Hà Nội aims to attract more tourists to cultural heritage sites

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A visitor poses for photo at the Central Prison relic. The prison is just one of many sites that are hoping for more visitors when international tourism restarts. Photo courtesy of Hỏa Lò Prison Relic

HÀ NỘI As the country gets ready to get international arrivals again from March 15, Hà Nội authorities are working to attract more tourists to the capital city’s cultural heritage sites.

Due to COVID-19, the number of tourists visiting landmarks in the city has remained modest, despite municipal authorities allowing these sites to reopen in February.

The Hương (Perfume) Pagoda is currently welcoming only about 1,000 pilgrims a day. So far this year, the popular spiritual tourist destination has welcomed 60,000 visitors, equivalent to one day during peak season in previous years.

“The pagoda was always a must-see place for many pilgrims in spring during previous years, attracting thousands of visitors,” said Nguyễn Bá Hiển, head of the management board of the Hương Sơn Complex Area. “However, the number of this year has dropped dramatically.”

A similar situation has been reported at other sites, such as the Temple of Literature, Thăng Long Imperial Citadel and the Central Prison relic.

The situation is expected to improve in time as the tourism sector fully opens, allowing foreigners to begin visiting Việt Nam again.

To adapt to the new situation and draw more visitors, cultural heritage sites in the city have flexibly applied measures to improve their image and provide more attractive products for visitors, including a gift presenting programme in Thăng Long Imperial Citadel and special night tours of the Central Prison relic.

The city’s tourism authority aims to welcome 9-10 million visitors, including 1.2-2 million foreigners, this year, and 12-14 million tourists, including 2.5-3.5 million foreigners, next year. VNS

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