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How can Viet Nam better link its simple, but exotic street food to attract more tourists?

Update: June, 07/2013 - 09:26

Lonely Planet publishers claim Ha Noi has the top 10 walking tours for foodies. Its writers suggested that a feast of local street food can include the old favourite pho bo (beef noodle soup), banh xeo (egg crepes), and gossamer-light banh cuon, (steamed rice crepes filled with minced pork, shallots and mushrooms).

The capital was even placed on a list alongside craft beer in Gastown, Vancouver, and French street food in Nice, France.

Vietnamese street food has enticed the world. Many dishes found on the streets are frequently ranked as excellent by many food and tourist organisations. In May, CNN put Viet Nam third on its list of 10 healthiest ethnic cuisines. It also placed goi cuon (summer roll) as one of the world's 50 best foods in 2011.

However, Viet Nam has not capitalised effectively on linking food and tourism. In 2012, the Singapore Tourism Board established a Food and Beverage Division to promote tourism. This followed trends showing that visitors spent more than 13 per cent on food while in Singapore.

After experiencing Viet Nam's street food, what can you learn about Vietnamese culture? When visiting a city for the first time, do you like taking walking cuisine tours to fast-track your understanding of a its cuisine? How we can better link food and tourism to brand and market domestic destinations?

Please reply by email to: opinion@vnsmail.com, or by fax to (84-4) 3 933 2311. Letters can be sent to The Editor, Viet Nam News, 79 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Ha Noi. Replies to next week's questions must be received by Thursday morning, June 13, 2013.


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