Culture is key to Hanoi tourism promotion

15:58 | 05/01/2018 Travel

(VEN) - Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a cultural, political, economic and social center of the country. With 5,922 historical and cultural sites, 1,100 festivals, more than 1,200 craft villages, various art forms and special kinds of food, Hanoi has become an attractive destination for domestic and foreign tourists. Vietnam Economic News’ Thu Huong spoke with Hanoi Tourism Department Director Tran Duc Hai about the capital’s tourism development plans.

culture is key to hanoi tourism promotion

How has Hanoi turned its thousand-year-plus history and culture into advantages to promote tourism development?

Hanoi has been recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a City of Peace. With its thousand-year-plus history, Hanoi considers cultural tourism products the foundation for tourism development. In recent years, the capital has created a pedestrian zone on streets around Hoan Kiem Lake, which opens from 7pm Friday to midnight Sunday every week. Free Wifi and a variety of street art forms make the pedestrian zone attractive to visitors.

Hanoi has also launched its first book street on 19/12 Street in Hoan Kiem District. Other tourist destinations include a Vietnamese Ao dai space, Lan Huong Fashion House, Tan My Design, and Hanoi Culture Space at the Dong Lac Communal House, which presents traditional craft products. Travel companies are encouraged to offer tours to Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh Museum, Vietnam Fine Arts Museum and Temple of Literature.

culture is key to hanoi tourism promotion
Hanoi Tourism Department Director Tran Duc Hai

Special attention will be paid to upgrading tourism products at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long and around West Lake. Special tours will be designed to enable tourists to discover Vietnamese arts and historical sites. For example, Dao Thuc water puppetry and Co Loa Citadel in Dong Anh District; Hai Ba Trung Temple and a flower village in Tien Phong Commune of Me Linh District. Hanoi will also develop ecological and relaxation tours to historical sites around the Ba Vi Mountain Range, and home-stay tours to craft villages, such as Bat Trang (pottery), Chuong (conical hat), and Co Do Painter Village.

Hanoi expects to welcome 23.83 million visitors in 2017, a nine percent increase compared with 2016. The total is expected to include 4.95 million foreign visitors, up 23 percent compared with 2016, and 18.88 million domestic visitors, up six percent. Total revenue from tourist services is expected to reach nearly VND70.96 trillion, 15 percent higher than 2016.

Foreign tourists to Hanoi mostly come from China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, France and the US. What will Hanoi do to promote its image in other countries in 2018?

In 2017, Hanoi coordinated with diplomatic missions, international organizations, the media and international airlines to promote the capital’s tourism products. The image of Hanoi as a safe, hospitable and attractive tourist destination has been widely spread and has received high praise by international organizations. This year, Hanoi ranks seventh among the top 10 cities in the world in terms of tourism growth, according to a Mastercard survey of global destinations. ‘Business Insider’ magazine ranks Hanoi sixth among the top 10 tourist destinations worldwide based on the assessments by Airbnb, an online community marketplace that connects people looking to rent their homes with people seeking accommodations. Pinterest ranks Hanoi third among the top 20 favorite destinations for tourists worldwide. In 2018, Hanoi will concentrate on the following tourism promotion activities:

First, the city will continue its strategic cooperation program with the international CNN television network to promote its global image, as well as the history and culture of Hanoi, in particular, and Vietnam, in general.

Second, Hanoi will maintain and expand tourism cooperation with other cities and provinces nationwide. It will host the annual meeting of the Council for Promotion of Tourism in Asia (CPTA) in September 2018 and send a delegation to attend the annual general assembly meeting of the Tourism Promotion Organization for Asia Pacific Cities (TPO). Hanoi will take the initiative in coordinating with foreign embassies and international organizations in the city to promote tourism cooperation.

Third, Hanoi will participate in tourism fairs and exhibitions, such as KOTFA in Seoul, JATA in Tokyo, Top Resa in Paris, ITB in Berlin, and WTM in London in an effort to popularize Hanoi’s tourist destinations in these countries.

Fourth, Hanoi will intensify on-site tourism promotion activities through cooperation with international airline and travel firms, such as Vietnam Airlines, Emirates Airline (the United Arab Emirates), and Qatar Airways. The Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) will take place annually in Hanoi as an international event. Business participation in tourism promotion activities will be encouraged.

What will the Hanoi Tourism Department do to promote tourism development in a professional and sustainable manner?

To make the most of its diverse resources for tourism development, Hanoi will concentrate on upgrading tourism products at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, the West Lake surroundings, the pedestrian space around Hoan Kiem Lake and Co Loa Citadel. The city will invest in the conservation of traditional craft villages, such as Bat Trang (pottery), Van Phuc (silk) and the Duong Lam Ancient Village to attract domestic and foreign visitors. Apart from tours to museums in urban areas, the city will develop new destinations in suburban districts, such as Ba Vi, Phu Xuyen, Thach That and Chuong My.

The capital will pay greater attention to upgrading tourism infrastructure to provide visitors with better service and increase tourist spending. Hanoi is striving to become a leading tourism center in Vietnam and the region. It is determined to effectively implement Resolution 06 of the municipal party committee on tourism development in the 2016-2020 period and ensuing years.

Thu Huong