Hue citadel, established by the Nguyen Dynasty in 1805, is now one of the relics of the ancient capital, which is listed as part of a World Cultural Heritage. Central Thua Thien-Hue Province will host National Tourism Year 2012. — VNA/VNS Photo Nhat Anh
THUA THIEN-HUE — Central Thua Thien Hue Province's People's Committee plans to invest over VND23 billion (US$1.1 million) to host National Tourism Year 2012.
National tourism year 2012, themed "Heritage Tourism", was a major tourism event that was expected to be held all year round, said Pham Dang Khanh, a representative from the province's Culture, Sports and Tourism Department.
This was the first time the province would play the role of host of the national tourism year, Khanh said.
It aimed to promote Viet Nam's tourism products and cultural heritage to both international and domestic tourists, Khanh said.
This is one of moves to lure 7-8 million arrivals of international tourists to Viet Nam by 2015.
Statistics from the General Statistics Office shows the success of the national tourism year 2010 in Ha Noi as it helped attract about 5 million international tourists.
Hue Festival 2012, a biennial event of Vietnamese cultural heritage, is expected to be a major cultural draw card.
As scheduled, the committee would organise events mainly in January, February, April, June, July and the last months of next year, he said.
The event named "Travelling to the heritage region," is the first to kick off and will take place in Huyen Tran Culture Centre in Hue City with cuisine and art activities.
The opening ceremony of Hue Festival is scheduled for April 7 at Ngo Mon (Noon Gate) Square inside the ancient Royal Citadel in the province, according to Khanh.
A range of events include Charming Viet Nam, 1st Cuisine Festival of Central Coastal, Southeast Asia Chess Contest, and U18 International Tennis Prize.
Lying on the north-south railway as the main road to Laos and north-eastern Thailand, with Phu Bai international airport and Chan May seaport, the province is a noted stopover for tourists.
The province plans to reach an annual tourism turnover of more than VND3 trillion (US$145 million) with the arrival of at least 1.2 million international tourists a year by 2015.
In related moves, the province hopes to get 43 infrastructure projects at a cost of VND49 trillion ($2.3 billion). Twenty-two of them have already begun or are completed.
Five hotels of the Mercure and Mondial groups are already in use while others are in progress.
Nguyen Hoang Yen, 25, of Ha Noi, who just came back from her holidays in Hue City, said that on her first time visiting Hue, she was actually charmed by the beautiful landscapes, people, heritage, and foods, but she did not have a chance to join Hue Festival.
"I hope to see interesting cultural and artistic activities from the Hue Festival in the former capital city."
Philippe Blaser, a Swiss, said that he once visited Hue and he might return to Hue if tourism services and activities would be more attractive. — VNS