According to Tran Trung Hieu, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Tourism, the capital welcomed 28,945,000 visitors last year, including 7,025,000 foreign visitors.
Ahead in 2020, Hanoi’s tourism sector is aiming to attract 31.88 million visitors, a rise of 10.2 per cent in comparison with 2019. In addition to this, they are hoping to attract 8.21 million foreign arrivals, representing an increase of 17 per cent.
In total, the city aims to rake in VND116,762 billion in tourism revenue with the average occupancy rate of hotels and accommodation establishments reaching between 65 per cent and 68 per cent.
Despite these lofty targets, the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic has forced Hanoi’s tourism sector to make adjustments in its development targets.
Hieu stated that the COVID-19 epidemic poses a major challenge to the country’s tourism industry in general, with the capital greatly affected by the decision of many tourists to cancel their travel plans between January 1 and April 20.
As a means of dealing with the decline in the number of tourists, Nguyen Thi Van, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Tourist Corporation, said travel operators have been intensifying tourism promotion activities, whilst also developing their brands, and expanding into new markets through participating in a number of domestic and international tourism fairs.
These include prestigious events such as the Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition 2020 in Russia, the Japan Cherry Blossom Festival in March, and the Vietnam International Travel Mart in April.
Moreover, local firms are looking to boost tourism promotion activities further in a number of markets which are projected to enjoy high growth rates and overtake the Chinese market.
These markets include Russia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Western Europe, North America, ASEAN, India, and the Middle East. In addition, greater attention should be paid to the domestic market through promoting demand stimulus and co-operation programs alongside provinces and cities.
Travel companies have been advised to diversify their tours by promoting things like MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events), culinary tourism, and family tourism, while also taking guests to cultural and tourism festivals as a means of increasing the amount of time tourists spend in Hanoi.
Hieu said the Formula 1 (F1) racing event in April, which will be the first of its kind to take place domestically, represents a sports event which will make a significant contribution to elevating the nation’s image amid difficulties caused by the COVID-19.
He noted that the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has worked alongside organisers, travel agents, accommodation establishments, and other service units to ensure that security, safety, and service quality are a success during the event.
Besides, Hanoi Department of Tourism has worked with businesses to learn their opinions about significant topics such as entry visas, visa exemption, and other recommendations including electricity costs, VAT reduction, along with aviation costs. These opinions are expected to be submitted to competent authorities for consideration in the coming time.
Furthermore, the VNAT has also collaborated with tourism associations and tourism clubs in the region to strengthen connectivity and promote their role in reducing the impact of the epidemic, Hieu emphasized.