International tourists visit the Old Quarters of Hanoi on cyclos (Photo: VNA)

Held within the framework of the ongoing Vietnam International Travel Mart at the International Exhibition Centre, the conference aimed to enhance tourism cooperation among nations, organisations, cities and provinces of high tourism potential.

The event also created opportunity for state tourism organisations to receive constructive feedback and support to overcome difficulties.

Vietnam’s tourism in general — and Hanoi’s in particular — has achieved obvious development. In 2016, the total number of tourists to visit the capital reached 21.8 million, increasing by 11 percent over 2015. Meanwhile, the figure of international tourists to Hanoi was 4 million, increasing by 23 percent in comparison with the previous year.

The development has transformed economic structures and created job opportunities. It also has improved living standards, global integration and the national image.

According to Nguyen Van Tuan, General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Hanoi possesses many tourism resources that make it a high quality destination. There are two options for Hanoi’s tourism development: creating new products and renovating the old ones.

In creating new products, the city has attracted many investors to launch large-scale tourism projects. However, to refresh available products like the old quarter, Sword Lake or cultural heritage sites, the tourism sector needs to improve their quality by investing in infrastructure and human resources.

Nguyen Tien Dat, Vice Director of TransViet Company, argued that the pedestrian zone around Sword Lake, a temporary tourism product in the city, has not met its expectations. He suggested the introduction of more diversified cultural activities to enhance its attractiveness, like ao dai zone to display Vietnam’s traditional dress or photo exhibition capturing each period of Hanoi.

According to Nguyen Quang Lan, Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, Hanoi needs to construct more international-standard leisure centres. Moreover, it is important to organise the tourism zones within the city to clearly identify its major tourism areas.

The conference also witnessed the signing ceremony of the cooperation agreement between Hanoi and other provinces including Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Dien Bien, Lao, Son La, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Ninh Binh and Hoa Binh./.

CPV/VNA