VietNamNet randomly asked some people the same question: “Do you take your children to museums?” The common answer was “no.” They said they never thought about taking their kids to museum and they did not remember the last time they had visited a museum.
Instead of going to a museum, they took kids to shopping malls during weekends, where kids could play at an amusement site for kids while their parents could drink coffee, go shopping and then they enjoyed a movie together.
Why are museums not favored by Hanoians?
With around seven million people, Hanoi has less than 20 museums. Worse, most of museums are unattractive to visitors.
Hanoi’s museums cannot compete with other forms of entertainment and are losing visitors since they lack methodological marketing and development strategies. They also lack amazing products and lag behind the development of Vietnamese society.
Only the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology regularly designs new programs to draw visitors, the remaining museums are always quiet because they do not have interesting events. This museum earns VND12.5 billion (over $600,000) last year compared with VND780 million (over $40,000) of the Vietnam Fine-art Museum and VND1.46 billion (over $70,000) of the Vietnam History Museum.
At the Vietnam History Museum.
The number of visitors to the Vietnam Museum of History, a big museum in Hanoi and Vietnam, felt from 167,000 in 2008 to 73,000 in 2011. The museum’s managers explained that the number of visitors dropped because tourism firms did not cooperate with the museum anymore.
Annually, this museum receives VND13 billion ($600,000) from the State budget to maintain its operation. It is assigned to earn yearly revenue of VND2 billion ($100,000) but the museum can earn over VND1 billion, mainly from hiring its space to organize weddings and restaurants. Last year, investment in this museum was VND43 billion ($2.1 million).
“I think that we need to have a contemporary art museum. Though it is late, we should build such a museum. We should not increase the number of museums but we should better develop the existing museums. The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a good example for other museums,” said Mr. Nguyen Dinh Thanh, who holds a culture master degree from the Paris 9 University.
According to a comprehensive plan on developing Vietnam’s museum system to 2020, more museums will be built, including the National History Museum. This will be one of the biggest museums in Vietnam, covering 9,000sq.m near Hanoi’s West Lake. The work will be completed in the next five years.