Hanoi Tourism Growth Accelerated

11:15:59 AM | 14/11/2017

Hanoi is not only the State capital, the economic and political centre, but also the cultural centre of Vietnam. It is also known as one of the most attractive and interesting cities in the world. Therefore, Hanoi has many opportunities and potential to develop tourism. However, a lot of challenges need to be addressed to develop the hospitality industry.

Potential and opportunity
In the first nine months of 2017, tourist arrivals to Hanoi totalled 17.97 million, an increase of 9 per cent from the same period in 2016. International tourist arrivals reached 3.54 million, up 23, 5 per cent year on year, including 2.52 million staying over, up 22.5 per cent. Total tourism revenue reached nearly VND53 billion in nine months, up 14 per cent year on year.

Mr Do Dinh Hong, former director of the Hanoi Tourism Department, said: “With a history of over 1,000 years, Hanoi has rich natural and humanistic tourism resources. Better tourism products, infrastructure and services will be a great platform for tourism development.”

One appeal for tourists to Hanoi is the pedestrian streets in the Hoan Kiem Lake area. At weekends, this place often hosts street art programmes featuring traditional Vietnamese culture such as xam singing, cheo singing and ca tru singing, which are very interesting to Vietnamese and foreign visitors.

Moreover, Hanoi has repeatedly won honours from travel magazines and travel websites such as Taste of the World (2016) or Desirable Destination by Lonely Planet Magazine (2016), and was listed as one of 10 most attractive cities in the world by TripAdvisor in 2014. In addition, since January 1, 2017, the image of Hanoi has been officially promoted on US CNN channel, covering Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and other places to lure tourists and call for foreign investors to Hanoi.

Challenge and solution

According to a report by the Hanoi Tourism Department, tourist arrivals to Hanoi account for about one third of the country’s total tourist arrivals. Hanoi welcomed 1.3 million international visitors in 2008 and the figure tripled in 2016, surpassing the set target by 26 per cent. In 2016, international and domestic visitors to Hanoi accounted for 40 per cent and 28 per cent of the country’s total visitor arrivals, respectively.

However, this impressive performance is reportedly still below the city’s potential. Hanoi is facing many difficulties and challenges such as technical infrastructure yet to best support tourism development; uncompetitive tourist products; and human resources yet to meet development needs, especially managers and tour guides.

Mr Tran Duc Hai, Director of the Hanoi Tourism Department, said: “To continue to maintain growth momentum and achieve development goals in 2017 and beyond, the tourism sector must strengthen cooperation with relevant agencies to build Hanoi into a 'Safe, friendly, quality and charming' destination to reflect its role and status as a major tourism centre of the nation and the region.”

Mr Pham Tien Dung, General Secretary of Hanoi Unesco Travel Club, said, to do that, the Hanoi tourism industry must first improve the performance of State tourism authorities towards the goal of building a safe, civilised, friendly and charming tourism environment. It also needs to promote community roles and build civilised, friendly tourist communities.

With those specific directions and solutions, Hanoi tourism will soon surmount all hardships and challenges to meet its tourism potential and increase its competitiveness against other big cities in the country and in the region.

Giang Tu