Hanoi’s 2016 tourism boom

10:15 | 14/02/2017 Culture & Tourism

(VEN) - The number of visitors to Hanoi from China, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Japan, Southeast Asia, the US, France and Australia in 2016 increased considerably compared to the previous year.  

According to Do Dinh Hong, director of the Hanoi Department of Tourism, in 2016, tourism proved to be a major industry and played an important role in the city’s economic development. It experienced a steady growth, expanded its scale and contributed to the capital’s economic structure transformation.

Last year, Hanoi took various measures to attract and create a favorable environment for visitors. These include closing off to traffic the road encircling Hoan Kiem Lake - also known as Sword Lake - and turning it into a lakeside pedestrian mall every weekend, a move welcomed by the local community and visitors alike. Authorities also encouraged strategic investors to invest in tourism development.

The city’s tourism sector successfully hosted major events in 2016, including the Memory of Old Ha Noi, the Friendship Spring Journey 2016, the Hanoi-Vietnam craft village festival, and the Hanoi Ao Dai (traditional long dress) Festival, among others. In a deal reached with CNN, the international news network is promoting Hanoi as an attractive tourism destination. The May visit to Hanoi by US President Barack Obama and his highly publicized meal with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain at a local eatery were an added bonus for the tourism sector.

International specialists in promotion have been enlisted to launch a logo, signposts and various tourism products at a number of popular venues throughout the city on a trial basis.

Hanoi has expanded its tourist information spots and strengthened its inspection regime to promptly find and deal with violations in the tourism field. The city has for years been voted among the top 10 tourist destinations in Asia and the world by leading travel magazines and web sites. The TripAdvisor Journal continued to rank Hanoi as the world’s fourth most attractive destination and one of the 10 cheapest cities in the world in terms of room service. The efforts have resulted in an image of Hanoi as a safe, friendly, fascinating city.

Hong said that although the capital’s tourism industry has prospered, its growth needs to be made sustainable. More large-scale, attractive entertainment centers and resorts need to be built to keep visitors in the city for longer periods, he said, adding that the city’s tourism businesses remains relatively small in scale and poor in competitiveness.

In 2017, the Hanoi tourism sector will focus on developing high quality services, reliable infrastructure and a skilled workforce.

In 2016, Hanoi attracted more than four million foreign visitors, up 23 percent from 2015, and over 17.8 million domestic

tourists, up eight percent from the previous year. This brought revenues of more than VND61.75 trillion, an increase of 12

percent over 2015, into the coffers of Vietnam’s capital city.

Thanh Tam