Hanoi has been recognized as the city which has the lowest travel cost in the world. However, this is not enough to persuade travelers to come back to the city for the second and subsequent time.
Travel costs low, service quality low as well
A tourist guide said that he feels ashamed when he does not know where to lead tourists to in the capital city. The tours to Hanoi designed by different travel firms are nearly similar. Tourists would be led to ancient street area, water puppetry theaters, museums and that is all.
“The inner city tour can be completed just within half a day,” he said.
Nguyen Phu Duc, Chair of the Vietnam Tourism Association, said that when considering the attractiveness of the tourism cities in the world, one should refer to the reports about the competitiveness of the tourism cities released by prestigious tourism organizations.
Vietnam now ranks the 80th among 139 countries in the world in terms of the attractiveness of a tourism city. It ranks the 132nd in terms of the environment quality, the 115th in legal regulations and 89th in hospitality.
Duc went on to say that everything is cheaper in Hanoi than other cities in the world, but Hanoi can only provide mediocre tourism service quality. The capital city no longer attracts tourists. People do not like traveling there on holidays, because there is no imposing art performance shows. Meanwhile, the games at amusement parks have become out of date, because they have been unchanged in the last many years.
Meanwhile, travelers touring the capital city suffer a constant anxiety that they may be overcharged when buying products or using services. Overcharged food, high car keeping fee all keep travelers away from Hanoi.
Duc admitted that Hanoi has great potentials to develop tourism, but it has not made any progress over the last many years. In 2010, Hanoi welcomed 1.87 million visitors, while HCM City received 3.5 million and Ha Long City 2.3 million travelers.
Agreeing with Duc, Lawyer A Lin, Lecturer of the Hanoi Tourism Junior College also said that while other localities have been moving ahead with the plans to develop new tourism products to attract more travelers, while Hanoi still has been lying still with no move ahead because of the conservative way of thinking.
Dr Tran Nhan, a lecturer of the Hanoi Culture University, also said though he agrees that Hanoi is the lowest-cost travel city in the world, but it’s undeniable that the tourism quality in the city is not high.
Nhan said that 4-5 star hotels in Hanoi are well equipped and they are in no way inferior to any others in the world. However, they have lost a lot of guests because of the lack of professionalism.
“Every tourism paradise in the world has its own original feature, while Hanoi has nothing special to show off to travelers. Seductive smile alone cannot lure travelers,” Nhan said.
Sharing the same view with Nhan, Pham Trung Luong, Deputy Head of the Vietnam Tourism Research Institute, said the tourism development is still too far below the potentials. Co Loa is listed as national tourism complex, but it has not developed over the last 10 years.
Luong said that the biggest problem is that Hanoi still does not have any reasonable policies to attract investors to the tourism sector. To date, there has been no overall tourism development strategy for Hanoi.
Thanh Mai (VietnamNet)