Hanoi needs initiatives to develop domestic tourism in 2021: Hanoi Party Chief
Update: Jan 22, 2021
The city's development plan on rapid and sustainable tourism will face great challenges and impact this year.
Hanoi needs initiatives and breakthroughs to promote tourism recovery, which is a decisive factor to drive the city's long-run growth, Mr. Vuong Dinh Hue, the Secretary of Hanoi Party Committee told the meeting with the municipal Department of Tourism on January 19 in Hanoi.
The number of domestic tourists this year is set to be equivelent to 50-70% of 2019, Mr. Hue said.
Requests for the tourism industry
"The city’s tourism recovery will create more jobs in the field and related industries, ensuring budget revenue collection in 2021," Hanoi Party Secretary Hue underlined.
He required the department to assess the weaknesses of the city’s tourism industry and put forwards solutions that should take into consideration short-term and long-term visions. "Tourism restructuring plan must be in long term rather than this year only."
Mr. Hue wanted the tourism industry to apply information and technology and step up digitalization, in addition to map out policies on fees, review fees and prices and improve service quality.
Hanoi Party Chief Hue also urged the municipal Department of Tourism to focus on attracting tourists from other provinces to Hanoi, and sending Hanoi visitors to other localities. It needs to offer packages suitable for each category of tourists, organizing events, conferences and seminars, including events related to the 31st Sea Games, finding tourism ambassadors for Hanoi as well as hosting regional cultural and sporting events in the city.
In addition, the city needs promoting school tourism, which focuses on enhancing patriotism among students by organizing tours to museums, cultural villages, tours to learn about four protectors of Thang Long; river tours to historical and cultural relics, craft villages; researching on cross-city tourist road connecting destinations.
Growth scenarios & solutions in 2021
Speaking at the meeting, Director of the Hanoi Department of Tourism Dang Huong Giang said that the tourism industry has planned to build three scenarios for the capital's tourism development in 2021, of which the city will welcome more than 15.3 million domestic tourists, up to 50%-70% against 2019; international visitors from 2.2 million-3.7 million visitors. The occupancy rate of accommodation establishments in 2021 will reach 45%-50%.
The Covid-19 pandemic has opened up new tourist trends, for which travel agents have created new products in line with the capital's potentials and strengths, with a focus on cultural, heritage, culinary, festival and craft village tourism. They have also organized agricultural and ecological tours, health and sports tourism, among others, Ms. Giang said.
Among the weaknesses and limitations of the tourism industry, Ms. Giang pointed out the low quality of services at some cultural destinations associated with historical relics and traditional villages, lack of experience tours and the synchronization among accommodation establishments. 
The scale of restaurants and shopping centers has not met the growth rate and diversified demands of tourists. In addition, the progress of a number of tourism development projects, especially the construction of some tourism and entertainment areas and high-end hotels has been slow.
Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association Vu The Binh said that Hanoi should be a destination hosting large-scale events to attract domestic tourists. The city also needs to develop various types of the MICE (meeting, incentives, conferences & exhibitions) as well as large shopping malls and outlet centers.
Chairman of the UNESCO Hanoi Travel Club Truong Quoc Hung agreed with Mr. Binh’s opinion, adding that the city should have bus routes connecting to tourist destinations. 
The city currently has 17 districts and towns with many potentials, enough to organize tours for Hanoian to travel within the city. "As the demand for domestic travel after Covid-19 has changed, tourists prefer to travel shorter distances closer and in less time and the city's tourism industry should be aware of this trend," Mr. Hung said. 
Deputy Director of Vietravel Tourism Company - Hanoi Branch Pham Van Bay said that Hanoi lacks tourism products for 3 days 2 nights such as the beach city Danang or the northern province of Quang Ninh; or night-time economic activities to increase tourist spending.
"Hanoi should give out attractive solutions to make tourists staying longer," he said.