A series of hotels and restaurants in Danang are seeing a dramatic decrease in guests due to the resurging number of Covid cases and the end of summer.
The Danang Statistics Office said the city had been organizing activities to attract inbound and outbound travelers. In the first eight months of the year, many hotels and restaurants thrived after a long period of closure due to Covid.
During the time, the volume of passengers arriving in Danang spiked over the same period.
However, all data in August has shown signs of declining in the number of visitors. The revenue of the accommodation and catering service sector was estimated at VND2,020 billion, a drop of 3.5% against July.
Of this, the accommodation and catering services made up VND753 billion and VND1.267 billion, down 4.1% and 3% over July, respectively.
In August, accommodation facilities served 491,700 customers, down 2.4% over July, but 26.6 times higher than the same period in 2021.
Cao Van Trung Vuong, director of Kingdom Tourist, said the number of travelers had dropped by 30-50% compared to the peak period in summer.
He said September and October are usually good months for training personnel in preparation for the peak seasons.
Sharing the same opinion, many travel firms in the city said that Danang was now in the off-season and many other cities across the country were facing the same fate.
Moreover, the number of international passengers traveling to Danang has dropped sharply as the number of Covid cases has risen again and preventative measures against the virus have been tightened in the key source markets of Danang, such as Korea, China, Taiwan and Japan.
Given the challenge, domestic businesses are focusing on travelers from neighboring countries such as India, Thailand and Malaysia.
Another challenge luxury hotels are facing is the shortage of professional personnel fluent in a foreign language as they have sought other stable jobs after the pandemic.
Hanoi’s OCOP products to be promoted on TikTok
Hanoi’s “One Commune, One Product” (OCOP) products will be promoted on TikTok under a new agreement signed between the Hanoi Office of New Rural Development Programme Coordination and the popular video-sharing social networking platform on August 31.
Deputy chief of the office Nguyen Van Chi said one of the most important goals of the OCOP programme is to boost sales through e-commerce and livestream channels.
The agreement aims to provide the capital with a more comprehensive set of e-commerce solutions for the programme, he said, adding that the city is the first in the country seeking to use TikTok as a new channel for OCOP sales.
The two sides will co-organise training courses on making short videos on TikTok to promote OCOP, and how to capitalise all-in-one marketing solutions on TikTok Shop.
Nguyen Thanh Lam from TikTok said the social networking platform will cooperate with Hanoi to build a solid foundation for the OCOP, starting from training in digital skills.
UK a promising market for Vietnamese vegetarian food export
The market for plant-based foods is surging globally after the pandemic, presenting an opportunity for Vietnamese vegetarian food exporters, of which the UK is a promising market.
Last week, Dong Thap province-based Binh Loan vegetarian food factory exported two tonnes of canned vegetarian food to the UK with the support of Longdan, the biggest importer of Vietnamese goods in the UK.
This is the first vegetarian food factory in Dong Thap province that has exported canned vegetarian food to a foreign market. Exported products included vegetarian brown rice with lotus seed and six vegetarian beancurd skins with different flavours.
Health concerns after the pandemic are driving consumers globally to change their diet to plant-based food. According to market insiders, this is an opportunity for Vietnamese food processors with sustainable development strategies to enter new markets, especially with the backing of free trade agreements that Vietnam has signed with many countries, including the UK.
The UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA), which officially came into force on May 1, 2021, has created favourable and transparent conditions for the import of agricultural products, food, beverages and other products subject to SPS measures to the UK.
A survey of consumers in seven European countries, conducted by Switzerland-based V-Label GmbH, has found a growing number of respondents are looking to eat more plant-based foods post-COVID-19.
At the height of the pandemic, sales of meat alternatives were reported to rise 265% over a period of eight weeks. Investments in alt-protein also rose sharply to reach 4.8 billion USD in 2021, representing a 102% year-on-year growth.
Data of the vegetarian foods export as an independent sector is not available. Currently, Vietnamese enterprises export vegetarian food and meat alternative food together with other groups of industries, such as fish sauce, soy sauce, instant noodles and vermicelli.
The development of Vietnam’s vegetarian and meat alternative food brands to the global market has also not been constructed. However, Hanh said not only for vegetarian food but also for processed food export in general, the strict adherence to the SPS standards are important to export to the fastidious markets like the UK.
HCM City to exceed 2022 growth target of 6.5%
Ho Chi Minh City is likely to exceed its growth target of 6-6.5% this year, a city official said.
Speaking at a meeting on August 30, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Phan Van Mai said the country’s largest economic hub would focus on speeding up disbursement of public investment in the remaining months of the year.
