Hanoi welcomes 2.9 million visitors in first half 2021 hinh anh 1Night tour to Thang Long Imperial Citadel (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The number of tourists to Hanoi in the first half of 2021 is estimated at 2.9 million, down 25 percent year-on-year, according to the municipal Tourism Department.

The city has earned only 8.1 trillion VND (352.6 million USD) from tourism services, a year-on-year decrease of 57 percent.

Currently, Vietnam has not yet opened its doors to international tourists. The number of foreigners coming to Hanoi during this time is modest, mainly experts and workers staying in Vietnam.

Therefore, the capital city’s tourism industry has actively restructured new tourism products with a view to better serving domestic tourists, such as a night tour to decipher Thang Long Imperial Citadel – a UNESCO-recognised world cultural heritage site, a folk experience tour to the Museum of Ethnology, or a night tour to the Hoa Lo prison relic site.

The city is designing and making a system of tourist signs, logos for trade villages and souvenirs related to its tourism. It is also working on a set of criteria to evaluate high-quality tourist spots and tourist areas for 2021-2025, and has a plan to upgrade the quality of tourism products and tourist destinations in association with relic sites and craft villages in Hanoi also for the period to 2025.

Recently, the municipal Tourism Department has begun to implement a tourism programme in connection with the B52 Victory Museum. Developing cuisine in line with tourism activities is also a focus of work of the department.

Regarding tourism promotion and advertisement, the municipal tourism industry has advised municipal authorities to issue a plan to popularise and promote the capital’s tourist destinations in 2021, while coordinating with the Vietnam Television and the Hanoi Television to make and broadcast reportage and documentaries popularizing the image of Hanoi’s tourism and culture, and at the same time promoting its tourism image on LED screens at Noi Bai International Airport, Hoan Kiem Lake and Ly Thai To Monument.

Regarding the cooperation programme with US-based TV channel CNN in 2021, the department is negotiating on terms of the cooperation, to advise the municipal People's Committee to sign an additional annex to the Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation during 2019-2024 and in 2021. It has also coordinated with CNN to select products suitable to the communication strategy as well as major events of Vietnam and Hanoi this year.

The municipal tourism sector has designed three growth scenarios for the sector in 2021. In the best scenario, an early recovery will allow Hanoi to welcome 15.34 million domestic visitors, double the figure in 2020, and equal to 70 percent of the figure in 2019 before the pandemic. An early recovery would mean the normal operation of services and accommodation facilities, with average occupancy exceeding 45 percent.    

The sector has also set an overall target of catering to between 13.16 and 19.4 million tourists, including 10.96-15.34 million domestic visitors, for this year.

Phung Quang Thang, Director of Hanoi Tourist and President of the Hanoi Travel Association said that travel businesses should review and restructure their products to create more attractive tours.

Thang said that the firms should work more closely with local authorised agencies to focus on developing night tourism, citing statistics showing that 70 percent of people engaging in night tourism activities enjoy food, 20 percent often drink and 10 percent engage in entertainment activities. In his opinion, with its advantages in night tourism such as the two pedestrian areas of the Old Quarter around Hoan Kiem Lake and Trinh Cong Son Street near West Lake, Hanoi’s culinary tourism will help travel firms thrive.

The city attracted some 8.65 million holidaymakers in 2020, equivalent to 30 percent as compared with 2019, of whom foreign arrivals were estimated at 1.11 million, equivalent to 15.8 percent from last year./.