The festival features a wide range of cultural and tourism information about countries on five continents. International tourism companies and industry representatives from many countries have come to the festival to display their destinations and services such as Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt and Japan.
Vietnamese tourism businesses are taking this opportunity to present their tourism services at more than 90 booths, while Hanoi agents are introducing the city's potential at 180 separate booths.
Hout Sinuon, deputy director of the Cambodian Statistics and Tourism Information Department, said many festival attendees had already visited his booth.
"We are here to promote our culture and tourist attractions," he said. "We think we will successfully lure tourists to Cambodia."
An international workshop today will focus on practical benefits of co-operation opportunities, experience exchange, tourism development and joint-venture tourist projects.
The Bao Son Paradise Theme Park is the biggest entertainment and tourism complex in the city. Opened to the public last year, the park was developed to quench the local population's thirst for entertainment and relaxation.
The 20ha entertainment and tourism complex consists of four main areas: traditional craft villages of Vietnam, a replica of Hanoi's old quarter, an eco-tourism area and a culinary section offering cuisine from all corners of Vietnam.
Many cultural and art activities are being organised throughout the park during the four-day festival.
A stage has been set up at the park's gate to feature international music and a carnival. Visitors can also enjoy listening to traditional Vietnamese music such as cheo (traditional opera), folk singing from the central region, chau van (spiritual music), quan ho (love duets) and ca tru (ceremonial singing) at the village hall in the traditional craft village area. Two puppetry performances will be held every day during the festival.
Visitors will have the chance to join folk games such as walking on stilts, bamboo swinging, human chess and throwing a ball through a ring at the ethnic village's replica of a Thai stilt house.
The park's old quarter area brings back Hanoi's past life through calligraphy demonstrations, xam (blind blusker) singing, to he (toy figurines) making and street vendors.
"We're trying to offer as many traditional Vietnamese art performances as possible," says Nguyen Truong Son, director of Bao Son Group, owner of the park. "The performances will change everyday during the four day exhibition so visitors will be able to enjoy something different each day."
"With the theme Thang Long-Hanoi, Convergence of 1,000 Years, this will be the biggest event held to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of the capital, and the 50th anniversary of the Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism's tourism industry," said Mai Tien Dung, deputy director of the department.
"The International Tourism Festival is a key National Tourism Year activity and aims to introduce and honour the cultural and historical values of the capital. This event will also help promote products and services of Vietnam travel in the international market," he said.
The park and Thang Long Road, where the park is located, were built to mark the city's millennium.
The opening ceremony for the Cong Nhan (Workers) Theatre was another cultural highlight that took place on Saturday in the capital.
Chairwoman of the city's People Council, Ngo Thi Doan Thanh, and vice chairman of the People's Committee Phi Thai Binh attended the ceremony.
Located at 42 Trang Tien Street, the theatre was first built in 1917 and was used as a cinema. After the liberation of the city from the French in 1954, the name of the theatre was changed to its current name.
The theatre's renovation began in October 2007. The three-storey theatre, which includes a 500-seat auditorium and a well-equipped stage, is now ready to host a variety of different events.
The theatre's opening is helping celebrate the city's grand anniversary.
On the same day, a collection of 94 valuable books about Thang Long-Ha Noi were unveiled at the National Library in the capital.
A display showcasing documents about the capital city is also open to the public at the library.
Nguyen Dang Duc Bao's win in the men's 8,750m event at the Hanoi Moi newspaper's Run for Peace around Hoan Kiem Lake helped his Khanh Hoa team secure the team title yesterday in Hanoi.
Bao, who has been the runner to beat during the past several years, stole the triumph from Nguyen Van Lai from the Military team in the last hundreds metres.
Lai failed to defend his title and finished second, followed by Bui The Anh from the Border Guard team.
The Border Guard surpassed the Military to take second place in the team event.
On the women's side, Thanh Hoa sprinter Nguyen Thi Phuong won the gold medal in the 5,250m event. Nguyen Dang Thanh Thuy, who is Bao's younger sister, came in second while Nguyen Thi Huong from Thai Binh finished third.
Phuong's top place failed to help her Thanh Hoa team finish in the top three. The team title went to Khanh Hoa, with Thai Binh taking second and Quang Ninh finishing third.
Khanh Hoa easily won the overall title at the event.Apart from the events for professionals, the running contest also had categories for amateurs.
The annual event marks the 56th anniversary of Hanoi's liberation (October 10) and the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of the capital.