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Long holiday increases demand for foreign tours, say agents

Update: January, 06/2012 - 09:50

HCM CITY — Travel agencies in HCM City have been kept busy booking foreign tours as residents seek to take advantage of a nine-day Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

The number of bookings for foreign tours offered by major companies like Saigontourist, Vietravel and Fiditour have increased between 20 and 30 per cent compared with last year's Tet season.

Most customers are buying tours to Asian countries and to Europe, the companies say.

"Longer holidays give people more time to travel," said Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, head of Fiditour's External Affairs Office.

Fiditour's tours to Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and China are fully booked, she said.

A six-day tour to Thailand offered by the city's tourism agencies costs about VND8 million (US$381), cheaper than six-day tours from HCM City to northern provinces that cost between VND11 million and VND12 million.

Bookings of domestic tours have only increased slightly compared to last year's Tet. However, travel agencies say Vietnamese people do not typically plan holidays much ahead of time or book tours in advance.

The prices of domestic tours will remain unchanged for those who have bought the package before December 31, 2011, but since the beginning of this year, they have increased by about 23 per cent because of the hike in domestic airfares.

First Vietnamese film screened on Star Movies Asia


HA NOI — Star Movies will screen the Vietnamese blockbuster Bay Rong (Clash) in Asia on Saturday night.

The Vietnamese action movie, featuring Veronica Ngo and Johnny Tri Nguyen, will be the first Vietnamese movie to be shown on Star Movies.

The film's plot involves devoted mother Trinh (Ngo) racing to complete a series of treacherous missions in order to get her kidnapped daughter back from a dangerous crime lord.

Determined to complete her final assignment without complications, Trinh assembles a group of dangerous criminals who know no fear.

That group includes Quan (Nguyen), a mysterious loner who's as handsome as he is dangerous. When Trinh starts to fall for Quan as they prepare for battle, the momentary distraction threatens to have tragic repercussions.

With a budget of US$1.5 million, the movie was released for the 2009 Christmas season and earned about $600,000 after three weeks.

Clash has been screened at many international film festivals around the world including Tribecal Film Festival; Warsaw Film Festival and Berlin Fantasy Filmfest.

The movie will screen at 9:25pm on Saturday. — VNS

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