Public spending remains too slow, causing major public projects to be postponed for years, according to Mai, who attributed the delays to complicated administrative procedures, among other hurdles.
Total public investment disbursement reached more than 9 trillion VND (386.9 million USD) as of August 26, accounting for 23.8% of the year’s target of 38 trillion VND. In August, it disbursed less than 600 billion VND.
The city is seeking Government allocation of an additional 120 trillion VND (5.13 billion USD) for implementation of major public projects.
It would need 672 trillion VND of public investment over the next three years but only 142 trillion VND was approved, or only 21% of what is needed, Mai noted.
In 2021, the city disbursed less than 30 trillion VND, accounting for only 61.3% of the year’s target.
Mai has proposed the Government remove obstacles to ensure the allocation of investment capital for the implementation of major projects.
The projects include the metro routes, Ring Roads 3 and 4, the HCM City – Moc Bai expressway, and others.
It will also need to mobilise private investment to invest more in public facilities such as schools, hospitals and cultural and sports centres.
The city has established a steering committee to speed up the disbursement of public investment and resolve other issues facing the city, according to Mai.
Port of Hai Phong offers free container storage on National Day holiday
The Port of Hai Phong JSC has announced that it will offer free storage for containers at ports under its management and operation in the northern city of Hai Phong during the National Day holiday from September 1 to 4.
Beneficiaries of the policy are containers with goods imported from ships, except for refrigerated containers that use electricity, at the Chua Ve and Tan Vu port branches.
Containers by customers without contracts with the company are not eligible for the fee exemption.  
In July alone, the company’s revenue and profit exceeded 161.7 trillion VND (6.89 billion USD) and 42.56 trillion VND, up 19.3% and 31.9% against last year, respectively.
This year, the Port of Hai Phong has set to achieve 5-7% growth for its business and production targets; as well as ensure employment, income, and increase living standards for its employees.
Vietnam int’l furniture, home accessories fair back in HCM City
The Vietnam International Furniture & Home Accessories Fair (VIFA-EXPO 2022) – the biggest and most prestigious trade event for exporting furniture and wooden products in the country – kicked off in Ho Chi Minh City on August 31.
Covering 15,000 sq.m, the fair features nearly 1,000 booths set up by nearly 200 domestic and foreign businesses, of which 34 are foreign.
Dang Quoc Hung, Director of HAWA Corporation, the organiser of the event, said the enterprises bring to the event diverse products, along with machines and components in service of the industry.
Within the framework of the fair, there will be workshops on materials sources and digital application in export-import activities with the participation of experts and representatives from associations and businesses.
VIFA-EXPO 2022, the first offline fair of the domestic furniture and wood industry after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will last until September 3.
Vietnam’s export of timber and wood products has decreased due to the impact of high inflation in the export market.
The General Department of Customs said Vietnam’s export value of timber and wood products in June fell by 4.9% on-year to 1.5 billion USD.
In the first six months, the export value of timber and wood products picked up 2.8% on-year to 8.5 billion USD. But the export value of wood products plunged by 4.6% on-year to 6 billion USD.
Wooden furniture was the key export item in the structure of export timber and wood products in the first five months of this year. However, the export value decreased due to slowing global demand.
Eight-month revenue from retail, services up 19.3%
Total revenue from goods retail and services in the January-August period increased by 19.3% year on year to over 3.679 quadrillion VND (156.8 billion USD), which is a high growth rate for the period in many years, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
Of the figure, goods retail revenue was estimated at 2.925 quadrillion VND, a rise of 15.4% from the same period last year. Retail revenue of cultural, education products surged 26.7%, garment 14.4%, food and foodstuff 12% and home appliances and tools 7.6%.
Localities recording high growth in goods retail revenue included Khanh Hoa (27.8%), Ho Chi Minh City (18.2%), Binh Duong (16.6%), Hai Phong (12.8%), Quang Ninh (12.2%), and Hanoi (10.7%).
Meanwhile, revenue from accommodation and eating out services in the period picked up 48.1% year on year to 377.8 trillion VND thanks to rocketing demand for entertainment and tourism in summer after more than two years of travel and going-out restrictions prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can Tho posted a 95.5% rise in this type of revenue, Da Nang 84%, HCM City 76.3%, Quang Ninh 72%, and Hanoi 65.2%.
The 8-month travelling and tourism revenue was estimated at 15.4 trillion VND, up 3.4 times from the same period last year, but equal to only 47.7% of the same period in 2019.
