Hanoi – The 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31), which officially
opened in Hanoi on May 12 night, will create a boost to economic and tourism recovery
and development in Vietnam and ASEAN at large, a Vietnamese tourism official
Ha Van Sieu, deputy head of the Vietnam National
Tourism Administration (VNTA), said the regional sport event offers a golden opportunity
for Vietnam to promote its tourism.
The Games is taking place in Hanoi and 11
neighbouring cities and provinces, from May 12-23 with the participation of nearly 5,000
athletes from 11 countries in the region. This is the second time Vietnam has
hosted SEA Games, the first in 2003.
Two years after the 2003 SEA Games, the number of
international tourists to Vietnam rose sharply, from 10-20 percent annually,
Prior to the ongoing SEA Games 31, scheduled to last until May
23, Vietnam started to fully reopen its borders on March 15, with a host of
incentives towards both domestic and international visitors.
On the occasion of the Games, the VNTA has launched
a special website at https://seagames31.vietnamtourism.gov.vn/ that gives an overview
on Vietnam’s tourism as well as necessary information regarding visa, exit-entry and medical procedures to foreign visitors.
The website also spotlights tourism in Hanoi and the
11 localities that host the Games – Quang Ninh, Bac Ninh, Hai Phong, Nam Dinh,
Ha Nam, Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh, Hai Duong, Vinh Phuc, Bac Giang and Phu Tho.
Notably, “Let’s shine and live fully”, a welcome video
clip for SEA Games 31, is also available on the website, featuring Vietnam’s
most famous destinations like Phu Quoc island in the southern province of Kien
Giang, Nha Trang resort city in the central province of Khanh Hoa, UNESCO-recognised
Ha Long Bay in northern Quang Ninh province, and Son Doong – the world’s
largest cave – in the central province of Quang Binh, among others.
The administration has also utilised social networks
like Facebook, Zalo, YouTube, and Instagram in the communication work.
The host cities and provinces have stepped up
tourism promotion with suitable measures.
Nam Dinh province that is hosting games in Group B
of the men’s football has launched a cuisine space introducing special dishes from
different localities prepared by prestigious artisans.
At the Viet Tri Stadium in Phu Tho province, where
Group A matches of men’s football are taking place, there are booths showcasing
local products that meet One Commune-One Product (OCOP) standards and providing
information on local tourism.
Hanoi capital city – the main venue of the SEA Games
31 – expects to welcome 1 million domestic visitors and 200,000 foreigners on
The municipal Department of Tourism has focused on
promoting such sites as the Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam
(Temple of Literature Complex), the Hoa Lo Prison, the Bat Trang ancient
pottery village, the Ba Vi National Park, and the Duong Lam ancient village, among
Fourteen four- and five-star hotels in the city are
offering services to foreign sport delegations, audiences and journalists.
SEA Games 31, themed “For a Stronger South East
Asia”, features 40 sports with 523 events, it is expected
to attract around 10,000 participants. The biennial event was initially slated
for late 2021 but delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic./.