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Travel expo to promote tourism among four regional countries

The international Travel Expo 2011 in HCM City, scheduled for September this year, will expand its scope of promotion to four countries instead of three Indochina nations as in previous events.

Nguyen Bao Anh, deputy head of the Tourism Promotion Division under the HCM City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the expo themed "Four Countries-One Destination" is aimed to promote Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam as a single tourism destination. The organisers are inviting Yunnan Province of China to join this year's event.

The travel expo will focus on promoting World Heritage Sites, the common tourism potential of the four countries, health tourism and youth tourism, as well as beaches and islands.

Mekong Delta snake farm lures thousands of travellers a month

Dong Tam Snake Farm in the Mekong province of Tien Giang's Chau Thanh District has attracted thousands of visitors per month. Located some 10km from My Tho City, the 11-ha farm is also home to sheep, ostriches, yellow tortoises, crocodiles and, of course, snakes.

Dong Tam, the country's only snake museum and also one of the largest snake-breeding centres and maker of anti-venom in Viet Nam, has a collection of more than 50 species of snakes, including the poisonous ones. Most of the snakes raised there are pythons and cobras. Visiting the farm, tourists can learn how to treat snakebites and how to remove and use venom in medicine.

Thua Thien-Hue Province to host national tourism year 2012

The national tourism year 2012 will be held in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue. Lying on the north-south railway and the Trans-Asia Highway linking central Viet Nam with Laos and northeastern Thailand, Thua Thien-Hue will be a stopover for tourists.

The ancient city of Hue, the capital city of Viet Nam under the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945), preserves the nha nhac (royal court music) that was recognised by UNESCO as a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity.

Thua Thien-Hue is also well known for its cuisine, craft products and folk festivals, including the Cau Ngu (Fish Praying) festival, the boat race on the Huong (Perfume) River, and the biannual Hue Festivals.

The National Tourism Year 2011 themed "Exotic Beaches and Islands" took place in central coastal Phu Yen Province on April 1.

HCM City hotels add 1,300 rooms, receive 900,000 visitors in Q1

More than 1,300 one-to four-star hotel rooms were brought into operation in HCM City in the first quarter of 2011, according to figures from the hotel division of the city's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The city has 596 one-star hotels, 167 two-star hotels, 596 three-star hotels; 13 four-star hotels and 13 five-star hotels. The five-star hotels will overtake their low-budget rivals with many projects in the offing to expand and build luxury facilities. The city received some 900,000 international visitors in Q1, a year-on-year increase of 6 per cent, the same source said.

Seminar seeks to increase votes for Ha Long Bay as new world wonder

A seminar was held in Quang Ninh Province on May 1, seeking more votes for Ha Long Bay to be recognised as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

The Deputy Director of Quang Ninh Television Station, Mai Vu Tuan, proposed increasing broadcasts of Ha Long Bay's values on domestic radio and television programmes as well as on foreign radio and television, such as South Korea's Kangwon television and China's Guangxi television and radio, which have established cooperative ties with Viet Nam.

The World Heritage Site Ha Long Bay needs to collect 60 million votes to become one of the new 7 wonders of the world. The New Open World will announce the final list of the new 7 wonders of the world on November 11.