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Furama Resort Danang has been voted as one of the 25 best family hotels in Asia in 14th SmartTravelAsia.com's Best in Travel Poll 2017.

Smart Travel Asia is the region's dedicated online travel magazine based in Hong Kong with over 15 years of operation and 1.2 million readers worldwide. The annual poll conducted from May until June 2017 by Smart Travel Asia based on 3 key factors: family-friendly level, customers' feedbacks and the hotels' quality of services including shopping, spas or weddings.

"Hot 25 Family Hotel 2017" is a brand new category carried out in response to readers' demand with the voters being global frequent travellers with substantial hands-on travel experiences. Only travellers who had taken at least 12 flights a year and an average annual income of over US$156,000 were eligible to vote.

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Furama Resort Danang has upgraded its renowned International Convention Palace while promptly finishing the construction of Ariyana Convention Centre (ACC) in order to welcome the upcoming APEC summit in November 2017.

With a total budget of VND 4.5 billion, the renovated construction of the International Convention Palace started in July with 10 different categories is expected to finish with all the furniture being re-painted to enhance the centre's brightness. Some significant adjustments include installing a high-capacity conference room sound system which costs more than VND 600 million; setting up a soundproof system and utilizing technical boxes to reduce parasitic noise; modernizing the security monitoring system with more cameras. In addition, the central air conditioning and chiller systems which cost nearly VND 2 billion are also installed along with the re-designing of the water system and the light system. Meanwhile, the VIP anteroom with new facilities is expanded and the kitchen system is also re-built with a double increase in the capacity of service, capable of holding five-star events, buffet parties for 1,000 guests at the same time.

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Tourism industry seeking visa fee waivers for all visitors to Vietnam

The Vietnam Tourism Association is asking the government to offer visa fee waivers to all tourists between July and December this year in an attempt to avert a drastic decline in foreign arrivals.

Vu The Binh, vice chairman of the association, said at a conference in Hanoi, that the fee exemption will be an "urgent solution" to deal with consecutive drops in tourist numbers over the last 11 months.

"It will be a breakthrough to help travel firms stimulate demand from tourists," Binh said, as cited by Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon Online.

He said tourists will be able to save US$45 of the visa fee, but it is also a gesture of goodwill.

Some industry insiders even said the government should learn from Singapore and start letting all foreign tourists enter the country freely without visa requirements.

Figures from the General Statistics Office showed that foreign arrivals in April increased 11.7 percent from March to 690,440, but down 7.4 percent year-on-year.

The combined number of the first four months was nearly 2.7 million, down 12.2 percent from the same period last year.

Binh conceded that Vietnam's tourism products are boring and not worth the prices, which are relatively higher than similar services in nearby countries.

He asked the government to also offer tax breaks to tourism firms and hotels in the second half of the year so that they can in turn offer discounts and launch promotional programs to bring tourists back.

He said similar programs in 2009 had helped the industry survive a crisis, with foreign arrivals rebounding and then surging 36 percent the following year.

Vietnam's visa waiver policy is currently effective for tourists from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Japan, Russia and South Korea.

Binh said the government should consider extending it for another four large tourism markets of Vietnam, namely the UK, France, Germany and Australia.

Under a regional agreement, Vietnam also offers a 30-day visa waiver for tourists from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, except for those from Brunei who receive a 14-day waiver.

Source: thanhniennews.com

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