|Tour "Decoding the Thang Long Royal Citadel" in Hanoi (Photo: hanoimoi.com.vn)
SEA Games 31, the second hosted by Vietnam, is taking place in Hanoi and 11 adjacent cities and provinces, bringing thousands of athletes, coaches, officials, and spectators to northern Vietnam.
Tran Phong Binh, Deputy Head of the Tourism Marketing Department of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said successful organization of international events has a positive effect on economic development, particularly tourism.
“After Vietnam successfully hosted SEA Games 22 in 2003, the number of foreign visitors to Vietnam in the following years surged 10-20% annually. SEA Games 31 is underway after a long COVID-19 hiatus. It’s been less than two months since Vietnam fully reopened on March 15th. Good organization and taking full advantage of the event to promote tourism will give a boost to economic recovery,” Binh said.
|A bicycle tour to Bat Trang ceramic village (Photo: hanoimoi.com.vn)
Hanoi is hosting the opening and closing ceremonies and many of the competitions, which have drawn an estimated 10,000 athletes and officials and additional thousands of spectators. The Hanoi Tourism Department has prepared 14 hotels with 3,000 rooms to accommodate delegates.
Nguyen Hong Minh, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Tourism Department, said: “Hanoi’s tourism sector has promotional programs for foreign visitors, athletes, and journalists. We have organized a series of events before, during, and after the Games, including a Souvenir Festival, a Culinary Festival, and a Tourism Festival.”
Travel companies have designed 28 tours to take SEA Games delegations to cultural and historical sites in Hanoi, scenic spots and ancient villages just outside Hanoi, and attractions in neighboring provinces and cities. There are day tours and weekend trips to Ninh Binh, Ha Long, Sa Pa, and Mai Chau.
|Hotels in Hanoi have diversified their menus to serve SEA Games delegates. (Photo: hanoimoi.com.vn)
Trinh Thi My Nghe, Deputy Chairperson of Hanoi’s Tourism Association, said: “Hanoi has tours in different languages, including a tour called “Decoding the Thang Long Royal Citadel”, a night tour of Hoa Lo prison, and bicycle tours to Bat Trang ceramic village and other craft villages on the outskirts of Hanoi, like Thuong Tin, Quoc Oai, and Ba Vi.”
Ninh Binh province is hosting the SEA Games karate competitions. Pham Duy Phong, Deputy Director of the provincial Tourism Department, said: “SEA Games 31 is an opportunity for us to promote tourism to foreigners. We have trained volunteers, boatmen, and tourism staff to deliver cultural and historical information to the SEA Games delegations. We have organized a special Tam Coc-Trang An Tourism Festival.”
Vietnam’s tourism possibilities include marine tours, adventure tours, trekking, mountain climbing, and golf.