Hanoi is holding a myriad of events and tours to capitalise on the ongoing 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) to popularise images of the capital and Vietnam as a whole among international friends.
The municipal Tourism Department said it has ordered management boards of local destinations, accommodation establishments, and travel companies to develop and launch new and special tourism products on this occasion, including a cycling tour of the Bat Trang ancient pottery village, night services on Son Tay and Trinh Cong Son pedestrian streets, night tours of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel and Hoa Lo Prison, a double-deck bus city tour, and a tour for visitors to experience Southeast Asian cultures at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.
Some prestigious travel companies such as Hanoitourist, Vietfoot Travel, LUX Travel, VI Travel, and Vietravel have debuted dozens of tours in which travellers can enjoy famous scenic landscapes and dishes of the capital and neighbouring localities.
A series of activities have been organised before SEA Games 31 and planned to take place during and after the region’s biggest sporting event.
Kicking off those activities, the Tourism Department held the “Get on Hanoi 2022” in late March, a highlight of which is a hot air balloon festival. This programme was followed by the Friendship Journey in Quoc Oai district, the Tourism Gift Festival in the pedestrian zone around Hoan Kiem Lake, the Bat Trang Tourism Week, the launch of the Son Tay Tourism Year and the Son Tay Ancient Citadel pedestrian street, the opening ceremony of the Saint Giong Festival, and the Love Festival in Thuong Tin district.
On this occasion, the Hanoi Centre for Investment, Trade, and Tourism Promotion will organise a tourism festival at the Hoan Kiem Lake pedestrian zone on May 13 - 15 and a craft village food and tourism festival on Le Quang Dao street in Nam Tu Liem district from May 19 to 23.
Communications have also been increased with the production of publications and gifts to introduce local tourism such as reprinting 3,500 tourism maps and 4,000 copies of a book on Hanoi.
The Tourism Department has been coordinating with the Vietnam Television and the Hanoi Television and Radio Station to produce and broadcast a tourism promotion programme titled “Hanoi - Den de yeu” (Hanoi - Come to love) in two phases, from April to August and from September to December this year.
It is also working with CNN International to make and broadcast a video clip on local tourism with the presence of the SEA Games 31 logo. Efforts are also being made to increase introducing the city to international friends via tourism websites and social networks.
To gear up personnel for the Games, the Tourism Department has opened training courses for the cadres in charge of culture and tourism of the localities hosting competitions, travel businesses, and the 14 hotels accommodating the Games participating delegations, it noted.
For 2022, Hanoi looks to attract 9 - 10 million visitors, including 1.2 - 2 million foreigners. It targets around 3.2 million tourist arrivals in the second quarter of this year, including 150,000 - 200,000 foreigners.
The capital city welcomed about 2.8 million domestic visitors in the first quarter, an increase of 45.3% compared to the same period last year.
Themed “For a Stronger Southeast Asia”, SEA Games 31 will take place in Hanoi and 11 nearby localities from May 12 to 23.
The biennial event was initially slated for late December but delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is the second time Vietnam has hosted a SEA Games, after the first in 2003.