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Hanoi to build a digital map system for smart tourism
Anh Kiet 10:10, 2024/02/25
Administrative reform and digital transformation are important in driving tourism in the capital, helping enhance the visitor experience.

The Hanoi Department of Tourism will build a digital map system for smart tourism in the city, develop and expand the tourism sector's data management scheme, update the agricultural tourism database, and increase the use of information technology (IT) in promoting the capital's image to domestic and international tourists.

Dang Huong Giang, Director of the city's tourism department, made the statement at a meeting this week on the development direction of Hanoi's tourism sector.

"The department has asked the city People's Committee to allocate resources to carry out administrative reform, digital transformation, and optimize the use of data connectivity," Giang said.

Dang Huong Giang, Director of the Hanoi Tourism Department, speaks at the meeting. Photo: VGP

She added that administrative reform and digital transformation play an important role in promoting tourism in the capital, helping to improve the experience of tourists.

"The tasks of digital transformation in tourism are clearly defined: to provide guests with complete information and online experiences in real-time; to utilize the capital's cultural and historical data resources for tourism development," Giang said.

The Hanoi Department of Tourism has gradually improved the Internet of Things infrastructure to serve smart tourism applications, continued to implement tourism database software, accelerated the progress of data digitization synchronized with Hanoi's tourism information systems and databases, digitized the results of administrative procedures, and upgraded the department's website to ensure convenient access for tourists and locals.

In addition, the department has set up a hotline [1800.556.896] for free information support and solution consulting services 24 hours a day to receive and process feedback and recommendations from tourists promptly. In 2023, the department assisted 772 tourists and handled 32 complaints and recommendations from domestic and international tourists, creating a beautiful image of Hanoi in the eyes of tourists.

Attaching importance to key source markets
 

"Hanoi is a distinctive, attractive, and safe destination that is becoming a growing international tourist attraction. In 2024, Hanoi's tourism sector will focus on key source markets such as Northeast Asia, ASEAN, India, Eastern Europe, Europe, Australia, and the US," said Director Dang Huong Giang. 

International visitors at Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi. Photo: Hoai Nam/The Hanoi Times

The department will also produce video clips and translate the city's guides into five languages: English, French, Chinese, Japanese, and South Korean.

Hanoi's tourism department has set a target of welcoming around 26.5 million tourists this year, an increase of 10.4% compared to the estimate for 2023.

To achieve this, a project to connect tourist destinations along the Red River area, as well as creative projects and attractive cultural tourism products typical of the capital, will be rolled out.

"In addition, Hanoi has made efforts to innovate tourism products to attract more visitors," Giang said, elaborating that Hanoi has launched 15-night tourism products, the most unique of which are the tours Essence of the North, Hoa Lo Night, Decoding Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Quintessence of Education at Temple of Literature, and others.

At the same time, the city has developed eco-tourism packages, golf tours combined with cultural tourism, sports tourism products such as VGreen Bike Tour, climbing and jogging tours, and expanded tourist bus routes connecting downtown Hanoi with West Lake and Bat Trang Ceramics Village in Gia Lam District. 

A foreign tourist learns how to wrap banh chung (sticky rice cake), a cultural feature of the traditional Vietnamese Lunar New Year. Photo: VGP

Refreshing existing products and launching new ones will improve tourists' experience and enrich and diversify Hanoi's tourism. Additionally, tourism communication will be strengthened in various forms, including TV (Vietnam Television, Hanoi Television), websites, and social platforms (YouTube, Facebook, TikTok...).

In recent years, the department has designed and produced gift items, tourist identification kits and unique tourist publications that are imbued with the capital's culture.

Preserving culture in tourism development
 

According to Giang, conservation and tourism development must always go hand in hand in development plans. "Cultural tourism has made an important contribution to improving the brand of Hanoi's tourism industry in recent years, as the city has focused on preserving the value of monuments to develop its green economy sector," the director said. 

The Quintessence of Education night tour, equipped with LED lights at the Temple of Literature, offers visitors a new perspective. Photo: Huy Pham/The Hanoi Times

The department has developed unique tourism products based on Hanoi's unique cultural elements. In particular, the architectural space and cultural values of the Old Quarter have been promoted, and special attention has been paid to folk cultural and artistic activities. Travel agencies are encouraged to coordinate with historical destinations to develop experiential and technology-based tours focusing on traditional cultures.

With 5,922 relics, 1,793 intangible cultural heritage sites, 1,350 handicraft villages, and many ancient villages and cultural areas, Hanoi has great potential for developing cultural tourism. Duong Lam, an ancient village on the outskirts of the city, is a typical example of tourism conservation and development, according to Dr. Tran Duc Thanh, from the Faculty of Tourism Studies at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University-Hanoi. 

Duong Lam Ancient Village in Son Tay Town is an attractive destination for international tourists. Photo: VGP

"In recent years, Hanoi has invested a lot to help families preserve old houses and renovate relics in the village. If you come to Duong Lam today, you will see a different look, the old houses have been restored and they look more appealing, and the people are more enthusiastic about tourism. The income from tourism has been reinvested in improving infrastructure," Thanh told The Hanoi Times.

"Exploiting the heritage but neglecting its conservation would lead to rapid degradation and disappearance of cultural heritage, so the income from tourism must be reinvested in heritage conservation for tourism development," he stressed.

In addition to conservation, Hanoi needs to focus on promoting cultural values through tourism. Preservation and tourism development must always go hand in hand with the city's development plans.

Nguyen Doan Van, Head of the Hanoi Monuments and Attractions Management Board, said cultural preservation and tourism development must be done together. "The large investment in restoring monuments is not only aimed at preserving heritage values but also creates benefits in promoting values for tourism," Van told The Hanoi Times.

He said the restoration work carried out in the Co Loa Citadel area, Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Bat Trang Ceramics Village, Van Phuc Silk Village, and others have turned these places into tourist magnets.

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