Hanoi expects to serve nearly 20 million tourists during Jan-Sep hinh anh 1Tourists visit One-pillar Pagoda (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The capital city of Hanoi is taking the initiative to maintain its top position in Vietnam in attracting foreign tourists, with all indexes related to tourism rising compared with last year’s corresponding figure.

The municipal Department of Tourism said on September 11 the city welcomed an estimated nearly 20 million tourist arrivals in the first nine months of this year, or a year-on-year rise of 9.2 percent. Of the total, foreign visitors are estimated at 4.3 million, up 20 percent year-on-year, and accounting for nearly 40 percent of the total number of foreign tourists to Vietnam.

Foreign tourists to Hanoi come from nearly 190 nations and territories, with China, the Republic of Korea and Japan continuing to top the list.

Tourist attractions in the capital city include the Thang Long Imperial Citadel, the Huong Son relic site, the Temple of Literature and the Culture-Tourism Village of Vietnamese Ethnic Groups.

Director of the municipal Department of Tourism Tran Duc Hai said the city has upgraded infrastructure and diversified tourism products to better serve tourists.

Recently, the Department debuted a new bilingual portal where tourists can find all the information they need for a trip to the Vietnamese capital.

The site http://tourism.hanoi.gov.vn offers tourism information and services in Vietnamese and English and helps connect users with accredited service providers.

The move is part of the department’s efforts to build Hanoi into a safe, friendly and civilised tourist destination.

Earlier, a 2-million-USD deal between Hanoi and the US television network CNN from 2017 – 2018 has spurred international tourist arrivals to the capital city. TV commercials aired by CNN have been introducing the best of the 1,000-year-old capital to people around the world since early 2017.

In 2017, international tourist arrivals to the city were estimated at 4.95 million, up 23 percent on year and 15 percent higher than its yearly target. The number included 3.53 million accommodated visitors, an annual increase of 22 percent.

This year, Hanoi aims to welcome more than 25.4 million tourists, including 5.5 million foreigners.

The city has also received high rankings and wide coverage by overseas travel firms and magazines. The online marketplace and hospitality service Airbnb named the Vietnamese capital city among the world’s top 10 intriguing travel destinations in 2018. Hanoi was also listed among the world’s top 13 destinations for international travellers in March based on a poll by readers of the US-based Business Insider magazine.

Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a good place for visitors to spend time roaming around, experiencing open-air eateries and hearing the noise of whizzing motorbikes, Business Insider said. Hoan Kiem Lake in the city’s centre provides a peaceful respite from the frenzy, as do numerous Buddhist temples and pagodas, it added.

Last month, the UK’s weekly magazine Hello named Hanoi among seven best backpacking destinations in Asia.

Ideal for travellers on a tight budget, Vietnam's capital city is one of the cheapest destinations for backpackers, the magazine said.

“Not only is accommodation and food remarkably affordable, but you’ll be spoiled for choice of things to see and do in the city, which has a mix of Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences,” the magazine wrote.

Apart from the many popular places like Hoan Kiem Lake, Hai Ba Trung Temple and Hoa Lo Prison Museum, the magazine highlights a special attraction – bia hoi (local draft beer). It notes that “backpackers often spend their evenings gathered at bia hoi bars across Hanoi, where you’ll find the cheapest beer in the world at around 25p a glass.” -VNA