Latest blog articles
Vietnam anticipates record tourist arrivals this year
Vietnam National Administration of Tourism on Thursday announced 2016 would be a record year.
The agency predicted it would log 10 million foreign tourists for the year this Sunday compared to the 7.9 million who visited in 2015.
The industry made up 6.6 percent of Vietnam’s gross domestic product and offered one of the few bright spots in an economy that's highly likely to miss its annual growth target.
Chinese tourists arrivals soared 53.9 percent over last year's figures to 2.48 million, accounting for more than a quarter of the country's total international tourists.
Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the national tourism administration, attributed the impressive growth to Vietnam’s efforts to relax its visa policy.
Vietnam has already offered visa exemption to tourists from South Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asian countries, as well as extended visa-free programs through June of next year for travelers from Western Europe, including those from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
Hoping to give the tourism industry a bigger push, the Vietnamese government has approved an online visa system for travelers on short holidays or casual business visits.
The new visa rule, which is expected to come into effect this coming February, will not apply to all visitors, but limited to those from Vietnam’s top tourist source markets.
Tourism authorities are eyeing an additional 15-percent increase in international tourists next year—or 11.5 million.
Tourism is expected to become a key driving force in Vietnam’s economic growth by 2020.
5-year-old male Tasmanian devil dies at an Albuquerque zoo
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque zoo says a 5-year-old male Tasmanian devil on loan from Australia has died.Sylar was one of four Tasmanian devils loaned to the ABQ BioPark in 2013 from Australia's Healesville Sanctuary as part of an ambassador program.Zoo officials say Sylar's keepers noticed last Friday that he was lethargic and coughing and a medical treatment plan was started.Early indications from a necropsy are that Sylar died Saturday of natural causes.Test results will be… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
In Mexico, beers and cheers during Clinton-Trump debate
Mexico City (AFP) - Every time Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump said "Mexico" during their final presidential debate, pints of beer were raised at a restaurant south of the border called Pinche Gringo BBQ.Some 200 people watched the debate late Wednesday at the Mexican-American-owned barbecue joint in Mexico City whose name refers to an insult against Americans ("damn gringo").The crowd was a mix of American expats and Mexicans, highlighting the deep interest and concerns that the US election… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
FLC Faros to invest us$2 billion in Quang Ninh
Quang Ninh Province has permitted the FLC Group to study to invest in the high-end entertainment and services complex in Van Don Special Economic Zone. A perspective of the high-end entertainment and services complex in Van Don Special Economic Zone. The People’s Committee of the province issued an official dispatch No 1662/UBND-XD1 last Friday in this regard.According to the investment plan of FLC Faros Van Don Investment and Development Co. Ltd (FLC Group’s affiliates), the project includes… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Ethnic cleansing going on in South Sudan: U.N. commission
By Tom Miles and Ed CropleyGENEVA/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Ethnic cleansing is taking place in some areas of South Sudan and the stage is set for a repeat of the Rwandan genocide, the head of the U.N. commission of human rights in the country said on Thursday at the end of a 10-day visit."There is already a steady process of ethnic cleansing under way in several areas of South Sudan using starvation, gang rape and the burning of villages; everywhere we went across this country we heard… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
California, Uber meet amid self-driving car legal showdown
California regulators are meeting privately Thursday with officials from Uber to hammer home their demand that the ride-hailing company immediately stop picking up San Francisco passengers in self-driving cars — or face legal action.Safety was sure to be front and center: Dash cam video posted online showed a self-driving Uber run a red light Wednesday, the same day the company launched the pilot program with several Volvo SUVs.Publicly, both sides have dug into opposing positions. The state… chat_bubble_outline Read More...