Hanoi makes efforts to become region’s leading destination

Wednesday, 2019-01-09 16:54:40
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Visitors are joining folk games at the pedestrian street around Hoan Kiem Lake. (Photo: Nhan Dan)
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NDO – Over recent years, Hanoi has maintained a stable growth rate in the number of visitors thanks to efforts in innovation to improve the quality of services, thus keeping pace with the demand of tourists.

The last days of the winter are the peak of tourism when visitors from the south come to the capital to experience the cold of the north, while western tourists take their holiday here.

The application of technological advances to serve tourism has been one of highlights of the capital’s tourism sector over the past year, including software ‘Hoan Kiem 360’ and the Hanoi Tourism Portal (https://sodulich.hanoi.gov.vn). Thanks to the applications, the concept of ‘smart travel’ has become more familiar.

The ‘Hoan Kiem 360’ software introduces the Old Quarter, trade streets, religious and belief facilities, Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple, hotels, restaurants and shopping addresses around Hoan Kiem District like many other information pages. However, when clicking on specific addresses, visitors will realise the difference with the 360-degree photo system - Virtual Reality Panorama, English-Vietnamese voices-overs and documents. Through this application, visitors can even book hotels. Le Thi Ha, a tourist from Ho Chi Minh City, shared: “This app is very useful. Hoan Kiem district has hundreds of destinations, so the app provides me with a lot of information and images so that I can choose an attractive and suitable place”.

In addition, the tourism portal of Hoan Kiem district (hoankiem360.vn), which was launched in May, 2018, counted nearly 330,000 hits, while the ‘Hoan Kiem 360’ application received thousands of downloads.

Hanoi Tourism Portal (https://sodulich.hanoi.gov.vn) supports tourists in all fields, including immigration procedures, transport services, destinations, food and accommodation. Shopping and dining addresses are standard facilities, easing visitors’ minds. Notably, the portal highlighted the interaction among managers, enterprises and tourists. According to Director of Hanoi Tourism Department, Tran Duc Hai, with the application of technological advances under the industrial revolution 4.0, the tourism sector has the potential to develop ‘smart tourism’. The Department has coordinated with many agencies to develop software and apps to serve visitors’ demand.

Hanoi welcomed 26.04 million visitors in 2018, including 5.74 international arrivals, a year-on-year increase of 16%. The total revenue from tourism activities reached VND75.815 billion, up 11.7% over the previous year. The year 2018 was also a bumper year for the capital city in terms of titles. It ranked 12th amongthe 25 best destinations in the world, was one of two cities in Vietnam listed among the world's most attractive tourist destinations, and was nominated by the World Tourism Award Organisation as one of 17 candidates for the award ‘World's Leading City Destination 2018’. That was the result of continuous innovation in changing the way of promoting and improving the quality of services at destinations as well as hotels and restaurants.

The last year also recorded the effects of the cooperation between Hanoi municipal People’s Committee and the American Cable News Network (CNN) to promote the city’s image on the network. The method marked strong changes in the thinking of tourism promotion. CNN helped Hanoi produce 30-second and 60-second promotional videos, three and five-minute reports and a 30-minute programme. In addition, columns featuring Hanoi, titled ‘Hanoi – the heart of Vietnam’, ‘My Hanoi’ and ‘Hanoi – the View’ were also published on CNN.com.

At the eighth Tourism Promotion Organisation for Asia Pacific Cities (TPO) forum held in Ho Chi Minh City in June, 2018, the Hanoi tourism promotion programme on the CNN channel was honoured as the Best Marketing Campaign Award.

In addition to improving the quality of tours to traditional destinations such as Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature), Hoan Kiem lake, the Old Quarter, and Thang Long Imperial Citadel, the municipal Tourism Department organised delegations of travel companies to visit My Duc, Phu Xuyen, Thuong Tin, Thach That, Ba Vi and Gia Lam districts to enhance cooperation in developing new tourism products, focusing on exploiting the strengths of trade villages in tourism activities.

In 2019, the city will accelerate the construction progress ofKim Quy Park in Dong Anh district, promote activities for the Formula 1 race in Nam Tu Liem district in 2020, and prepare conditions for the building of racecourse in Soc Son district. With increased and synchronous investment in infrastructure for destinations and innovation in services as well as the improvement of human resources, the target of welcoming 28.6 million visitors, including 6.7 million international arrivals is feasible.