HA NOI — The capital this year will focus on further developing tourism products to attract more domestic and foreign visitors, according to the local Culture, Sports and Tourism Department.
During a conference on plans for Ha Noi and Viet Nam tourism development held on Tuesday, the department said tourism products were still limited due to delays in official approval.
Deputy head of the department, Truong Minh Tien, said they have been collecting opinions on developing and exploiting tourism from related enterprises and sectors.
The department is expected to submit its plan to the People's Committee of Ha Noi for approval by June, Tien said.
Under the plan, Ha Noi would develop the Thang Long Citadel, Dong Ngac Village, the Ba Vi tourism area, the Old Quarter, theatres and other existing tourism sites.
Additionally, the department would run promotion programmes in potential markets such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Eastern Europe, China, South Korea and Japan.
Ha Noi is scheduled to organise its international tourism fair 2012 in December to promote tourism programmes among domestic and foreign firms.
The capital city has promoted co-operation with provinces and cities in developing the tourism industry, including HCM City, Hue, Da Nang and Can Tho as well as Quang Ninh, Lao Cai and Lang Son provinces.
Last year, the city saw a year-on-year increase of 10 per cent in visitor numbers to reach 13.9 million, including 1.9 million foreigners.
The four-day holiday to celebrate Southern Liberation Day on April 30 and International Labour Day on May 1 has boosted demand for trips to destinations both at home and abroad.
Nguyen Minh Man, head of Vietravel's Communication Department told the Dan tri online newspaper that many tours for this weekend's holiday were fully booked while others were only 70 per cent full.
Vietravel expected to enjoy a year-on-year increase of 20 per cent with 25,000 tourists set to take domestic and foreign tours during this year's holiday, Man said.
SaigonTourist has sold 65 per cent of its 16,000 pre-arranged holiday reservations for the holiday, a 10-15 per cent increase over last year.
FidiTour has also seen an increase in tour bookings. Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, external director of FidiTour's Communication Division said the number of group tours had increased against individual tourists because this option allowed them to avoid the price increase that had been applied to individual travel.
The company had to work with airlines to increase the number of flights to Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia due to high demand, Mai said.
Da Nang was a hot domestic destination because the central city was hosting an international fireworks festival to celebrate the holidays, the tourism firms said.
Most prices had not increased because contracts were signed several months ago prior to petrol price increases, they said. — VNS