Hanoi strives for 29 million tourists in 2019 hinh anh 1Hanoi has become an attractive destination for tourists from around the world (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Hanoi welcomed 14.4 million tourists and earned more than 50 trillion
VND (2.15 billion USD) from tourism services in the first six months of 2019, up 9.5 percent and 29.8 percent against the same period last year, respectively.

The impressive figures augur well for the capital city’s chances of fulfilling its targets of welcoming 29 million visitors and earning 103 trillion VND in revenue this year.

Impressive growth

Statistics from the municipal Tourism Department show that in June alone, more than 2.6 million people visited Hanoi, up 9.6 percent against the same period last year. Of the total, 413,000 were foreigners, up 12.8 percent year-on-year. In the month, total revenue from tourism hit 8.33 trillion VND, a year-on-year rise of 33 percent.

Among 14.4 million tourist arrivals to Hanoi in the first half of 2019, the number of foreigners was estimated at 3.3 million, domestic visitors, 11.1 million, up 10.6 percent and 9.2 percent compared to the same period last year, respectively.

In addition, travel agencies in the city also reported positive growth during January-June.

Hanoi currently has 3,499 accommodation facilities (hotels, condotels and hostels), with a total of 60,812 rooms. Some the world’s leading management brands have helped many of them meet demand of different customers, and be capable of serving domestic and international events.

In the first six months of 2019, 72.7 percent of hotel rooms were used, up 6.9 percent against the same period last year. Notably, about 80 percent of rooms of four- and five-star hotels were booked.

Director of the municipal Tourism Department Tran Duc Hai said better tourism products and services that meet international standards have made the capital’s tourism sector more professional and impressed tourists.

Hanoi is now home to many international luxury hotel brands, international-standard golf courses and large-scale trade centres.

Noi Bai International Airport, which has direct air routes linking Hanoi with more than 40 nations around the world, also helps attract more holiday-makers to the capital, Hai stated.

In addition, many experts said Hanoi has succeeded in promoting its tourism potential methodically and professionally.

This year, the city was again listed in various tourism rankings. Japan’s All Nippon Airways ranked it 25th among the 26 best Asian cities for a combination of business and leisure. The capital city was ranked fourth among 25 destinations in Asia and 15th among 25 destinations in the world in 2019 by TripAdvisor. Most recently, it was named in the Cable News Network (CNN)'s list of the 17 best places in Asia.

To promote its image, the municipal People’s Committee and CNN recently signed a memorandum of understanding on advertising the capital city on the channel for 2019-2024.

Municipal tourism officials have worked with Vietnam Airlines in welcoming survey teams from Japan, Australia and Europe and organising the “Summer in Europe” programme at Ly Thai To Park besides Hoan Kiem lake. The department has also stepped up the development of tourism products in the suburbs.

Diversifying tourism products

To attract more domestic and foreign tourists, Hai said the tourism sector will increase the quality of cultural tourism products, building quality destinations to make them outstanding attractions.

Instead of developing downtown tourism as before, the sector is gradually tapping the potential in the suburbs to diversify products, contributing to socio-economic structure shifting in the localities.

According to experts and travel agencies, outlying districts should take measures to increase the quality of tourism products, develop infrastructure, create a healthy tourism environment and boost connectivity with other localities.

Phung Quang Thang, Director of Hanoitourist, advised localities to focus on developing key products as it is not enough to rely on their potential.

It is important to pay attention to destination management to avoid affecting product exploitation between local enterprises and those from other places, and intensify connectivity between them to build products suitable to tourists’ tastes.

According to the municipal tourism authority, developing attractions in the suburbs should be carried out step by step and needs long-term investment. To become tourist attractions, localities should step up connectivity with travel agencies, and install signposts and notice boards for visitors.

The department pledges to support localities in installing signposts and notice boards and training human resources serving in the sector, and creating favourable conditions for them to develop the industry.-VNA