Domestic air transport sees strong rebound after pandemic
Domestic air transport has recorded spectacular recovery and breakthrough growth in the first eight months of 2022, according to a report issued by the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) on August 31. 
The report said over 66 million passengers used air service in the last eight months, including 61 million domestic ones, up 19.9% from the 2019 figure. 
The number of passengers increased by 40% in June, 42% in July, 40% in August this year, compared to the same period in 2019. 
Meanwhile, the volume of goods going through airports in the first eight months of 2022 decreased by 8.7% compared to the same period three years earlier, with the proportion of international cargo going up to 79% from 66% in 2019. 
The overall rate of flight delays in the first seven months of this year was 22.41%, the report said. 
ACV demanded airports to coordinate in operating, ensuring flight safety and the quality of service in the context of increasing transport volume; strengthen monitoring and control of takeoffs and landings in the coming time.
With an annual growth rate of over 15% in the period 2010-2019, Vietnam is the fifth fastest growing aviation market in the world, and the fastest in Southeast Asia.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed back the development of aviation industry worldwide during the 2020-2021 period, causing negative impacts on the air transport chain, especially Vietnamese airlines.
Due to the closure of the international market, domestic airlines almost completely stopped international operation, while the domestic transport in the last two years saw respective declines of 42.1% and 80% compared to 2019.
President suggests Lotte Group invest more in Vietnam
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc welcomed Lotte Group’s investment of nearly 5 billion USD in Vietnam and suggested the Republic of Korea’s conglomerate further invest in Vietnam’s large projects, while hosting Lotte Chairman Shin Dong-bin in Hanoi on August 31.
Expressing his delight at the two nations’ strategic partnership being consolidated across fields, particularly trade, investment and political trust, he noted RoK firms are taking the lead in terms of FDI volume in Vietnam with a total capital of 80 billion USD.
Bilateral trade value has reached 78 billion USD, with the RoK now the third largest trade partner of Vietnam. 
The State leader thanked Lotte for helping Vietnam in pandemic prevention and control, notably an aid worth 3.7 billion VND (157,766 USD), discount programmes for necessities, and the provision of face-mask and gifts for workers.
For his part, Shin thanked the Vietnamese Government, ministries, sectors and localities for their support for his group over the past time.
He informed his host on a number of Lotte’s projects earmarked for Hanoi, including a shopping centre expected to attract some 10 million visitors annually.
Lotte also wants to promote the building of a startup ecosystem in support of Vietnamese youth and invest in Vietnamese start-ups, Shin affirmed.
According to him, since 1996, the group has invested in Vietnam across many fields, with its capital totaling 40 trillion VND and current number of employees exceeding 20,000.
International Furniture and Home Accessories Fair opens in HCM City
The Vietnam International Furniture and Home Accessories Fair (VIFA-EXPO) kicked off on August 31 in Ho Chi Minh City, attracting the participation of 200 local and foreign enterprises.
The four-day event was jointly held by the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade in collaboration with the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCMC and the HAEA Corporation.
Dang Quoc Hung, director of HAWA Corporation, emphasised that VIFA-EXPO is the largest annual fair held over the past several years, and is the most prestigious export promotion event in the wood and furniture industry.
Running with the theme of “Discover the fascination of Vietnamese Furniture & Handicraft”, VIFA-EXPO 2022 is set to provide an ideal venue for exhibitors to showcase their furniture products, handicraft items, interior decoration items, and support services as a way of meeting the needs of international buyers, Hung noted.
A series of seminars on raw material supply and digital applications in export activities will be held to help businesses stay updated on information about production and market trends.
This year’s expo is expected to attract 200 domestic and foreign firms from 12 countries and territories worldwide, including Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Singapore, Thailand, and the US.
Golden chance for tourism services on National Day celebrations
Vietnamese workers will enjoy four days off work during this year’s National Day celebrations which start on September 1, a period of time which is anticipated to create a golden chance for the local tourism sector to attract holidaymakers.
Tour operators report that amid the arrival of autumn, marine tourism is no longer the favourite type of trip enjoyed by holidaymakers. Instead, people are keen to explore scenic spots in mountainous destinations throughout the north and Central Highland regions.
Anticipating this trend, Flamingo Redtours has launched tours to ripening rice fields and cloud-hunting spots around northern and north-western localities. Vu Thi Bich Hue, head of the Communication and Marketing Service of Flamingo Redtours, says her firm has introduced a Ba Be – Cao Bang tour, a Hoang Su Phi – Xin Man – Ha Giang tour, and a Y Ty – Muong Hum – Lung Po – Sapa tour, all of which last three days each.
