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Hanoi tourism ‘transit based'

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Hanoi has been urged to improve the number and quality of its tourism products and services to attract more visitors, despite being named one of the 10 best destinations in Asia by Smart Travel Asia magazine.

They pointed to lack of planning, poor night-time entertainment, unfriendly behaviour by some businesses and individuals and failure to make the best of its relics and localities.

Vu The Binh, chairman of the Viet Nam Travelling Association, said the number of historical relics and famous landscapes for tourism activities was too small.

The city has 5,000 historical relics and notable locations but only 2,104 were popular with sightseers.

Viet Nam Tourism Research and Development Institute deputy director Pham Trung Luong said Ha Noi didn't have a specific direction for its tourism industry so it had become just a transit destination.

Vietravel Tourism Company's communications head Nguyen Minh Man said the city had great lifestyle and historical values but had poor tourism services, especially night-time entertainment.

Municipal authorities needed to plan entertainment and improve services management, Man said.

Additionally, they should improve the behaviour of people and businesses dealing with tourists.

Ha Noi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism deputy director Mai Tien Dung said the top-ten award was the result of good promotion.

However, if the city was to become a destination in itself, it needed international-standard tourism accommodation and services.

It should continue its focus on eco-tourism and develop its cultural relics and craft villages with tours designed to attract visitors, Dung said.

The tourism industry expected to receive 1.28 million foreign tourists this year, a 3.4 per cent increase over last year, he said.

In the first nine months of this year, the city attracted 898,000 foreign visitors, 6.7 per cent higher than the same period of last year.


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