Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen The Thao (Center) at the ceremony (Photo:dulichvn.org.vn)
The Hanoi municipal Department of Tourism made its debut on September 21, which is expected to reinvigorate the capital city’s tourism industry. 

The Department of Tourism is now separate from the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and headquartered at No. 17 Dien Bien Phu street in Ba Dinh district. 

It is tasked with preserving, tapping and developing local tourism resources, the environment and places of interest. 

Another mission is to grant, amend, extend and revoke licences to establish foreign travel company representative offices while classifying hotels and tourism villages based in Hanoi. 

Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen The Thao said the department will improve the State’s management of tourism while boosting the development of tourism products and promotion activities, helping to effectively tap the capital city’s tourism resources and turn the sector into a spearhead industry for Hanoi. 

As a tourism magnet in northern Vietnam, Hanoi sees an annual tourist volume growth rate of over 10 percent and attracts 40 percent of the total visitors to Vietnam. It has also been the venue for a number of domestic and international tourism events. 

However, local tourism activities are believed to fall short of Hanoi’s potential and advantages. 

Last October, Ho Chi Minh City set up its Department of Tourism, previously part of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. 

In early 2015, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung also approved the foundation of a similar tourism agency in the central city of Da Nang.-VNA