Tourism strives to become the key economic sector of Ha Noi (21:37 08/08/2018)

HNP - After the extension of the administrative boundary, the tourism industry of Ha Noi has more motivation for development thanks to the increasing tourism resources. However, opportunities often come with challenges. In order to make tourism the key industry of capital city, cooperation among sectors and authorities at all levels is required to improve service quality, service attitude and build a safe, friendly tourism environment.

The number of international tourists increases remarkably.

After the extension of administrative boundary, the number of historical and cultural sites of Ha Noi rises. The city now has 5,900 historical and cultural sites; many of them are recognized by UNESCO, such as the Thang Long Imperial Citadel and the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam). Furthermore, there are 1,350 traditional craft villages with many old traditional products like bronze items of Ngu Xa village, ceramic and porcelain products of Bat Trang village and silk of Van Phuc village. A number of famous tourist attractions of Ha Tay now become part of Ha Noi, such as the Ba Vi – Suoi Hai complex, Huong Pagoda, Duong Lam Ancient Village, Thay Pagoda and Tay Phuong Pagoda. They all are favorable conditions for the city to develop new and attractive tourism products.

In order to exploit the resources efficiently, Ha Noi established the Department of Tourism at the end of 2015. The Department acts as advisor to the city leaders in building programs and plans on tourism development.
Furthermore, the city gives priority to investment in infrastructure, service quality and tourism products. Ha Noi signed cooperation agreements with nearly 40 cities and provinces of Viet Nam, striving to enhance promotion activities in the country. Many important events were organized successfully in Ha Noi, such as National Year of Tourism 2010, Festival of Traditional Craft Villages, Ha Thanh Food Festival, Ha Noi Memory, and Viet Nam International Travel Mart. The city took responsibility and proactively cooperated with agencies and units to conduct tourism promotion activities in the Russian market, and attended reputable travel marts worldwide.

Ha Noi spends USD 2 million on a promotional program to broadcast its images on CNN in 2017 and 2018. It is considered the breakthrough which helps the city in particular and Viet Nam in general to attract more international visitors. This promotional program is honored as the best marketing program by the 8th Tourism Promotion Organization for Asia Pacific Cities (TPO) forum; this is proof for success of the program. Another success of Ha Noi tourism sector is effort to build project on smart tourism system, and initially gain success in creating the “virtual travel assistant” which is very helpful to tourists, enterprises and managers. Ha Noi attracts 1,046 travel enterprises with 850 of them dealing with international travel, accounting for 55% of enterprises nationwide. In 2008, there were 776 accommodation establishments with 16,851 rooms. In 2018, the city has 3,546 establishments with 60,458 rooms; 68 hotels are rated 3 stars to 5 stars.

Viet Nam witnesses increasing number of international visitors year by year; it rises from 1.3 million arrivals in 2008 to 4.95 million arrivals in 2017. The travelers are from over 160 countries and territories; many of them are from the markets with high spending power, such as Western Europe, North America, and North East Asia. Tourism products are being diversified and improved in both of quality and quantity. There is investment from the non-state sector in tourism industry. Travel agencies and enterprises enjoy favorable conditions in terms of investment and business environment. Total revenues from tourists increase sharply; for the period of 2008 to 2016, growth rate is 16% per year on average. In 2017, it reaches VND 70,958 billion, an increase of 15% against the last year.

Many tourism development programs and policies are built and put into practice, in particular Program No. 03-CTr/TU dated June 28, 2016 of the Ha Noi Party Committee on enhancing the economic restructuring, improving competitiveness, proactively integrating into intentional economy, developing the economy fast and sustainably in the period of 2016 to 2020. According to the program, Ha Noi requests the municipal Department of Tourism to realize tourism development planning to 2020, orientation to 2030, make and implement the planning of six travel clusters, including city center of Ha Noi, Son Tay - Ba Vi, Huong Son -  Quan Son, Soc mountain - Dong Quan lake, Van Tri - Co Loa, Ha Dong and nearby area. In an effort to reach the target of 30 million visitors in 2020 (of which 5.7 million international travelers), the Department of Tourism will promote cooperation with agencies, organizations and enterprises to study demand of each market thoroughly, thus building new tours and routes in accordance with the planning. It will also maintain the promotional program on CNN, attend marts, workshops and promotion programs in Viet Nam and abroad, receive experts and enterprises from other localities of Viet Nam and other countries who come to Viet Nam for inspection and tourism connection, and increase implementation of the planning on smart tourism.

The achievements after 10 years of expanding administrative boundaries are basis for Ha Noi to further develop high-quality tourism products towards a green and sustainable tourism industry. For the future, the city will build complete tourism products and exploit them in particular areas, such as the political center of Ba Dinh district, the Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem lake, West Lake and nearby areas, Co Loa historical site, Hai Ba Trung Temple, Ba Vi - Duong Lam Ancient Village – Thay Pagoda – Tay Phuong Pagoda, Van Phuc Silk Village, Bat Trang Pottery Village, Soc mountain – Dong Quan lake, Huong Pagoda (Perfume Pagoda). Furthermore, more tourism products will be developed for the routes along Red River, Duong River and Day River, along with international travel route connecting Ha Noi and other countries in the region and in the world. There will be further investment to construct luxury accommodation establishments and develop high-quality human resources for the tourism industry.

Ha Noi will continue its effort, cooperate with sectors and governments at all levels to improve service quality and attitude, build a safe, friendly environment for tourism, and gradually make tourism the key industry.

By Mai Phuong

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