Ancient capital exploits untapped potential of tourism sector

18-Jan-2020 Intellasia | The SaigonTimes | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The central province of Thua Thien-Hue last year welcomed more than 2.1 million international arrivals out of a total of five million tourists, up 12 percent against 2018.

This was due to the return of European and American visitors as well as the strong increase in Thai visitors (accounting for 12 percent of the total international visitors). However, South Korean visitors last year only made up 20%, instead of 30%, of the total in 2018.

According to Nguyen Van Phuc, deputy director of Thua Thien-Hue Province Tourism Department, the province has recently enhanced the quality of several of its tourism services. In 2019, the city offered various new tourism products besides unlocking the tourism potential of its heritage sites.

The latest example of tourism development is the organisation of tours to destinations featured in the widely-popular Mat Biec film. Phuc’s department has worked with travel companies to offer new tours that take travellers to visit these destinations around the province and give them a local experience, such as visits to a rattan village.

Phuc remarked that even though this kind of tour is short, it has gained the interest of the local community and tour operators hoping to enrich their tourism offerings.

Nguyen Son Thuy, director of Indochina Unique Tourist, pointed out that several countries, such as South Korea, Thailand and Japan, have created tourism products based on famous movies. Thus, he encouraged Thua Thien-Hue’s tourism industry to take steps to develop this type of tourism as well.

Helping pedicab drivers become amateur tour guides is also a highlight of the programme.

The Department of Tourism, in collaboration with the Hue City Labour Federation and the University of Foreign Languages, has organised short Korean language courses for these drivers.

Besides these courses, the department will work with the relevant bodies to teach the pedicab drivers tourism skills, including appropriate ways of communicating with guests. Besides this, data about drivers will be shared among hotels and tour operators. Thua Thien-Hue’s tourism industry is also supported by the smart bicycle system funded by Vietsoftpro.

A survey by the Department of Tourism showed that European tourists love riding bikes around the city of Hue, especially through gardens, villages and heritage sites. Phuc confirmed that a workshop would be organised to find solutions for developing this kind of tourism.

So far, European and American guests have enjoyed visiting Hue Citadel as well as the mausoleums of kings Minh Mang, Khai Dinh and Tu Duc to explore the feudal history and culture of ancient Vietnam. However, tapping these venues is being limited to avoid damaging the sites.

According to the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre, revenue from ticket sales to visit the monuments was VND380.5 billion. In 2020, the centre will continue to fully unlock tourism potential of the Hue heritage complex, including the new Thuong Thanh-Eo Bau area as well as the expanded parts of Hue Citadel.

The artistic light show at Hue Citadel is also a new highlight. Vietnam Telling, a member of the International Cultural & Educational Projects, will run the first performance from January 24 to 30. It will also appear at the Festival Hue 2020 in April, enriching night tourism products in the heritage city.

In addition, Thua Thien-Hue Province is cooperating with travel company Vietravel to run the project “Hue Kingdom of Cuisine.” At a recent seminar held in Hue City, experts noted that cuisine is the outstanding competitive advantage of the imperial city, where 1,300 dishes of the 1,700 national dishes originated.


Category: Business, Vietnam

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