Hanoi shines in creating regional tourism links hinh anh 1At the conference (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) -
By engaging in tourism programmes with localities nationwide, Hanoi has forged regional links that have helped it drive up visitor numbers and tourism revenue, according to Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Tourism Tran Trung Hieu.

Hieu made the comments at a conference on tourism cooperation development between Hanoi and other cities and provinces on November 19 .

The Hanoi Department of Tourism signed nine cooperation programmes with counterpart agencies in 40 cities and provinces nationwide between 2016 and 2020. It also joined the organisation of cultural and tourism promotions in the capital for localities such as Quang Binh, Tay Ninh, Tuyen Quang, Son La, and Ninh Thuan provinces.

The department also signed a deal with CNN over the screening of tourism products and routes in association with those of other Vietnamese provinces.

As part of the overall effort, a large number of programmes have been held to help connect organisations, experts, travel companies, and local authorities in search of solutions for building tours that are compatible with different tourist markets.

Familiarisation trips, or FAM for short, have also taken place, while assistance has been given to travel agencies to build prominent products in Hanoi and overseas. FAM are trips designed for travel advisors to learn about a destination, a partner travel company, or an airline, or sometimes all of the above.

A series of products have come into being, for example those on the Hanoi - Lao Cai - Hai Phong - Quang Ninh and Hanoi - Mekong Delta routes. In June alone, the department and the UNESCO Hanoi Travel Club signed agreements with local authorities in provinces such as Ninh Binh, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Ha Tinh, and Lai Chau to promote tourism. Field trips have also been launched to northwestern provinces and cities neighbouring Hanoi, with the participation of media and travel agents.

Hoang Ngan Hoan, Director of the Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism in the northern mountainous province of Son La, said the provincial tourism sector has been supported by the capital’s tourism department in joining international travel fairs and organising Son La tourism days in Hanoi.

Such cooperation has helped Son La’s charms reach citizens in the capital and those in the northern region.

Participants also said that tourism connectivity primarily focused on promotional activities, with proper priority yet to be given to product and human resources development.

Hieu suggested strengthening the tripartite cooperation between administrators, tourism service providers, and managers of tourism destinations, as well as cooperation in attending fairs and training human resources, among others.

Hanoi is home to a number of popular sites such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple, Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature), Thang Long Imperial Citadel, and the Old Quarter.

After being hit by COVID-19 earlier this year, the capital, considered an emerging tourism hub, is stepping up recovery programmes while restructuring its tourism products and markets towards the goal of posting a 45 percent year-on-year increase in domestic visitors in 2020, to more than 11 million.

The municipal Department of Tourism said the successful containment of COVID-19 has provided an opportunity for the sector to revive and thrive and industry insiders now look forward to improved business performance.

The department has worked with the Hanoi Tourism Association, travel clubs, airlines, hotels, and destinations to discuss tourism development solutions in the new context. It has asked tourism service providers and places of interest to diversify products, introduce demand stimulus policies, and re-organise activities to improve efficiency.

The capital welcomed 7.27 million visitors in the January-October period, down 68.9 percent against the same period last year, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the department.

Some 29 million visitors came to Hanoi in 2019, including more than 7 million foreigners./.