The tour operators have also launched tours of the Northwest mountains for visitors to come and watch the ripening rice season and explore the distinctive culture of highland ethnic minorities. Pham Van Bay, deputy director of Vietravel Hanoi, shares the firm aims to serve approximately 90,000 visitors in the autumn – winter season this year, including roughly 10,000 during the upcoming National Day holiday.
Currently, picturesque terraced paddy fields in northern highland localities such as Ha Giang, Sa Pa, and Moc Chau are ripening, proving ideal destinations for travelers. Vietravel is therefore offering a tour of O Quy Ho, one of the four most magnificent passes in Vietnam, as well as another tour of Y Ty – Muong Hum – Sa Pa- Hoang Su Phi – Xin Man to hunt for clouds and view the ripening rice fields.
Trekking is proving another favourite service among holidaymakers ahead of the National Day holiday. Tran Trung Kien, director of Umove Trekking, reveals the number of bookings for trekking tours during the upcoming holiday has increased by 35% compared to the early summer period.
Short trekking tours remain popular during this occasion, such as those to Pu Mat National Park, Cuc Phuong National Park, Bai Tu Long National Park, and Vua Ba Mountain, says Kien. 
Localities are also planning to organise a range of cultural and art entertainment schemes in order to attract more tourists during this period.
In Hanoi, amusement and entertainment centres are busy preparing facilities, human resources, and cultural programmes in a bid to serve visitors. Bao Son Paradise Park will organise the Boho Festival, a ritual of the Bohemia culture in central Europe, and introduce the 1,000m2 Baoson VR Game Park, the largest virtual reality amusement park throughout the north.
In Sa Pa, the upland resort city will organise the 2022 Autumn Festival until September 11 to introduce distinctive cultures of various ethnic groups and local specialties. All eyes will therefore be on art programmes and cake making contests which will be held at the Sun World Fansipan Legend tourist area.
Da Nang, a tourism hub in central Vietnam, has also developed a number of art and entertainment programmes as it seeks to lure holidaymakers. Among the programmes on offer are a beer festival in Ba Na Hills and magic shows at Sunworld Da Nang Wonders. Major tourist destinations such as Marble Mountains and Asia Park Da Nang will offer free admission as part of this occasion.
Ample room ahead to increase market share of Vietnamese pineapples in Europe
Vietnamese businesses are required to abide by regulations relating to quality standards in order to increase the market share of pineapple products in the European market, according to industry insiders.
During a recent consultation session held to discuss pineapple exports to Europe, Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy, deputy director of the Export Promotion Centre under the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade), emphasised that Europe is one of the largest consumers of Vietnamese agricultural products.
The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) can be considered a good opportunity for local agricultural products to penetrate major markets with high selling prices, she said, adding that domestic firms must make further changes to export their products in a sustainable manner to the demanding market.
With regard to demand for pineapple in the Netherlands, Inge Ribbens, specialist of the International Affairs Department under the Dutch association for the Promotion of Import and Export of Fresh Fruits, revealed that the Netherlands can serve as the gateway for various types of fruit products to be exported to the European market.
The Dutch expert therefore recommended that Vietnamese businesses acquire relevant information on European regulations on quality standards, quarantine policies, and rules on food safety and sustainability related to products, along with the strict requirements set by distributors in order to make further inroads into the market.
She went on to suggest that Vietnamese businesses consider attending major global trade fairs such as Fruit Attraction Madrid, SIAL Paris, Fruit Logistica Bangkok, and Gulfood Dubai in order to promote their brands and gain direct access to potential European importers.
Nguyen Duc Thuong, commercial counselor of the Vietnam Trade Office in Switzerland, said Switzerland has recently imported several pineapple products from Vietnam, although the quantity and turnover remains limited.
Vietnamese pineapple products have mainly been sold in Asian and Vietnamese stores and have not been distributed through large supermarket channels, he added.
Thuong said that despite facing fierce competition from regional rivals, there remains plenty of room for canned pineapple and juice products in some niche markets. For fresh pineapples, he added Vietnamese businesses are required to co-operate with Swiss importers from the cultivation stage in a bid to ensure the product quality and design.
Sharing this perspective, Bui Vuong Anh, commercial counselor of the Vietnam Trade Office in Germany, noted that local enterprises must pay attention to the product quality and reduce logistics costs, learn more about consumer tastes, prioritise the export of organic products, as well as utilising the tax incentives of the EVFTA to enter the German market.
Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes


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