No good entertainment place makes Hanoi less attractive
Hanoi lacks hotels and entertainment places, which makes it less attractive in the eyes of tourists.
The travellers to Hanoi always complain that they do not have anywhere to go to relax, especially at night, as there are not many entertainment places, Mr Nguyen Quang Lan, Chairman of the Hanoi Tourism Association, complained. All the places that provide entertainment services, must close the doors before 12 pm.
There are 1,000 buses specialising in carrying tourists, but they are not allowed to enter the inner city during rush hours. Therefore, travel firms have to carry tourists in 2,000 smaller buses, which makes the expenses higher.
Travellers keep away due to the lack of hotels
Mr Lan said that the numbers of 1.2mil of foreign tourists and 4.9mil domestic tourists Hanoi received in the last year proved to be modest. Other cities in the region can attract several tens millions tourists a year, and reap several tens billion dollars.
In 2005, the number of tourists to Vietnam was just 1/3 of the number to Thailand and 1/5 of that to Malaysia. Meanwhile, the neighbouring country, Cambodia, witnessed the growth rate of 17.7% in tourism in 2005 and 2006.
Travel firms said that the poor conditions of infrastructure items remain the biggest challenge for Hanoi’s tourism.
Hanoi is facing the serious shortage of high-grade hotels. Luu Duc Ke, a staff from Ben Thanh Tourism said that the company sometimes had to refuse serving tourists who wanted to travel to Hanoi, as it could not book hotel rooms. Travellers always had to go to Ha Long bay or Hai Phong directly from the airport.
The city is moving ahead with the plan to develop the hotel system, capable to receive 2mil international tourists by 2010. However, it proves to be a very difficult task to have 13,500 hotel rooms more by 2010.
Budget for tourism promotion low
Also according to Mr Lan, a foreign tourist just spends some $700 when he stays in Hanoi. Meanwhile, Hanoi does not spend much on tourism promotion, just $0.1 per tourist.
Mr Lan said that in order to attract more tourists, Hanoi in particular and Vietnam in general, have to pay more attention to tourism promotion. India, for example, spent Rupi21bil in 2005-2006 for the country’s tourism promotion, while Thailand paid $1bil for this work.
The total amount the state spent on tourism promotion in 2006 is VND25bil ($1.562mil). The figure is expected to be lower in 2007, at around VND20bil ($1.25mil), which proves to be too low compared to the sum needed.
With such the tight budget, Hanoi would not successfully popularise its image in the world, Mr Trung said.
(Source: Lao dong)
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