The Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism hopes to promote smoke-free restaurants and hotels this year, said vice director Mai Tien Dung.

The department would encourage restaurants and hotels not to allow smoking in crowded areas and then, eventually, ban smoking at the larger ones.

The move is being made not only to improve the city's image in visitors' eyes, but also to conform with the nation's Law on Tobacco Harm-Reduction.

A representative from the World Hospital Organisation's Office in Hanoi, Le Duc Truong, said that many countries banned smoking in restaurants and hotels to ensure a healthy environment. Already, a few in Vietnam also do the same.

At present, Hanoi has 317 hotels, six hostels, five tourist apartment blocks and four luxury apartment blocks with a total of nearly 16,000 rooms.

Last year, the city received 2.5 million foreign and nearly 14 million domestic visitors - 22.9 percent and 13 percent higher than in 2012, respectively. This year, the number of foreign visitors is expected to increase by 15 percent.-VNA