnam JSC, market surveys show that Chinese consumers are favouring processed durian products, which is an advantage for Vietnam in producing more value-added products from durian.

Tien added that this market still holds great potential and opportunities for the export of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables.

Meanwhile, General Secretary of the Vietnam Vegetable and Fruit Association (VINAFRUIT) Dang Phuc Nguyen said Vietnam’s watermelon exports could double, reaching 100 million USD this year when China’s protocol allowing the import of fresh watermelons from Vietnam takes effect.

Experts advised vegetable and fruit exporters to strictly abide by requirements and regulations on food safety, traceability, growing area code confirmation, and packaging stated in the signed protocols.

Clinker and cement exports rake in over US$1.32 billion

Vietnam grossed more than US$1.32 billion from exporting more than 31.3 million tonnes of clinker and cement last year, suffering a fall of 1.2% in volume and 4.1% in value, VOV quoted figures of the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

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Photo for illustration. (Source: congthuong.vn)

The average export price dropped by roughly 3% to nearly US$42.4 per tonne, down by approximately 3% against the same period from last year.

December alone witnessed Vietnamese clinker and cement exports reach more than 2.53 million tonnes, earning nearly US$98 million, up 0.9% in volume and down 3% in value compared to November, 2023.

With regards to export markets, the Philippines took the lead by accounting for 27% of the country’s total export turnover, followed by Bangladesh at 17%, and Malaysia at 5.2%.

The decline in cement & clinker exports can largely be attributed to the fact that China reduced import demand, dropping by 90% over the same period from last year.

In contrast, Bangladesh has recorded robust growth as cement and clinker exports to Vietnam soared by 40% on-year thanks to increased investment in infrastructure.

Australia also boasted high demand for importing these products last year, importing nearly 470,000 tonnes of clinker and cement from the Vietnamese market, equivalent to US$23.4 million, a rise of 135% in volume and 120% in value.

Australia's cement imports before 2013 were mainly from China, making up 48% of the overall figure; Taiwan (China) at 43%, and Thailand at 7%.

However, since 2013 Vietnamese cement and clinker products have gained a firm foothold within the Australian market, with their market share increasing sharply./.

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