VietNamNet Bridge – With the administrative boundary expansion, people have every reason to believe that Hanoi will develop more strongly and rapidly. However, analysts have pointed out that the great potentials of Hanoi have been untapped.
Hanoi, with its ancient beauty, contemplation, elegance, has always been the most attractive destination for foreign tourists for the last many years. However, Hanoians believe that the city has become more attractive over the last three years since the administrative boundary expansion was decided.
Hanoi now not only have traditional tourism products, such as culture-history tourism, or MICE tourism (meeting, incentives, conference, exhibition), but also can offer ecotourism with the tours to craft villages, orchards in the suburb areas.
Dang Thi Bich Tho, Manager of Phuong Hoang Tourism in Hanoi, said that as the capital city has been expanded, the tourism products of the city will be much more diversified, which can persuade travelers to prolong their stay in Hanoi and to spend more money on the excursions.
In the past, when arriving in Hanoi, tourists only had some places to go, such as the West Lake, Quan Thanh Temple, Hoan Kiem Lake, Dong Xuan Market or Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature) and water puppetry theatres. Meanwhile, tourists now have more choices, because Ao Vua (the King’s pond), Ngai Son Lake, the Ba Vi National Partk and Huong Pagoda have belonged to Hanoi.
After the successful great ceremony of the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi and the National Tourism Year 2010, the number of foreign tourists to Hanoi has been increasing rapidly. In the first and second quarters of the year, the capital city attracted 650,000 foreign tourists, an increase of 23 percent over the same period of the last year.
Truong Minh Tien, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department for Culture, Sports and Tourism said that the Thang Long land’s inner strength has been doubled with the contribution of the Doai land area. The great potentials of the two so called “sacred land with extraordinary talents” will both help create original tourism products.
The city’s authorities have decided to develop local tourism by design new products which can take full advantages of the new land areas. Besides the Homestay, a type of community-based tourism, Hanoi plans to lead tourists to cultural heritages, craft villages and the restaurants that serve rural traditional meals.
Especially, in the new stage of development, Hanoi focuses on the tours linking the ancient streets with craft villages. Travelers to Hanoi not only simply watch the streets and go to museums and theatres, but also can visit the Van Phuc Silk Craft Village, where La Thi Nga, who was credited with developing the silk weaving industry 1000 years ago.
They can admire the embroidery pictures displayed on ancient streets, and go to the Quat Dong Village in Thuong Tin district to learn about the history of the embroidery, and watch with their eyes how craftsmen create artistic pictures.
After the former Ha Tay province was merged into Hanoi, the capital city now has nearly 5000 historical relics, with which Hanoi is leading the country in terms of the number of historical relics, which provides favorable conditions to develop spiritual culture and MICE tourism.
However, Hanoi’s officials themselves admitted that tourism products have just been relying on exploiting natural resources, and that many tourists transit in Hanoi just to go to other provinces.
Deputy Head of the Tourism Research Institute, Pham Trung Luong, has attributed the problems to the lack of a long term development strategy which shows the mechanisms on infrastructure development and new tour development.