Despite this, statistic figures showed that Hanoi was not an attractive tourism destination. With a large number of foreign tourists, Hanoi is merely a transit place for their trip to explore Vietnam. In 2007, Hanoi welcomed 1.1 million international travelers, equal to half of Ho Chi Minh City’s figure. In 2008, the city served 9 million visitors, including 1.3 million of foreigners. The rate of visitors to Hanoi museums is not high in the remaining months of the year. Annually, the Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi, the famous one in the Southeast Asian region and a favorite destination in guide books, attracted 180,000 visitors, including half of foreigners.
According to figures in 2007, Hanoi had 511 lodgments with 12,700 operational rooms. Those included 178 ranked hotels with 8,424 rooms. The shortage of high-grade rooms is among main causes leading to the low figure of foreign visitors to the city. With the price level of US$126.26 per night at a five-star hotel, the room coverage of hotels of three and five star standard in Hanoi reaches between 80% and 90%. Besides the five-star hotels of Daewoo, Horizon, Hilton Hanoi Opera, Melia, Nikko, Sofitel, Metropole, Sheraton, Sofitel Plaza and Inter Continental, the city has six four-star hotels and 19 three-star hotels. With newly-licensed projects, the city is expected to have additional 2,000 luxury hotel rooms by 2010.