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Aviation Geography- Vietnam

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Introduction

Vietnam officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. With an estimated 92.7 million inhabitants as of 2016, it is the world's 14th-most-populous country, and the ninth-most-populous Asian country. Vietnam is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, Thailand across the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest, and the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia across the South China Sea to the east and southeast. Its capital city has been Hanoi since the reunification of North and South Vietnam in 1976, with  Ho Chi Minh City as a historical city as well.

As of 2014, the population of Vietnam as standing at approximately 90.7 million people. The population had grown significantly from the 1979 census, which showed the total population of reunified Vietnam to be 52.7 million. In 2012, the country's population was estimated at approximately 90.3 million. The official national language of Vietnam is Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt), a tonal Mon–Khmer language which is spoken by the majority of the population. In its early history, Vietnamese writing used Chinese characters. Vietnam's minority groups speak a variety of languages, including Tày, Mường, Cham, Khmer, Chinese, Nùng, and H'Mông. The Montagnard peoples of the Central Highlands also speak a number of distinct languages.; Vietnam remains a full member of the Francophonie, and education has revived some interest in the language.

Tourist arrivals in Vietnam have continued to rise in recent years. In 2008, Vietnam received 4.218 million international passengers; in 2009 the number was 3.8 million, down 11%. In 2012, Vietnam receives 6.84 million tourists. This was a 13% increase from 2011 figure of 6 million international visitors, which was itself a rise of 2 million visitors relative to 2010 arrivals. In 2016, Vietnam welcomed 10 million international visitors which represented a 26% increase from the previous year (Ministry of Tourism, Vietnam, 2017)

Popular Getaways

Vietnam has 31 national parks. Vietnam now has 21 national tourist areas, major tourist sites that are state recognized:Sa Pa (Leo Cai), Ba Bể (Bắc Kạn), Hạ Long BayCát Bà Island (Quảng Ninh, Hai Phong), Ba Vì National Park (Hanoi), Perfume Pagoda (Hanoi) Long Hai beach etc. Since 2014, Hanoi has consistently been voted in the world's top ten destinations by TripAdvisor. It ranked 8th in 2014, 4th in 2015 and 8th in 2016.

In 2014, Hanoi, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City appeared in TripAdvisor's 2014 Traveller’s Choice Awards for the top 25 destinations in Asia. Hanoi was ranked second, Hoi An tenth and Ho Chi Minh City eighteenth.

Other Destinations

Accessibility to and within the destination

Traveling by plane is cheap and fast. For longer distances it is probably the best way to get around. The trip from Hanoi to HCMC will take about 2 hours by plane. There are many flights connecting the two largest cities, Hanoi and HCMC, to major towns such as Da Nang, Hai Phong, Can Tho, Hue, Nha Trang, Da Lat, Phu Quoc. There are several domestic carriers in Vietnam

Trains are undoubtedly the most comfortable way to travel overland in Vietnam, although prices are more expensive than buses. The network currently has 7 lines in operation, with a total length of 2,632 km.

Long-distance bus services connect most cities in Vietnam. Most depart early in the morning to accommodate traffic and late afternoon rains, or run overnight. It is important to note that average road speeds are typically quite slow, even when travelling between cities. For example a 276 km (172 mi) journey from the Mekong Delta to Ho Chi Minh City by bus will likely take about 8 hours.

Public Buses travel between the cities' bus stations. In bigger places, you often have to use local transport to get into the city centre from there. Buses are generally in reasonable shape, and you have the chance to interact with locals.

Role of Aviation in Tourist Attraction

Vietnam has international airports at Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang. Non-stop flights are available from Australia, Cambodia, China, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Macau, Qatar, Turkey, Dubai and the U.S. However, most direct flights are served by flag carrier Vietnam Airlines while plenty of other long-haul flights are available with transits via Bangkok, Doha, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Taipei.

Between 70-80% of passengers travelling by air do so for tourism purposes and up to 80% of foreign tourists come to Vietnam by air ( Lai Xuan Thanh, 2017)

Vietnam boasts a large tourism potential and diversified products and its tourism market has the potential to compete against other major regional tourism markets, said Deputy Head of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) Lai Xuan Thanh. The aviation sector plays an important role in the task of serving national tourism development, stressed Thanh.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tran Chien Thang said that both the aviation and the tourism sectors need to be brought into play in promoting better aviation services to the tourists abroad.

Both sectors should collaborate in providing information on tourism destinations and products for tourists before planes land, he said.

Vietnam now has around 20 airports for regular civil flights. Apart from the Vietnam national flag carrier, there are more than 20 foreign airlines operating in the country. The nation also boasts more than 800 international and thousands of domestic travel agents.

Vietnam’s aviation sector is opening new air routes and modernising its fleet to increase its competitiveness. These are advantages for both sectors in terms of cooperation for development, said the seminar. This year, both administrations plan to jointly offer promotional and discount programmes to attract foreign tourists through a goods discount campaign at major retail outlets in Hanoi, the central city of Danang and HCMC.

Challenges faced by Aviation Industry

Accidents and Safety Issues

Flying today is extremely safe. It wasn’t always that way. In the early days it was a risky business. But right from the beginning there was an understanding among governments and industry that safety was not a competitive issue. And there has always been great cooperation among all the industry’s stakeholders in efforts to make flying ever safer.

In 2013 there were some 36.4 million flights and 16 fatal accidents, flying on a jet aircraft, makes chances of being involved in a major accident  one in 2.4 million. And among the three billion passengers that fly (the equivalent of about 40% of the world’s population) there is an approximate 210 fatalities.

Services and experience

From local to domestic to international tourists now have a wide variety of options when it comes to travelling by air and the most important thing while making this decision is service and their overall experience. The food quality, the staff, on board services is some of the points that the major flight operators need to enhance.

Sustainability

Due to issues in fuel market and shortage of fuel there always has been a question mark on the future of aviation industry. The need is to work on technology and methods to combat this problem,

 

Conclusion

Any business is expected to be sustainable. But it is particularly challenging for airlines that burn fuel to propel their aircraft. A key driver will be technology. Modern aircraft entering into airline fleets today bring with them fuel efficiency gains of 20-30% over their predecessors. Billions of dollars are being spent on this each year. A lot is being done to lure tourists to fly starting from better services to discounted ticket price (Vet jet News, 2017). The tourism is expected to grow every year which is going to be opportunity for the aviation industry to grow by tapping this huge potential market of tourists. It can be done by segmenting tourists as budget and premium customers (Patrick.D, 2015). There is a need for research on technology, fuel efficiency and developing bio fuel. Airline manufacturers and airlines themselves will continue to exploit significant energy savings over the next 20 years from a wide range of new technologies, including better airline engine design, lighter composite fuselage, more direct aircraft routing.  Efficiencies will also be gained from fuller planes, faster turnaround, economies of scale (consolidation of smaller airlines).

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