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The Ministry of Culture and Information will send files of four more sites in Vietnam to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for consideration and recognition as world natural and cultural heritage sites.

The Hoang Anh Gia Lai hotel, the biggest in the Central Highlands region, was inaugurated in Gia Lai province on Jan. 17. Built by the Hoang Anh Gia Lai, a private company, a cost of over 80 billion VND (roughly 5 million USD), the hotel includes 140 rooms, three restaurants, three meeting halls and sports grounds.

{mosimage}Preparations for the Huong (Perfume) Pagoda Festival have all been finalised, Dao Van Binh, head of the Steering Committee for the event, said at a press conference over the weekend.

A growing number of foreigners are flocking to Vietnam for medical tourism even though the industry, which has been promoted in Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines, is new to the country, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) said in a recent report.

{mosimage}Vietnam?s central city of Danang has licensed the first Japanese-invested tourism project whose US$5 million first phase is set to start construction this year, the city People?s Committee said.

{mosimage}Binh Thuan province in central Vietnam has seen a 40% rise in the number of foreign tourists in the last few days and many of its resorts are packed, an official said.

{mosimage}The Asian Week in its January edition said that tourism cooperation between Viet Nam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) has been strongly promoted over the past year.

{mosimage}The ancient town of Hoi An organised a death anniversary of the ancestor of the garment industry on 11th Jan. This is the first activity among more than 50 programmes due to be held this year in the Quang Nam National Tourism Year.

{mosimage}Authorities of central Thua Thien - Hue province recently invested 21 billion VND in the upgrade of  facilities at the Lang Co - Bach Ma - Hai Van resort complex in order to entice more tourists to the province.

{mosimage}Vietnam?s central region welcomed two more tourist motorcades from Thailand in the first days of 2006, an auspicious start to promote land-based tourism travel between regional neighbours. 

{mosimage}More than 1,300 readers have picked Viet Nam as one of the top five destinations to travel to in 2006, the Tripso forums of the US has announced.

{mosimage}OSC Vietnam Travel has invested VND 26 bln for upgrading hotels that belong to its system for the coming Vung Tau Sea Festival in April 2006. Among the investment capital, VND 24 bln  is spent for the renovation of Palace Hotel (Number 1, Nguyen Trai St., Vung Tau City).

{mosimage}A cable-car system will be inaugurated on Jan. 10 to serve the biggest and longest pilgrimage season on a mountain range of Huong (Perfume) pagoda. The Huong festival, which will kick off on Feb. 6 and last through March this year in the My Duc district, Ha Tay province, 60km of Ha Noi, is also attractive to sight-seers. Visitors and pilgrims often go up and down from rivers to mountains and travel on foot from one mountain to another to ask favours of Buddha.

{mosimage}Hanoi Tourism Company (Hanoitourist) is expected to welcome a US group of 19 TV reporters and photographers who will tour Vietnam from January 18-29 to make films and take photos featuring the country?s traditional culture during its traditional Lunar New Year Festival (Tet).

{mosimage}Ba Ria - Vung Tau received some 43,000 tourists on their 2 day vacation in the New Year 2006, increasing 20% compared to the previous time, reported Tourism Department.