Vietnam gets brotherly support from neighbor Singapore


In a show of brotherly support, Singapore has offered its expertise to develop Vietnam’s imperial city Hue, in central Vietnam, into an international convention center.

Former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, who was on a visit to meet local leaders said, Hue could position itself as a ‘must see’ location on the ASEAN tourism circuit. “The city could position itself as an international convention center.”

eTN Chatroom: Discuss with readers from around the world:

Despite Hue being a popular tourist destination in Vietnam, the area has suffered from lack of interest from foreign investors who prefer to invest in bigger cities, such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.

Listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site, the Citadel palace was home to the last seven Vietnamese emperors, including the last Nguyen dynasty.

Separately, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced the introduction of the Singapore Tourist Pass, in addition to a comprehensive transport guide involving bus, train and taxi information and routes for tourists. Priced at app. US$5 per day, tourists are entitled to unlimited travel on buses and trains for up to three days, similar to the presently available EZ-Link tourist card, which allows refunds if not used within five days but costs $12 per day.

In addition, both cards are bundled with retail promotions at store outlets in the city state.

Nicholas Lee, senior vice-president of EZ-Link, said that the challenge is how to get tourists to use the card. “How do we make them aware that this is a value for money proposition?”

Both cards are aimed at the expected influx of visitor numbers following completion of the planned integrated resort projects on the island nation in the coming years.
“Data from pattern and usage of the cards will help us to prepare for the influx of visitors in the coming years,” statement from STB said.