Hanoi welcomes 2.9 million visitors in first half 2021 hinh anh 1Night tour to Thang Long Imperial Citadel (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi – The number of tourists to Hanoi in
the first half of 2021 is estimated at 2.9 million, down 25 percent
year-on-year, according to the municipal Tourism Department.

The city has earned only 8.1 trillion VND (352.6 million USD)
from tourism services, a year-on-year decrease of 57 percent.

Currently, Vietnam has not yet opened its doors to
international tourists. The number of foreigners coming to Hanoi during this
time is modest, mainly experts and workers staying in Vietnam.

Therefore, the capital city’s tourism industry has actively
restructured new tourism products with a view to better serving domestic tourists,
such as a night tour to decipher Thang Long Imperial Citadel – a UNESCO-recognised
world cultural heritage site, a folk experience tour to the Museum of Ethnology,
or a night tour to the Hoa Lo prison relic site.

The city is designing and making a system of tourist signs, logos
for trade villages and souvenirs related to its tourism. It is also working on
a set of criteria to evaluate high-quality tourist spots and tourist areas for
2021-2025, and has a plan to upgrade the quality of tourism products and
tourist destinations in association with relic sites and craft villages in Hanoi also for the period to 2025.

Recently, the municipal Tourism Department has begun to implement a tourism programme in connection with the B52 Victory Museum. Developing cuisine in line with tourism activities is also a focus of work of the department.

Regarding tourism promotion and advertisement, the municipal
tourism industry has advised municipal authorities to issue a plan to
popularise and promote the capital’s tourist destinations in 2021, while
coordinating with the Vietnam Television and the Hanoi Television to make and
broadcast reportage and documentaries popularizing the image of Hanoi’s
tourism and culture, and at the same time promoting its tourism image on LED
screens at Noi Bai International Airport, Hoan Kiem Lake and Ly Thai To
Monument.

Regarding the cooperation programme with US-based TV channel CNN
in 2021, the department is negotiating on terms of the cooperation, to advise the municipal
People’s Committee to sign an additional annex to the Memorandum of
Understanding for cooperation during 2019-2024 and in 2021. It has also
coordinated with CNN to select products suitable to the communication
strategy as well as major events of Vietnam and Hanoi this year.

The municipal tourism sector has designed three growth scenarios
for the sector in 2021. In the best scenario, an early recovery will allow Hanoi to
welcome 15.34 million domestic visitors, double the figure in 2020, and equal to 70 percent of the figure in 2019 before the pandemic. An early
recovery would mean the normal operation of services and accommodation
facilities, with average occupancy exceeding 45 percent.    

The sector has also set an overall target of catering to
between 13.16 and 19.4 million tourists, including 10.96-15.34 million domestic
visitors, for this year.

Phung Quang Thang, Director of Hanoi Tourist and President
of the Hanoi Travel Association said that travel businesses should review and
restructure their products to create more attractive tours.

Thang said that the firms should work more closely with
local authorised agencies to focus on developing night tourism, citing
statistics showing that 70 percent of people engaging in night tourism
activities enjoy food, 20 percent often drink and 10 percent engage in entertainment
activities. In his opinion, with its advantages in night tourism such as the
two pedestrian areas of the Old Quarter around Hoan Kiem Lake and Trinh Cong
Son Street near West Lake, Hanoi’s culinary tourism will help travel firms
thrive.

The city attracted some 8.65 million holidaymakers in 2020,
equivalent to 30 percent as compared with 2019, of whom foreign arrivals were
estimated at 1.11 million, equivalent to 15.8 percent from last year./.