Hanoi welcomed 2.5 million international tourists last year for the first time. How to boost up the development of tourism industry to its capacity remains a concern of tourism authorities this year.

The Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Director of municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism To Van Dong on this aspect.

* Does Hanoi have any special plans to accelerate the development of tourism sector in 2014?
To keep up the growth momentum of international tourist arrivals in 2013, right from the early days of 2014, the municipal government assigned the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to build tourist attraction plans for Hanoi.

Specifically, the department will implement the Hanoi tourism development plan until 2020, with a vision to 2030, and create a healthy and secure environment for tourists. The tourism sector still has certain limits but all international tourists will feel satisfied during their time with Hanoi.

* It is said that Hanoi will be more attractive to travellers if peddling and street teasing are brought to an end. What do you think about this issue?

Firstly, our department will help the citizens and tourism businesses understand and share efforts to build a healthy and comfortable tourism environment.

The city will address some issues that affect the tourism industry although they are not popular. For example, the department is currently developing a tourist support centre system to deal with all problems the tourists may confront and prevent the phenomena that may cause bad image of Hanoi on tourists.
In the long term, the tourism sector will follow the approved tourism development planning. I believe that with effort and resolve immediate and long-term issues Hanoi will be certainly a tourist attraction.

* After being expanded, Hanoi has the most traditional handicraft villages in the country. What solutions has the department taken to make traditional handicraft village sightseeing a typical tourism product in the future?

After Hanoi expanded its administrative boundary, it has many more villages, totally nearly 1,300 cottage industry villages. These are worthy treasures and worthy to be preserved and promoted. Therefore, the Hanoi People’s Council has recently approved seven typical traditional handicraft villages which will be preserved and promoted by the department and exemplified for others to follow. Preserved traditional handicraft villages will be very attractive tourism products in the future. After traditional handicraft villages promote their strengths, this will definitely be a strong point of Hanoi tourism.-VNA